Did you know that two weeks ago Rachael Houser Photography celebrated its two year anniversary? That’s right! It was exactly two years ago that I photographed my very first engagement session and decided, after editing and blogging the session, that I really wanted to do this. I really want to be a photographer and open my own business. I had done a few portrait sessions here and there, just for friends… 5 in 2009. At first, I only thought of shooting portraits. In fact, when asked, I would quickly answer with a huge NO to whether or not I would shoot weddings. Even though I knew my confidence would grow with more practice, I knew saw myself as being “good enough” to be a wedding photographer. I’d been following photographers of all kinds (their blogs, anyway) ever since I received my first DSLR, a Canon Rebel XSi, in March of 2009, so I felt like I knew that I could never do what they did.
I announced on my personal Facebook that I was offering portrait sessions for free to build my portfolio. After a handful of freebies I had to start charging… I was getting more interest than I expected! I photographed a total of 12 sessions in 2010! Fast forward to the end of January 2011, when I took a leap of faith and emailed a local seasoned photographer, asking her to coffee. She accepted, much to my surprise, and during our date she offered to take me under her wing. I second shot three weddings with her that spring.
But before I ever got to that first wedding, a friend of one of the client’s I had done a free session with was getting married… and wanted ME to photograph the wedding! I told her, plain and simple, I’d not shot a wedding before. Her’s would be my very first. Fortunately for me, she didn’t care! I second shot one wedding a couple weeks before I photographed my own first wedding and then second shot two more weddings before my mentor and I decided I was ready to be on my own. In 2011, I photographed three weddings and 34 sessions. This was all while I was working part time at a pharmacy and in nursing school full time. Even though I knew then that I wanted to do photography full time, I wasn’t sure if I could…or if I should.
In May 2012 I graduated from nursing school and started working full time as a nurse. Needless to say, it’s put a bit of a damper on the growth of my photography business; I’ve photographed 7 weddings, second shot 1, and photographed 20 sessions (so far). I still have 4 sessions scheduled this year to shoot and a few more in the works. I’ve booked three weddings for 2013 and am looking to book more – I have a few goals I’m tinkering with. There are definitely some things I want to change and only time will tell but I’m praying about it daily and hoping I’m able to make then happen!