First and foremost, I apologize for being so quiet lately. I haven't blogged since The Gray Wedding and I figured it would be a good time to write about what's been going on and what's next for the future.
For the last year or so, I've been having this internal battle about what I wanted to do with my life. I love photography and anyone who knows me, knows that I am not the type of girl to have a 'desk job' --- it's just not me. I love being creative and obviously photography is my ideal outlet for that but I also have this other passion of wanting to be someone and make something of myself. I'm not saying I want to be the next CEO of anything but I do believe that my potential expands further than a camera.
I've now been employed for a little over two months (minus my Florida vacation) but just having a job has really opened my eyes to the world of consistent paychecks... and boy is it tempting. TOO MANY of you guys assume that every time I get paid from a wedding or shoot, that I'm just pocketing that money and that couldn't be any further from the truth! Businesses have expenses and all of those expenses come from that so-called 'profit'. I can confidently say that for the first time in my life, I don't rely on my parents for money and I am proud of being financially independent. Having a job has really helped out with paying bills for both myself and photography and it really opened my eyes to what the future could hold!
For those of you who don't know, I'm only 22 years old and sometimes I forget that when I look at where I am with my photography. I have so many years ahead of me and the wedding industry isn't going anywhere so here's what I have decided to do:
- I plan on working full time. (GASP!) Stay with me --- I plan on working full time AND continue shooting weddings, portraits, and many more. While I won't be taking on the insane number of weddings like I did this year, I want to limit my weddings anyway to focus more on what I can offer and deliver to the client. (More on that later)
- After a while, (or as long as I can take), I then plan on taking my photography full time. Deep down in my heart, I know that going full time as a photographer is just what I was meant to do and right here/right now, it's what feels right. However, the few years in the workforce will help me save up money to invest into new equipment and new services offered. Helloooo multi-tasking!
- During the next few years, a lot will be changing with my business. I want to do more for you all and I want to offer you more too. Starting soon, I will be offering many different types of sessions ranging from Boudoir to Trash the Dress at a special price! My wedding clients will have the option to purchase some BEAUTIFUL albums (even past brides!), prints, canvases, and more! Keep an eye on that to launch later!
- If there is one thing I have realized after moving to the beach: I'm home. I am so content, happy, and fully at peace by the ocean and I can't imagine ever leaving (except to go to another beach.) I will be offering a special discount for beach weddings, military weddings, and especially destination weddings, and changing the way my business looks to reflect my insane love for the sea.
So let me recap, I am not going anywhere and I'm still taking weddings for 2015. I'm going to limit the number of weddings so that I do not overwork myself while working full time and I can focus more on offering bigger and better services to my clients. I plan on adding different sessions, packages, and features to my portfolio and I can't wait for you all to see the changes and new items -- I've been working like a dog! Well, not my dog.. Max doesn't do anything.
As always, thank you guys so much for continuing to support me and keep me going. I can't wait to see what the future holds for myself and for Ashley Lester Photography.
xoxo - Ashley