January 2018 is officially my 10 year anniversary here at Becky Young Photography! TEN years. Ten!
People always ask me what running a photography business is like. It’s a complex world and I’m always trying to find the right analogy for my life as a photographer. I think I’ve found it.
Self-employment is like sailing across the ocean by yourself.
I look around and see beautiful things – whales, dolphins jumping, crystal clear water, islands, sunshine and blue sky. Life is good. Most days are spent with the wind in my hair and a smile on my face as I look out at the vast ocean before me; I am sure of my course and confident in my navigation stills. Occasionally I see other boats and I throw up a friendly wave, acknowledging their ambitious journey next to me on the great blue sea. Self-employment is a beautiful thing; I get to set my own hours, travel to beautiful places, choose how much I work each week, I get to know other self-employed business owners and I have immense flexibility in my schedule. I also have the privilege of working with amazing couples who are eloping in mountain locations all across Colorado. To say that I am fortunate would be a grave understatement – my business is one of the biggest blessings in my life!
But every now and then, reality hits. I look at my little sailboat bobbing along and exclaim, “Ohhhhmygoodness. I’m in the middle of the ocean! How did I get here? Will I ever see dry land again? No one even taught me how to sail, what am I doing out here!? What if my sailboat springs a leak? Is that a shark?” This is a life of unpredictability. My income fluctuates, my hours fluctuate and sometimes my sanity fluctuates (usually when I make poor life-decisions and shoot 7 weddings in one week hahaha!). Anxiety, self-doubt, fear and creative burnout constantly threaten to sink my sailboat and I have to remain on guard against them at all times.
For me, the benefits of being self-employed far outweigh any drawbacks. I love this little sailboat of mine and I’m blissfully happy to continue navigating by the stars and anticipating the many adventures lay ahead of me.
Photographing elopements and intimate weddings has brought me more joy and freedom than I could have ever imagined. I get to stand on mountaintops and document love at 12,000 feet. I get to work with people who aren’t afraid to do things their way, unwilling to submit to the wedding industry’s expectations. I get to listen to bluegrass music while driving on twisting mountain roads on my way to a wedding, with the sunroof open and the smell of fresh pine wafting through my car. I get to soak in the natural beauty of Colorado on a consistent basis. I get to spend weekends camping near the locations that I’m working in (the best!). And I get to be astounded by the immensity of love every time I photograph a teeny tiny wedding in the majestic mountains of Colorado.
I get to live a dream.
I want to express my deepest gratitude to all of our current and past clients for allowing me to even get this far. Without you, this business of mine doesn’t exist. I am fully aware of the level of trust it takes to put your wedding day images in my hands. It’s a privilege, it’s an honor – it’s something I don’t take lightly.
I thought it might be fun to include 10 random facts in honor of my 10th year of being a photographer. Ready?!
- I never intended to be a photographer. I was getting my Master’s degree in counseling when photography fell out of the clear blue sky and into my lap. I finished my degree, but I’ve never pursued counseling after grad school.
- My team and I have photographed 312 weddings and elopements as of today. Woooo!
- I love to photograph in familiar places (I’m looking at you Maroon Bells and RMNP!), but I love discovering and photographing new places even more.
- I have been loyal to Canon from the very beginning. You couldn’t pay me to switch!
- I have photographed 2 celebrity weddings but I signed my life away in Nondisclosure Agreements, copyright releases and confidentiality papers. Crazy Hollywood lawyers were determined to prevent me from ever sharing the images or even saying who it was 😉
- My least favorite aspect about running a business is… self-promotion. Bleh. I don’t care how big my Instagram following is, I don’t care how many website hits I get each day and I certainly don’t care about being featured in magazines and wedding blogs. Sooo many photographers build their business on fabricated self-promotion and I just can’t get on that crazy train.
- I secretly love doing business taxes and bookkeeping!
- I met Andrea in grad school. She too was studying to be a counselor and decided to throw that to the wind and join me instead. I’m so grateful she did!
- I used to photograph “big” weddings when I first started out in photography. After a few years of that, I got overwhelmed by the stress of it all and I jumped ship in favor of elopements (I sound like my clients!). The speed limit of my heart is slow and elopements have been a perfect fit for me!
- I got frostbite once photographing in RMNP. It was 8 below zero that day and I forgot my gloves at home so I did our entire session with bare hands. Last time I ever made that mistake!