Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why You Get All Your Photos on CD ~ A Wee Bit About Me

My brides fall in love with my wedding images while my grooms love getting all their wedding pics on cd ~ both want NOT to charge Grandma $9.50 for a wedding photo online (note: to the wedding photographers out there ~ I know this is how you make your living and I would do the same thing ~ I just have a different business model).

So then if I'm not raking it in on selling photos ~ how do I make money?

Some truths ~ I've been shooting since 2005 and started full time as a wedding photographer in 2008. I started with travel photography and moved into weddings when I left Los Angeles and relocated to San Diego. I partnered up with another photographer and we shot brides all around San Diego. Can I tell you...I LOVED it! So now I've returned to the city of my birth (la la land) and I'm back at the job I've been at off and on since 1998!!! I have an amazing boss, I work with some of the top creative people in the world AND I have health insurance to die for with two pensions for retirement. Now...I've taken off a few times from this amazing job - once for six months to back pack around the world and once for about 15 months to backpack around Europe and Egypt with my boyfriend, Mark. After four months on the road we ended up moving to San Diego.

Another truth ~ I'm SO not a 9 - 5 person in my heart....however my full time job defies convention!!! It's given me freedom to grow and learn about me and BE me...I've come to value and appreciate my day job more and more.

So this is why you get your photos on cd - high res and 4x6. It's not about the money (okay mama always wants a new pair of shoes!) it's about creativity and me balancing my happiness in a 9 - 5 world. Once again ~ there are amazing photographers working full time on their businesses who do sell their photos online and deserve to! Shooting a wedding is more than showing up with a camera ~ trust me!

For me? I'm at a new place in my life....One where I look forward to settling down ~ M and I are talking marriage and babies ~ 3 am feedings and future PTA meetings. All the crazy travel and living on the road is behind me now ~ I wouldn't have missed it for anything! M and I plan on more exciting travel....we may even sail around the world one day! But it's never going like the way I backpacked India or the Middle East ~ sleeping on hard mattresses with bed bugs as my companions! It's no longer about finding myself or conquering the world ~ because I get it now. Now I look to my 401k and my insurance and my steady paycheck and I'm happy ~ because it gives me the freedom to choose what I want.

I will only book two weddings per month ~ that's it. That's all I want. If I've learned anything it's that I go crazy with nothing to do....and doubly crazy with too much to do! My books sit unread, I don't get to try new recipes or drink wine with my friends.

In this overly expanding global marketplace - with it's sameness and lack of imagination ~ I want to be an artisan. Quality over quantity. Balance. A full and beautiful life that brings both financial success and creativity. Like the leather craftsman in Corfu who stitched Mark's sandals back together with precision and care ~ or Pizzaria da Baffetto's in Rome (the best pizza EVER) ~ I don't wish to conquer the world ~ I wish to be appreciated for all that I am by clients. I want to work with the brides that get what I'm going for.

So that's it ~ that's why you get all your photos on cd.