2022, a Year in Review as a Full-Time Wedding Photographer
This marks my first complete calendar year as a full-time wedding photographer since quitting my day-job back in July 2021. A full year of relying on my income to get me through my bills, adventures, and even buying a house! I had been working 40 hours/week since 17 years old. Except for the occasional months-long road trips or education sprees, I was always working full time. I went to photography school at North Island College in 2013, and pursued selling my photography services on the side. It took me YEARS to build up the confidence to ask for money, and to consider my art a business. In 2021, the rising tension between my business, time, and commitment to my employer bubbled past containment. When my dad became sick with a terminal illness at around that same time, I realized more than ever the importance of where I spend my time. The next day after wondering if I should quit my job entirely, I gave my notice.
Quitting My 40hr/Week Day Job
Quitting my day job was life changing! I was able to spend more time with my father before his passing, and photography opportunities kept presenting themselves. 2021 was an ideal time for pursuing wedding photography full time. The 2020 Covid-19 restrictions caused a major backlog of couples wanting to celebrate with a restriction-free wedding. Conservative in nature, letting go of a paycheck every 2 weeks felt risky. But the bookings they did come! I built connections in the wedding industry which continue to refer gigs to me. And I poured myself into my website’s SEO during the winter months. Come 2022, I had booked more weddings than ever before and my sales increased.
In 2022, I had the pleasure of photographing 31 unique wedding stories. This was a 138% growth increase from the previous year’s 13 weddings. I shot a total of 97 gigs, including commercial, wedding, elopement, engagement, family, and boudoir. Between shooting, email communications, social media marketing and editing, I was working roughly 6 hours/day Mon-Fri. I made more income overall by X2+, and I was working less hours and loving every minute of it. I could go to Crossfit 4-5 times per week, help my mother plan my dad’s celebration of life, camp/kayak/adventure/spend time with family, friends, and my partner, and I could nourish my body with healthy home-cooked meals. Saving a substantial deposit for the purchase of our home was also a huge benefit!
What I am Grateful For in 2022
I am grateful for my clients for trusting me to capture these fleeting moments. And for trusting that I will capture them in a comfortable, honest image which reflects who they really are. They choose me and pay me for my service, which absolutely stuns me!! Thank you to the wedding industry experts I have built friendships with, whose referrals are helping me live this life! Jane Good of Circle Ceremonies feels like a kindred soul from the first time I met her. Thank you Tigh Na Mara who has listed me as a Preferred Vendor. Allie Watters from Across the Watters introduced me to Pender Island and Poets Cove weddings. Andy at West Coast Helicopters had me as the elopement photographer for their incredible wedding packages. Thank you thank you thank you!