You may have noticed that I’ve been going to a lot of workshops and conferences lately. Last year I was investing in equipment and supplies as I grew my business. This year I have made several investments in education in order to master my craft and grow my business further. These educational investments have certainly paid off as I have learned so much invaluable information from the best of the best in the industry! Plus, I’ve been able to make so many new friends along the way! Some of these were more focused on the business side of things, like the Creative at Heart Conference. And others where focused specifically on the aspects of a wedding photography business, like the Amy & Jordan and Katelyn James workshops. But there was one thing that every single workshop or conference touched on- ‘Finding Your Why’. Even at Justin and Mary’s Lighting workshop, which is a workshop that is focused on the most technical aspect of wedding photography, we spent a good 30-45 minutes talking about the ‘why’ behind your business. So obviously it’s a pretty important aspect of your business!
So what exactly does that mean? Finding your why? This has to do with figuring out why you do what you do. What is the motivation the drives your business. As a wedding photographer, of course I want to take pretty pictures, make my clients feel beautiful and capture moments so that they will last a lifetime. But I know that there has to be more than that that drew me to this place. I know that there is something deeper that really lights my fire and gives me that passion I feel for what I do. Every time this topic came up at these events, I would try to think of what that is for me. What is my ‘why’? For some people it is so clear and obvious. But for me, it didn’t seem to come that easily. So I put off looking into it and figured it would just come to me. And luckily it did.
At each one of these educational events, there would always be a point where the speaker would touch on how when our couples hit a rough patch in the marriage, they’ll be able to look back at the images of their wedding day to remember why they married each other and help them through it. This topic gets me every time. When people start talking about the inevitable struggles that every married couple will face, I always get a lump in my throat. Last year on Branden and I’s two year wedding anniversary, I opened up about the reality of the struggles we had faced in our first 2 years of marriage. It certainly wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine those first two years. But I also talked about how even though marriage was harder than we thought it would be, we were able to overcome our struggles which allowed our relationship to get to a level it had never been before. That was how we learned the true beauty of what marriage really is. It’s not all about riding high on that newlywed bliss, it’s about learning to serve and be selfless, which will allow you to experience the true beauty and wonders of those vows. So when I get choked up as someone talks about the struggles that our couples will face, I sympathize with the hard times they will endure. But I also know that if they stay true to their vows and fight for it, they will experience all the joy and graces that marriage has to offer!
So how does this translate into my why? Simply put, my why is that I believe in marriage. The motivation and heart behind my business comes from the fact that I believe in marriage and what it stands for. Photographing a couple’s wedding day is a small part that I can play in helping them on their way to a beautiful marriage. By capturing them on the happiest day of their lives when they stood up in front of their family and friends to vow their lives to each other, I can provide them with a way to remember exactly how they felt in that moment. So that when they hit that rough patch along the way, they can look through their wedding album or up at that canvas on the wall and be instantly reminded of why they married this person and what it’s all about. It will bring them back to the vows they made to each other. And it is also my hope that by sharing my own experiences in my marriage, I can help those couples that are struggling to know that they are not alone. When I opened up about our marriage last year, I was overwhelmed by all of the texts and emails I received from people telling me how much they appreciated my honesty and that they had faced the same struggles and triumphs. This tells me that it’s ok to struggle. It’s ok to not be perfect. And by opening up about my struggles, I can help my couples and my readers to know that too and to not feel alone.
Having a ‘why’ like this behind my business and everything I do will allow me to serve my couples to the best of my abilities. If my only motivation was to take pretty pictures, I wouldn’t be able to give my couples the experience they deserve. My hope is to create an experience that will allow my couples to have the wedding of their dreams AND to set them up for the marriage of their dreams. Because that’s what weddings are all about, right?! All the pretty things and details are just the cherry on top! As cliche as this sounds, if I can touch just one person out there, whether it be one of my own couples or someone that reads my blog, then I will have served my purpose. So from here on out as I continue to grow my business, I will always keep my ‘why’ in mind with every decision I make. I look forward to intentionally implementing this into my business and giving my couples the best experience possible!! Thank you all for coming along on this journey with me!!
Photos courtesy of Michael and Carina!