Bailey's Weddings, Photography

From Bailey: Why I’m stepping away from full day weddings

duluth boudoir photographer

Earlier this year, I made a decision that 2018 would be my last full season photographing full-day 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.


Q: Why are you stepping away from full-day weddings?

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!).


Q: But wait, it looks like you’re still booking weddings?

A: YES! My Associate Photographer, Chelsea, joined my team last year, and is currently booking weddings for 2019 & beyond. Although I’m stepping away from shooting full day 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! I’ll also be taking on a handful of intimate weddings & elopements (4 hours of coverage or less). Bring on the woods, lakes, trees, and low-key wedding days!


Q: Are you stepping away from photography entirely?

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?!).


Q: What other projects do you have up your sleeve?

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… 😉

Follow @BaileyAro on Instagram to stay in the loop!


Q: What tips do you have for someone wanting to make a big change in their business or career?

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).


Q: So, how do you feel right now?

A: So. Freaking. Excited. Bring on the next chapter!


Interested in what’s happening next?

Learn about Boudoir Sessions here.

Learn about Weddings with Chelsea here.

Follow my other business, White Spruce Market, here.

My husband & I are starting our first joint business adventure! Learn more here.

Are you a creative entrepreneur? Learn from Bailey here.

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