When I started this journey of my photography business, I spent countless nights into the morning hours nursing a baby while I worked at my dining room table. It took me nights upon nights to get my first web site live. I would sit and google one thing after the other trying to work out tech kinks while holding a sleeping baby sprawled across a boppy pillow on my lap. Juggling all of that while keeping my head above water editing was intensely demanding. And my priority above it all was being a mother and a wife. My worst enemy was my self doubt. It nagged at me, eating up a bit of my confidence each time it crept into my head. Starting a business isn’t for the faint of heart. Starting a business with a young family isn’t even for the slightly strong heart. It’s for the die hard passionate only. A few years later, I had built a photography business I was proud of and now in an amazingly delightful turn of events, there was a new baby on my boppy pillow on my lap while I grew my business in the early morning hours. Fast forward a few more years to now, and I reach an epiphany…a longing to give back, because I’ve been given so much by so many. An article by a notable wedding photographer I had read discussed that the key to longevity in a successful business was to keep reinventing yourself. I set out on a mission to create a brand that fit me, and start new initiatives to help photographers who are sorting through the pains of starting a business. They know their craft, but need help lighting their fire, because rubbing sticks together in the early morning hours isn’t working. This started a process of extended research that lead me to Promise Tangeman-Wurzell and Meg Long at Go Live HQ. I asked my husband, who has an undying support for my dreams, if I could fly to California and invest in this launch with Go Live HQ. He’s been saying yes to me as long as we’ve known each other. If I dream it, he wants it to be my reality. He even agreed to let me go several days early for a mommy get away with my best friend. I’ll admit The Price is Right was never part of the branding plan, but those days of bonding and relaxing with my best friend were such a welcome fun release. So after we hit the Hollywood hot spots, the rebranding mission launched. I was so scared and excited to sit face to face with Promise and Meg at Go Live HQ and go over all the ‘homework’ I had been preparing. When I walked in and Promise said, “You look just like your Pinterest board.” I was immediately at ease. I gabbed with the girls a bit, and then we sat down at the table (the super cool table, by the way) and in an impressively comfortable flow, we started to build a creative direction.
It was better than I had envisioned. These ladies are top notch designers, but they are also joyful human beings to be near. Here’s the other thing that made it super easy. I took my business that I’ve had a tight grip on, placed it in their qualified hands and basically let go. While not everyone takes that approach-I always believe in letting professionals do what professionals do. Give an artist space to create and you’ll never regret it. (That’s great advice for hiring a photographer too, by the way.) We spent the day proofing ideas and I saw them, not taking any short cuts, poring their best into my work. It was inspiring to watch. Then I held my breath, and watched in amazement as they nailed it. Look, Parker the dog, was a huge source of inspiration too. He’s more than just a pretty face.
As I got on the plane back to OKC, I wiped tears from my face. This entire process there has been a flood of love and encouragement over me. The day before the design, life was happening at home and my meal prepping and daily cards and gifts to the kids weren’t going to be enough to resolve it. I started to feel defeated. My sister, my mom, my mother in law, and my army of God fearing babysitters stepped into action. My best friend made me coffee in the hotel room and asked how she could help while I made phone calls turning plan B into plan C. My mom gripped me through the phone when she reminded me not to lose focus of why I was there. When I missed my kids, my friend Krissi texted, “They will always be so proud of who their mother is and how she found a way to have it all.” I was in awe of this incredible love from them all. I have this village, like the most loving, giving, selfless village. And of course before them all is my husband and my three kids who keep rooting for me. My 8 yr old who asked, “When do we get to see your new web site?” The numerous comments from friends on social media saying, “I’m on pins and needles” and “I’m sitting on the edge of my seat” and “You got this!” Thank you, all of you for building this for me. I’m setting out to use my talents more for God and to help others. I physically feel your love pushing me forward and upward.