While I’m not quite ready to make my official announcement on the changes happening to Tara Lawrence Photography in the coming months I will say that they are going to be pretty awesome. This past year was my first year in business as a full time photographer and it was so much harder than I thought it was going to be. I spent the last year trying out different pricing and business models, shooting all kinds of sessions and clients and locations and people, running a physical studio, and trying to figure out just where I fit into this huge industry of amazing photographers and brands but I think I am finally headed in the right direction and in a way that allows me to be creative and do what I love while following my heart and staying true to what I want to do and what makes me happy so I can give my clients 110% and be an even more fabulous and invested photographer.
I don’t just want to be the photographer that you go to because I’m cheap. Yes I have been cheap because I thought it was the only way that I could guarantee I would have clients and yes a lot of other photographers charge way more than I do for what I do but I’ve started to realize that if I’m going to keep doing things to better serve my clients like having the studio and investing in my education and defining my style and specializing in the types of photoshoots that really speak to my heart then I need to just have faith and raise my prices so I can do that. I need to invest in my clients and my client experience so I can give my clients everything they’ve dreamed of and more in their photos. I’ve struggled for a really long time to find my place in the photography world and still am struggling to figure out just what exactly I want to do and I attribute that to being so young and still figuring out who I am. I needed to try things out. I still feel like I wake up a different person every single day. I learn something everyday, I make mistakes, I find new inspiration, I try doing something a different way. I’ve had to do things the wrong way and the right way and my way and other photographers who I have been working with and am learning from’s way and figure out just where my sweet spot is. I’ve realized that I can specialize and be really amazing at what I do but that means that I have to start offering a little less and saying no sometimes which I never do, and that’s okay.
This past year I found myself very burnt out at times. If you’ve been following me for a while I’m sure you’ve noticed. Feeding a family of 5 and paying our bills while running a successful and growing business is hard financially and it got really stressful at times and I think that’s something that’s not talked about in our industry very often so I’m putting it out there. It’s never that I haven’t loved my job because I do! I love being a photographer and I love my amazing clients and I feel so blessed to have been able to quit my old job to do this full time but I have been stretching myself thin to make things work, literally running to opposite ends of the world trying to do ten different things all in one day and yes we made it work but I never want to do it that way again. To be completely real and honest with you I don’t think I could do things like this for another year. I have been doing a lot of things that I hate and that I’m not good at and that bring me a lot of stress and that isn’t a good way to run a business. When I say that I am really really tired emotionally and physically, I mean it. Last year was a hard year. But it was a good year and a learning year and I like to think it was my make it or break it year. And I made it. Last year was the hard stuff and I learned a lot and made a ton of little changes here and there and things have finally started coming together these past couple of months and I feel like there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel and like I am entering into a new season of my business.
As an artist and a creative I have noticed that the times I find myself doing things that I don’t love are the times that I start feeling like I am going backwards and I am not serving my clients as well as I should be. I run a small business and I want to be THE BEST at what I do. Not okay at a whole bunch of things. I want to be truly amazing at what I do and only do that. I want people to come to me because they want my work. Because they desire my style and can’t live without my pictures. Because I offer something that they can’t get anywhere else or from anyone else. Because they know that they will get an experience with me that no one else in this industry could give them. Most importantly I want to know my clients and I want to build relationships with them and tell their story and I want to shoot clients who come to me for me.
I’ve spent a lot of time these past couple of months defining myself and my style and listening to what’s speaking to my heart, seeing what inspires me, doing things a little differently, trying new things and just trying to get this whole brand thing figured out. What exactly makes up me and my business and how do I want the world to see me. Sometimes people tell me that I share too much but it’s just how I connect. I’m a loud person lol. I like to shout my ideas out. I want to talk things to death. I want to cry I want to love I want to dance. I like to sing in the car and I talk fast when I’m happy. I want to snuggle all the babies and I want to be carefree. I want to live and I just want to enjoy life and my family and I want simple and no fuss. To feel and celebrate the now. I talked a lot a few weeks ago and how my editing style is changing and how I want to document emotion instead of forced smiles, laughter and movement instead of neat and put together, and real life instead of a staged perfection and I think that you are going to start seeing those things reflected in all aspects of my business and my brand and I can’t wait to share this next chapter of my story with you.
If I’ve left you feeling a little out in the dark here are the answers to the questions you probably have in your head right now. Yes, you are going to start seeing physical changes soon. New branding is coming, a website redesign, and there are going to be a lot of changes to the studio. I’m going to have to start saying no to some requests and some jobs and I am going to feel confident doing it knowing that the time I am saving saying no to things that aren’t helping build my business or creatively inspire me is now going to be used for things that are going to keep pushing me in the right direction and making me a better photographer. Spending more time with my family so I can be completely present and refreshed at my shoots so I can perform to my very best. Pricing and how I deliver photos is going to change a little bit and I am going to keep implementing and sticking to a strict blogging and creative schedule so I can make sure I am making the best use of my time while still spoiling my clients as much as I possibly can.
If you are a creative and you are going through what I have been going through or if you aren’t and you are just a person who is struggling to make it all work and could use some solid changes in your life I encourage you to make them! I read the quote at the top of my post a few days ago from hollymeyerdesign about how life is our masterpiece and it’s okay to make changes and to edit it as much as we need to and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. That it’s actually completely necessary if we want to keep growing and moving forward because life is always changing and everything around us is always changing and sometimes that means having to do things a little differently to keep moving towards the life or the end results that you want. For a long time I’ve been afraid of change. Afraid of taking risks and afraid of the unknown. Quitting my job to pursue my business full time was the biggest risk I have ever taken and I have been making it work so making more changes sounds terrifying to me. What happens if I lose all my clients? What happens if no one likes what I’m doing? What happens if I look like I have no idea what I’m doing and like a giant flake who is doing something different every day. But do you know what? Oh well! Oh well. The last huge risk I took changed my life in such an amazing and positive way and I haven’t ever regretted it for even a second. I actually wonder why I didn’t do it sooner. Why it took me so long to start living the life of my dreams. Besides falling in love and having my babies, it has honestly been the best decision that I have ever made. There is this sense of peace that you experience when you feel like you are doing exactly what God created you to do. So do it! Make those changes. They could totally change your life! Or at least makes things a little easier for you and that is always a good thing!
If you’ve stuck around to the end of my post- thank you!I hope you enjoyed my “book” as my mom and Heather are going to call it lol!