A few days ago, I announced that I will be doing photography FULL-TIME after this school year wraps up this week! I am SO excited about this transition, but it is definitely a leap of faith! I'd like to tell you a little bit more about that.
I have been in Raleigh since August of 2016, and I took a lot of needed time to revision & restructure my business to work with exactly what I feel called to at this point in my life and my business. This includes offering pay-what-you-can sessions, not specializing in one specific type of photography so I can serve people over their lifetime, offering professionally-created products so that people can hold their photos in their hands and enjoy them in their home, and more. There were so many moving pieces & factors to consider, but it was and is worth it. I was teaching as I worked on that and reestablished my photography LLC here in North Carolina, and I haven't been able to build up my photography business to the point of making good income from it yet.
In come the questions and insecurities: Is this timing right? What if I don't make enough money? My teaching jobs have brought in a higher salary so far than Andrew's pastoral and non-profit jobs have - what if I can't earn enough?
I considered teaching full-time for another year to save some more money, but a) that didn't sit right in my heart, b) Andrew reminded me that I'd have these same questions and doubts this time next year, because c) I still wouldn't be able to build up my photography business much while continuing to teach.
Not all of you may agree with me, but I believe in a God who is guiding me through all of this and calling me toward what She (or He, or God) wants for my business. One Sunday morning a few months ago, I took some time and sat and listened to God before church. I got the feeling that God was going to say something to me during church - that I was going to come away with something good and powerful. I was hopeful, and then I didn't really come away with too much. That's fine, whatever, I brushed it off. The following Thursday night, I was in tears just breaking down in fear over making this photography gig work full-time. I felt really scared. I once heard someone say, "It's about the outcome, not the income." I love that so much, buuut... we need money too. Would this actually work?
The following Sunday, we went to church and sat in our usual spot, and our pastor Lisa said something along the lines of, "I hardly ever do this, but I'm going to preach about the same passage I preached on last Sunday. God gave me this feeling that someone needs this message this morning... 'Do. Not. Fear.'"
DO. NOT. FEAR.
Are you kidding me?! It took a good amount of restraint to not raise my hand and be like, "Me! That's for me. Thank you. Proceed!" I sat & listened to the rest of the sermon about Matthew 2:1-12 on how fear is powerful - too powerful in determining the trajectory of our lives ... about how we must question, "Am I doing this out of wisdom or out of fear?" ... about how so many things have been born out of fear, like systematic discrimination and racism ... about how there may be people in our lives who create secondhand fear in us. "You have to first be able to name your fear, or the fear will hold you hostage and you will not live LIFE." You are not a child of fear, but of God.
I had felt somewhat confident months beforehand that I could make it work, and then I lost all my confidence and gained all the doubts, but this was confirmation from the One who can make or break all our best-laid plans. I do think that it's God's work that I'll be doing as I connect with people, share smiles and laughter, and capture precious moments of precious people and relationships - some of whom wouldn't typically be able to afford professional photography - and I can't wait to dive in. Even though I don't have the ideal numbers in my spreadsheet yet, I feel confident in saying "YET" and moving forward, knowing that I am loved and none of this is in vain.
The encouragement I've received and continue to be blessed with is invaluable. If you also want to start supporting my dream financially by booking a session or your wedding, get in touch here!
In light and love,