Girl, don’t let your dreams be dreams.

Although spring has not officially arrived yet, the climate sure does not know the difference! This week we are having highs in the 70s and low 80s… in March. Trees are blooming and there is already an unsightly layer of pollen on my car. (Allergy season, here we come!) Virginia has had snow as late as April before and certainly a week of hot weather in winter is unusual. I am thankful that the forecast for northern Virginia this weekend calls for nice weather with a low chance of precipitation. Why? Because I am driving up this weekend to visit with a friend in Arlington and to attend Sonya‘s photo workshop in Haymarket.

I am hoping that the workshop will provide some insight into the photography business – workflow, marketing, branding, equipment, etc. Although I will miss out on sightseeing in DC on Saturday with a couple friends, I think the trade off of valuable career insight is the right choice. I will also be buying a professional camera and prime lens from Sonya. The equipment should be a good start towards establishing a career in Charlottesville when I partner with my friend, a videographer, this summer. The move from an amateur DSLR to a professional one is rather intimidating, but at the same time I feel confident that I will learn quickly. I already fully understand how to use manual functions, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. Really the challenge will be learning my way around a new camera, learning video, post processing, storage, buying equipment, etc and integrating everything into a marketable brand.

Running a business, business license, taxes… I have to learn my way around all of this very soon! Even in my amateur position, for the last couple of years or so, I have already had inquiries of people asking whether I shoot weddings because they hear that I love photography and they like my style. The demand is out there and I need to know how to meet the demand! This weekend will be my first serious step towards what will hopefully be a professional photography career.

From business licensure to wedding packages to budgets, it can all be very overwhelming. One thing that I think the art major program at James Madison University seriously, very seriously, lacks is teaching business to artists. It is crucial. And here I am with my BFA degree having to teach myself while swimming out to the deep end. Although granted, I have always been a leap first, learn as you go type when it comes to following my dreams. It still would have been nice if the program had given me some floaties to help me along the way! (I mean there was that Foundations Seminar class, but seriously… who learned anything truly valuable in that class?)

Th-th-that’s all folks! I have a very tight schedule for the next few days, so I must be off! Thanks for reading!

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