From dream to nightmare. And dream again.
When I told my boss “I quit. I’m going to pursuit photography” and handed in that resignation letter in 2010, I felt relief. If only for a very brief moment, I felt like I was floating on a cloud and I could finally go after my passion and run that photo studio that was on my mind for so long. To be honest, I didn’t even know at the time what kind of photos I wanted to take exactly – everything was a possibility – but I knew I needed to have that time to figure it all out on my own, away and free from a 9-to-5 job.
I thought the mere act of quitting and having that time on my hands would be enough to get all the opportunities in the photo industry and I would start shooting the biggest assignments and clients from that day onwards.
That couldn’t be any farther from the truth.
A few months before actually quitting my engineering job, we had found a storefront near our home that was available to lease and we started dreaming: with some elbow grease and imagination, we could turn those 50m2 into a studio and work from there, shooting those big assignments, portraits and products I though we would shoot the minute we opened doors.
We then borrowed some money, went online and started ordering all that gear I though I needed to make it work and be legit: backdrops, lights, softboxes, reflectors, flags, lightstands, tripods, you name it.
We went all in.
After a few months of tearing down walls, painting, fixing all the electrics, plumbing and flooring, installing shelves, hanging up picture frames and setting up tripods with multiple paper backdrops, lights and modifiers and installing our giant logo on the wall, it was finally time to open the studio doors to the public and let the hordes of clients come in.
Except they didn’t. Not a single one. For months.
That first year was the roughest: rent was high and paying for all that gear was eating through our savings real fast. The money we did make through workshops and the occasional walk-in portrait was barely enough to survive, let alone pay off the debt.
The idea of owning a studio and running a photography business had turned from a dream to a nightmare.
All because I went in too big, too soon.
With time and experience, I’ve learned that I don’t need too much gear or an expensive studio space to be happy and successful. In this last decade or so, life has been a whirlwind of emotions and as the business grew, I learned some lessons: financial, emotional and even technical.
These experiences were fundamental to my professional growth and I would love to help you overcome your own struggles in every way I can through mentorship.
If you’re struggling with your business and want to fast-track your journey – learning from my own mistakes – head over to my mentorship sessions page and book yours now.
Book yours here: Mentorship Session