Almost two years ago I took my newly started wedding photography business to a full time status. Quitting my full time job was more than a business decision, it was a very calculated move/risk we made together as a family. Our daughter was just over a year old and I was already a stay home dad half of the week days till my wife would come home from her job. Before I left my full time job my days were being divided into running my business, my full time job and my family. Although I was able to manage it all I found myself not pursuing my dream to its fullest which was photography and spending time with my beautiful family. It had became obvious that I had to take a leap of faith, so I did.
After going full time growing my photography business became the number one priority. Previously, shooting my weddings on the weekends and even editing them during the week was never an issue with the time I had. The term “weekend warrior” comes from this lifestyle; its refer to someone with a regular weekday job who shots weddings on the weekends to bring some extra money or pursue their passion on the side. The real challenge for me was everything else that needs to be done to run a successful business; Branding, marketing, public relations and networking which was the toughest one for me.
Although I had started to network a bit I had not really committed myself to build up relationships with others in the wedding industry. In the last couple of months I decided to really change that. For some time I had been wanting to create my own group composed of a few photographers that shared the same vision, passion for photography and encounter similar challenges as I did. A couple of months ago I finally found the courage to reach out to the community over social media to see if there were others interested in joining me in this venture. A couple of photographers and myself ended up hooking up over some coffee and found ourselves having a whole lot in common. So, we started a creative group that we simply refer to as “The Collective” for now. Our primary focus is to grow as creatives but it has turn into much more than that. We are encouraging each other as a group and also each other’s businesses. We are pushing each other to attend more social events and we constantly share ideas to grow our brands, connect with others in our industry and even SEO techniques. But most importantly we have created a sense of community for each other. We are still new friends and we are still learning and getting to know each other as well as a collective. But, in just over a month since we had that first meeting we have build a partnership that goes beyond the business.
The wedding industry its one of the most competitive in the world. Many who hate their current jobs are picking up their cameras or any other medium, skill or passions they have and are beginning to pursue their long dormant dream. Some become weekend warriors, others become full time but regardless we all dream the same dream. The dream of independence, the dream of freedom of time to spent with loved ones. The dream of being a creative and doing something we love.
I say dream, and dream BIG. Why not. After all, the American dream has changed from chasing that outdated Wall Street dream that built an empire for retiring rich even at the risk of your integrity. The American dream has now switched to pursuing A dream, your dream! The dream to do what you love and becoming an entrepreneur. Even if it comes at the cost of very long days, no weekends off, heartbreaks and disappointments, struggles and the fear of failing big time and having to go back to the work force. But I say dream and dream BIG. The American dream is here and its more alive and real than ever. So join some friends that share your passion, get out of your comfort zone and even though it may be awkward at first you will one day turn your head and find yourself amongst friends who will support you and encourage you as you do them.
Check out my good friends work below
Hector and Christina are a husband a wife team and together they are 33andathird
the two above are Rudy and Marta also a husband and wife team check em out at RudyandMarta
and last but definitely not least my good friend for a couple of years now Claire Pacelli with ClairePacelli