Tell us your bold boss story!:
Super long story short: I have known that I wanted to be a photographer since I was 12. Legit. But I didn't know HOW I could actually do that sustainably until I was...eh....28? (My current age. haha) I started to realize I could have a business as a wedding photographer in college, but I didn't really want to do that type of photography. Then I realized I could have a business as a portrait photographer post-grad, but I also didn't really love that. I don't hate portrait work, but I still didn't 200% love it, and I didn't have the confidence to think anyone would actually hire me. But I tried anyways. On the side. Always juggling my business + my art + my full-time job to struggle to pay the bills.
Then I stumbled into product photography and loved it! Finally, I had a full-time job I liked that paid (sort of) decently. But I still had my side job and my side art and it was all exhausting. A year ago I quit my full time (but soul-sucking) product photography job to pursue product photography that paid well and dealt with clients that I truly loved who were ethical and soulful and inspired!
One year later I am still just now figuring out how to even do that and am still working on making that a sustainable (read: profitable) part of my business. I finally have a (more or less) plan, I just have to buckle down and implement it! (Can I get a cheer for fear-based procrastination? anyone? anyone?) Meanwhile, because freelancing as a product photographer comes with really high highs and low lows in terms of busy-ness and demands, for the first time in my life I was looking at a Q1 with likely very little freelance booking, and, more unbelievably, no actual *need* to bring in significant income for a month or three. Which is presenting me with the question: do I want to take this time to really buckle down and focus on launching my product photography business? OR, do I want to take two months and just focus on making art, which is my true passion and the only thing I make the money for -- so that I can make art.
All of it has always only been about supporting myself and building a dream business so I can have a dream life *so that I can make the art.* I have a list of art projects, half of which are also entrepreneurial and could make a profit (if done well). Of course, that financial security may not be what I thought it was two weeks ago (because, freelancing), but the byproduct of it is that I did the soul searching and I have the answers and now I don't think I can go backwards. So, I am currently making a pivot and truly am embracing my underwater photography and painting artwork (all story and literary inspired, and a little bit magical), to see where it can take me! Which is, ya know, exciting and also terrifying, and bolder than I ever thought I could be.
We're all about bold boss moments, tell us about one of yours!:
Quitting my full-time job and totally leaping out into the unknown and uncertain world of freelancing was one of the scariest and boldest and most thrilling things I've ever done. I didn't know exactly how I was going to make it work (I still don't completely), but I just knew deep inside that I *had* to. I had to try. I had to go for it. I couldn't keep myself small anymore. I'm starting to feel the same way about my artwork, and about pursuing a career as an *artist* (Yeah, just an artist), instead of an artist who does product photography as a way to be creative and also make money.
So I am currently taking another bold leap into the unknown and uncertain. And it's even scarier this time because my art is so personal and so linked to my soul. Eek! But I just launched a Patreon page, and immediately got two small supporters, which brought me to tears, and I have an amazing cheerleading squad of friends and family and supporters, so I think big changes are on the horizon! I may finally actually work on these wild inspiring projects that have been percolating for months and years!
What advice or words of encouragement do you have for the Bold Boss Tribe?:
My biggest piece of advice is that you need to believe in yourself! And, the best piece of advice I've ever heard, which I repeat to anyone and everyone is very simply: Make. Good. Art. Anytime I am struggling, that is always the answer: just make good art. (Shout out to Neil Gaiman for that gem!)
P.S. Exciting news! We launched a free #BoldBossTribe Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!