Earlier this year, I made a decision that 2018 would be my last full season photographing weddings.
Little by little, I’ve been sharing this news with the world, and I’ve had ALL kinds of questions! Today I’m sharing the “why” behind this decision.
A: After nine years of photographing weddings, I craved a change. At my core, I’m an entrepreneur, which means I’m constantly brimming with ideas: New businesses, exciting projects, and unique ways to create a bigger impact. I started to notice that weddings had become more draining than energizing, and that I was continuing on the same track at the expense of other dreams that were tugging at my heart. I had to get real with my goals + dreams, and let go of the comfortable label of “established wedding photographer” and move into the “newbie” phase again (which hasn’t been easy!).
A: YES! My Associate Photographer, Chelsea, joined my team last year, and is currently booking weddings for 2019. Although I’m stepping away from shooting weddings, what I truly love is overseeing the entire experience! Chelsea is the person who meets with each couple, captures the engagement session & wedding day, and communicates with clients, while I oversee the entire process. This includes the business side of things, marketing & blogging, providing systems that give our clients an incredible experience, and much more behind-the-scenes magic. Plus, Chelsea & I are basically twins when it comes to how we photograph couples, so she’s a brilliant fit for Bailey Aro Weddings!
A: Nope! As mentioned above, Chelsea is currently serving our wedding clients, while I’m focusing on Boudoir Sessions for women. For several years, I’ve captured boudoir sessions in my Downtown Duluth studio, and this will continue! With this change, I get to devote even more time to empowering + encouraging women (can I get a hooray?!).
A: Last year, I started a new business called White Spruce Market, which I have big dreams of growing & scaling! I also want to teach creative entrepreneurs & help them make big things happen (this includes offering courses, mentorships, digital resources, and a supportive community). A few other projects are brewing, so you’ll have to stay tuned to find out… 😉
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A: Pay attention to your instincts. There’s usually a reason you’re feeling tugged in a new direction. Remember: Just because you have a talent for something, doesn’t mean you need to continue doing it, especially if it no longer excites or energizes you. At one point, I became caught in my own trap: “But bookings are up! People want to work with me! Why would I change something that’s working so well?”
And be warned: Other people may reflect those words back to you. I lost count of how many people have asked me, “What’s wrong? There must be something wrong with your business if you need to scale back! Why would you stop something you have a talent for? We need you!”
Take heart, and don’t get caught up in other people’s dreams for you. Look inward, turn down the volume on outside noise, and get real with what you really, really want (cue the Spice Girls, circa 1996).
A: It’s possible! For now, I’m available for a handful of adventurous elopements each year (4 hours of coverage or less, preferably in the woods/up the shore!). This will be based on my calendar & how other projects evolve, but I’m always leaving that door open (especially if it leads me outside with an adventurous couple, their dog, and a growler of beer).
A: So. Freaking. Excited. Bring on the next chapter!