Is it worth it?: personal || dallas, tx engagement & wedding photographer

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


"Is it worth it?"  He asked me.  I was at a dinner party with The Boy and a bunch of his friends, and I had struck up a conversation with the camera carrying guy and his girlfriend who were next to me at dinner.  The conversation naturally turned to photography... he was a graphic artist interested in converting his current photography hobby into something a little more profitable.  And that's when he said "Do you mind if I ask you something?  Is it worth it?  I mean, is it really hard to actually make a profit?"
Ha.  Three years of my business's highs and lows flashed through my mind.  I scrambled for an answer... yes. no. kind of? sometimes.  Because really, I knew the question to that answer for ME.  But I also knew it wasn't something I could ultimately answer for him.  Because if you were to ask me, "Is it worth it to you?"  I would answer without thinking twice: "Absolutely yes."  Is it hard to make a profit?  Of course.  And that's where the disillusionment kicks in for most people...
Photography is no get-rich-quick scheme.  We've all seen the many articles/blog posts detailing how much photographers actually get to stash away in a savings account after all the work is done and bills are paid, so I won't belabor that point.  I was blessed to start my business while I was young--while still living at home, without a car, and while my largest bill each month was for my cell phone.  I realize that most people don't have the option of being "full-time" right from the beginning when they're not really making any money, because they have actual bills to pay every month.  I'm soso grateful that I was able to jump into it with both feet, without having to work a side job in order to pay the rent.  I think that starting my business without the pressure of having to make money (and a lot of it) right away allowed me to try different things, and take the time I needed to figure out what approach worked best for me and the kind of business I wanted to build.
I started off somewhat naively, not really knowing what I was doing but believing that I could make up for my lack of know-how with determination and lots of hard work.  Because whatever my hand finds to do I'm supposed to do it with my whole heart, as unto the Lord.  And sometimes my hands found things to do that were hard, and confusing, and just plain exhausting.
And while there are days that I wish soso badly that I had a 9-5 job, where I left all my work at the office, where I was told what to do and did it mindlessly, where all the decisions and responsibility didn't rest on my shoulders...  More often than that I'm soso happy and grateful that I get to set my own schedule, that my job requires me to travel so often, that I get to meet new people all the time--and form lasting friendships with so many of them, that I have a job that continually requires me to push myself to try new things and learn more all the time, and that I'm doing something that I really really love and I get to call it work.
And so, at the beginning of my 4th year of business, looking back over 3 years, if I were to ask myself "Has it been worth it?  Is it still worth it?"  I have to say "Yes."  I've had too many adventures, made too many friends, learned too many new things, worked with too many wonderful people, and grown so much both spiritually and mentally to answer any differently.

So here's to another exciting year of adventuring through photography!

p.s. as we approach my 3 year anniversary on the 13th, look for more sentimental, memories of the good ol' days, thinking back kinds of posts...and a giveaway! :)

Much Love.
Jessica Shae
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10 comments:

  1. I'm interested in eventually starting my own photography business, and this post was very helpful. Thank you so much! xo.

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing! This is so true.

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  3. This was very helpful and enjoyable to read! Thanks so much for being the kind of photographer that helps others along the way that are following in your footsteps! Best of luck to you for the year ahead! :)

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  4. aww....loved this post. yes, photography is both a daunting challenge + and a daring, amazingly fantastic adventure all wrapped up together! so, so worth it! so encouraging to hear your journey...looking forward to your upcoming posts!

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  5. Thanks so much! I really enjoy your blog and can't wait to see more about the good ol' days! :P

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  6. I have so loved keeping up with your photography adventure over the last few years! You have always been immensely talented, and I have always enjoyed looking at your photos! You keep getting better, so who knows what you'll be doing in another 3 years! :) I hope you keep it up for a long time, because you've done a fantastic job so far! Happy 3 years!!!

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  7. So encouraging for me to read, Jessica! Thank you for posting today! Always love your words + photos. :)

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  8. I soso (to quote you) love this post because it is real. Real and inspiring!

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  9. this was so beautiful and inspiring and encouraging. (:

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Oh hey!
Thanks for taking the time to say hello, it makes my day everytime! :)

Jessica Shae