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Accidentally, on Purpose, a Photography Business that started from a push present that I begged my husband to buy me for birthing our first son. Honestly, growing up I never thought I would own my own business which is silly really because on my mom’s side more than half of them are entrepreneurs. I know that when photographers tell a story they usually say that they’ve always loved taking photos and grew up with the passion, but I never really gave that passion a chance.
Reasons that could possibly be that I didn’t see how becoming a photographer could even be a business or be profitable in anyway. I knew that I wanted to be successful, hence wanting to get a law degree. I did however love to capture moments and knew the importance of doing so. I must admit I was better at doing it when I was a child as I still have the scrap books to prove it. As I grew older I printed less and less and really have no photos from my teens.
Moments were my inspiration
My love of capturing moments inspired me because I did move a lot as a child. My dad was in the military and my mother moved us around schools a lot because my brother had a learning disability which made it hard for him to fit in. I often found myself using disposable cameras and having my. family print my photos and I would cut them into funny shapes gluing them in my scrapbook.
I grew up wanting to be a lawyer but soon after I started university at Carleton I knew that it wasn’t for me. I had a new sense of freedom being away at school and got a job working in a bank part-time. Falling in love with managing money and sales I thought for sure I would have a career in finance. I found myself some really amazing opportunities and even though I felt secure in my position I took a leap.
Taking chances don’t always pay off
This leap lead me to a contract while I was pregnant and as soon as I told them I was things changed. My job suddenly felt uneasy and difficult and the last day of my probation I got a call into HR at 3pm to be told I was being let go, at 8 months pregnant. I was devastated and embarrassed.
Looking back in retrospect it was a sign. I was unhappy and not doing what I loved doing. Who would have thought that I would have accidentally, on purpose created a business while I was on maternity leave with my first baby. It still came about accidentally because I was only looking to get practice and get better at taking photos of others.
Try something new
While at a “mommy & me” class I was chatting with a mom about my “fancy” camera and that I would love to take photos for all the moms. I know how much it meant to have good photos of my baby and it was something I wanted to do for others. We ended up organizing a “play date” where moms could bring decorations and cute outfits and get a few cute photos done for free. Who knew that we would have twelve plus babies show up but it was fun, exhausting, but fun.
After this I was hooked. Travelling to Florida shortly after with the family I started taking a lot of photos of us and my cousins family and just got more and more inspired. Everyone and anyone who wanted photos I would take them from families, newborns, weddings, and even dogs. Trying all types of photography really was my goal to figure out what I loved the most.
What type of Photography
In my first year I started buying lots of equipment, different props, backgrounds and lenses, but one of the biggest expenses I incurred was purchasing a really expensive DSLR, a Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon 24-70mm 2.8. It was a huge investment but I bought it out of fear. Fear that people would think that I was a fraud because I didn’t have the most fancy camera to take photos. Even though I was great at taking photos and directing people, deep down I was disappointed in the level of quality that my photos had.
Getting obsessed with learning photoshop, how to pose, marketing, and how to run a business I think was a big factor for me. Pursuing a passion is one thing, but turning it into a profitable business is another. It wasn’t ever my intention to do it full-time, ever. Truly it was my unhappiness at my 9-5 job that was pushing me more into doing what I love doing now.
Quitting is never easy
Once I decided to quit my job on a whim, that’s a story for another blog post or podcast, it all kind of started to happen. Immediately I hired a business coach to keep myself accountable and to ensure my success and it was a game changer in my business. Soon realizing that I just needed a solid cheerleader in my life to keep me going is key.
Most of my learning was done online through online courses using Creative Live as one of my main go-to’s. In my mind I always looked up to Jasmine Star and Ana Brandt for the two types of photography that I loved and it’s still unbelievable that I have hosted two Ana Brandt workshops in my studio. Truly a dream come true in my world and something I will forever be grateful for.
Time to grow, in more ways than one!
In the back of my mind however I knew that I needed someone else to join me in this business and that I didn’t want to do it alone. Fast forward to 2018 when Luc officially joined the Grey Loft Team full-time and it was a decision that was met by others with some push-back, mainly family, but that is how we knew it was meant to be.
This is story of how I got started in my business but be sure to follow along as I will be sharing more details about the true “up’s and down’s” of this journey with you.
Check out our next episode all about “Building a Dream Wedding Venue” here.
We are Grey Loft Studio
We are breaking the 9-5 golden handcuffs and diving right into the creative world, one creative session at a time.
We are a husband & wife team who specialize in wedding photography & videography services, based in Ottawa, ON, but we travel as often as our children allow us to!