On March 13, 2011, I started a Facebook page. I was nervous, excited, and had no expectations of where it was going to take me. Stepping WAY out of my comfort zone, I shared that Facebook page on my personal page a whole month later. Asking friends & family to “follow” along on this new journey that I was sure was going to tank. I had just received a Canon Rebel t2i and with a 18-15mm I was ready to take on the world. I still remember hitting 50 followers, then 100, and then 500. I couldn’t believe people were willingly choosing to look at my (what I thought were fabulous at the time) photos.
I’ll never forget when I first put my camera in manual mode. I legitimately broke out into a hot flash & sweat because I swore I had broken it. I sat in the den with my mom at the computer and “my dad is going to kill me” ran through my brain. When I say that I had NO idea what I was doing, I’m not lying. The LCD screen was completely black and what did all those buttons mean?! I honestly just started pushing them like I did playing Mortal Kombat on Nintendo with my brothers. I finally switched it back into auto and all was right in the world.
Maybe this post should be titled, “great watermarks & brand identity 101”. I chased all of our pets around the yard as my little brother wanted nothing to do with my antics. The cat was always the best candidate as he was always basking in the sun. What’s funny about growth is I thought this image was the bees knees when I took it. I probably showed everyone in the family and got singing praises from them (so blessed to have an amazing support system).
Then I got asked to photograph a couple families & a family friends senior portraits. Having known them all, I wasn’t that nervous but truth be told, I still didn’t have much idea as to what I was doing. At that time, I was going to school for early childhood development so working with youngsters and graduating seniors made sense to me. I’m still unbelievably thankful for those first few clients for taking a chance on me.
& we’re on watermark #3…
Four watermarks within the first couple of years and counting..
Then I met Tim & Christine. The founding bride & groom of Caynay Photo. They lit the fire, they were the ones to make me fall in love with weddings. To market myself out of portrait/children work and focus on weddings. I still supplemented with portrait work when I was first starting as at that point, turning away business was a big no. Tim & Christine got married March 17, 2012. I had one camera body (upgraded to the Mark II at that point), one lens (24-70), maybe 2 memory cards, and 1 battery. Just writing that out gives me anxiety now.. As I have a stack of 5 camera batteries + 20 memory cards in front of me.
“Another day, another watermark” is what I say.
August 12, 2012 marks the day that I really started to feel comfortable in what I was doing (both editing and shooting). I still had some slip-ups in regards to editing as finding a groove is not easy (& something I still mull over) but this session was my “oh my goodness, I might be able to do this” session. I wanted to duplicate this look, this editing, the lighting, over and over and over again.
& now we’re here… (anyone else humming Drake’s song?). It always frustrated me when I read articles by seasoned pros when I first started with lines like, “I get it. We (us included) all start somewhere”. & while it still makes me crawl just writing it (I don’t know why?) it’s completely true. If you’re just starting out, and you’re frustrated with yourself & your work. It’s okay. Keep pushing, keep shooting, keep practicing. Save all your RAW files. Edit them then re-edit. I can honestly say, without a doubt, you’ll get good. I promise. I was terrible & I think I’m in a pretty good place now…