Happy Saturday Ya’ll! It’s a snowy (icy) day here in Burlington NC…Ive been home with the family for two days now and I have to tell you…it feels very weird. Cooking a lot, working on new business adventures (can’t wait to share those) and editing some sweet and amazing clients.
The other day, someone asked me “what are some of the “defining moments” looking back over the years at my business” I chatted with them for a few moments and realized that there are definite moments that changed SAP…that put us on a different path…as I talked about those, I realized that it might be helpful for some of you as well.
- When I made the decision to go full time: I had lost my mom in an auto accident and she was definitely the creative inspiration in my life. After loosing her, I realized that life was way to short to be doing something that I didn’t love and with the support of my hubby, I quit my day job and went full time. That very terrifying decision, 8 years ago, was the best decision I could have made. I took the leap…at that point, I knew exactly what I was suppose to be doing with my life and went for it. I haven’t looked back and thankfully God has provided every step of the way!
- When I realized that I was not the photographer for everyone: This was a hard lesson to learn, but one that this photographer needed to learn. I was in year 2 of being full time, shooting everything just to make it work. Then I had this realization (through some great teaching and just coming to it on my own) that it’s okay for me to not “be it” for everyone! That in order to be the type of photographer that I knew I was suppose to be, that it meant that I wasn’t going to be able to be the photographer for all. I knew that I longed for people to see my work as art..(it is my background…I studied art from the time I was 6 years old through college) and I wasn’t just a person who felt that I wanted to make a buck with a camera…I saw what I did as an extension of my art. I wanted my clients to see it that way too…and so I realized that by putting specifics around what I was (or who I was) helped to define that for my future clients and that was okay.
- When I almost lost my business due to a HUGE mistake: About three years ago, I nearly lost my business. It was my fault, I made some stupid mistakes that brought a lot of shame and sorrow to both my family and SAP. It was a very dark time. It seemed everyone knew, it was all over the internet, all my colleagues knew and some were very mean during that time. But at one point, one very dark point, I was sitting on the side of the road, really ready to throw it all (and I do mean all) in and something came over me (I believe it was God) and spoke in a very clear voice “the same woman who has come this far, has built this successful business, has given so much to her community, has provided for her family…is still here and she didn’t get here by laying down. She got there by fighting….and now you need to fight harder than ever. So with that, I learned very valuable lessons. 1. meaning of true friendships in business and how powerful they can be both in a good and bad way. 2. humility. I needed to take a step back and realize that my success was not about me, but about all the amazing clients that God had sent my way. 3. To work harder on my art…my photography is what my business was built upon and I needed to get back to that. So many lessons, but it was truly a defining time in SAP (I think I need to share more about this)
- My first beach session: Who knew what that one beach session would have led to…now 5 years later and nearly 250 beach family’s later, I would have never ever imagined. When we started photographing NC beach portraits at Holden and Ocean Isle beach, we were really the only one doing what we do. There were a few other “old timers” but providing natural light, lifestyle photography wasn’t around. We never knew that by doing something that we loved so much…would be so crucial in our growth. We are even considering opening up a 2nd studio at the beach.
- Opening my Studio: The step to open the studio, and the process of doing that was a huge marker in the life of Sara-Anne Photography and the way we were able to serve our clients and take our business to the next level. Now I will say, opening and running a studio is a lot harder than I ever thought it was or is (I write about it that here) but it definitely was defining as it helped me become who I wanted to be as a photographer and business owner. It gives SAP a home and a place for not only for me and my clients, but also for other photographers as I coach and teach.
So those are the big defining moments for SAP….there are more (many more moments) and I will be sharing some of those in the future, but I wanted you to see that we all have those “aha moments” in business! I believe they are God sent and can be life (and business) changing!
This little munchkin was someone that I have been waiting to photograph for nearly 9 months. You will remember her mom’s BEAUTIFUL maternity session here. I have grown to adore her mom in so many ways…she has become such a dear friend to me. I have loved watching her prepare for her sweet daughter to arrive, the anticipation, excitement and a little bit of nervousness was something that was just a joy to watch. She’s a fabulous mommy and I just adore this little one!