What a wonderful life I have…doing what I love

These past few weeks my email, texts, and voicemails have been over flowing with photography related messages. I love it! Ive been getting to work with some wonderful and amazing fun people and had such a wonderful time. Ive photographed artists, friends, siblings, seniors, teams, couples, etc. Ive been reminded how truly blessed I am and how much my hard work is paying off. I love what I do and cant wait to see where its leading me.

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Its in my lap

Well, Teal Tizzy Photography is really having some life changing decisions placed in its way. All good though! No worries! Just very big choices. I will be done as a college student this week and will be without a job. I had quit my job in electronics at walmart in March this year to go on a spontaneous mission trip to Bolivia. What a life changing experience. I went on the trip to get my sights set straight and stop talking so much and trying to control everything and instead just listen. Listen to God and my heart and what they were truly telling me. Ive known for the past few years  now that photography was my calling. How I was meant to use it I was unsure of until the past two years. Ive really worked hard to get my business to where it is. Ive been working hard to built my client base and I feel it has been going wonderfully! Of course there are down times but for starting my own “business” from scratch I think its going rather well. I have however always seen much much more potential for it. As of right now I can only shoot outdoors due to the lack of space for indoor shoots since I have no studio and share an apartment with two other girls. Its always hard to fins a place in Richland Center to meet with clients for consultations….you can only go to Culvers and Mcdonalds for consultations so much. Ive always had my eye on one building for a few years now that I always thought would be awesome to renovate. Two years ago I was thrilled to see the inside was renovated while keeping the old brick outside. I was even more excited to see that another photographer had used to the space as a studio. Actually a photographer I interned with my summer after high school! WhenI had gone in to check it out my jaw dropped. It was everything I had dreamed. High ceilings, natural light, open, etc. Well, heres my current decision sitting in my lap. Do I rent the space? Ive been making lists of pros and cons already….

CONS:

-what if i dont get enough business?

-big investment

-official paperwork to be done

-$$$$$

-what if i ruin myself financially at this young age of 21?

PROS:

-a studio literally puts me on the map for more people to see

-having a studio is advertising

-indoor space allows year round shooting which allows for more opportunity for income

-this is what i love and its my passion

-place set to meet with clients

-space for storing props, organize paperwork, properly display my work and merch.

-why not start now what I want to do with my life?

-even if i stumble i will get back up. theres always bumps in the road  and they wont get me down and make me give up…im very determined

-indoor shoots could open up more options for shoots and add something new to what I have now

-indoor shooting capability can open up opportunity for new kinds of shoots

Thats all ive got so far…..hmmmm. what to do what to do.

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Dear lady whose name Ill never know,

I have struggled with what to post first. Since of course the first is always the most important. I was browsing the internet and stumbled upon an article with replies upon replies to it. The article spoke about how young photographers can no longer make a living and should basically face it that we wont accomplish anything in the world of photo. Its merely a hobby that everyone picks up. Ive never posted a reply on anything online in my life besides facebook. I just felt the need to post this one time my side. Replies disagreed with the article as did I. What started as a quick reply turned into a story that comes to my mind almost on a daily basis:

Just wanted to share a piece of my life in photography. The world of photography has surely changed over the years. I give props to those with photo shop skills but Im a young 21 year old who works unbelievable hard to just take good photos with little or no editing done. I do have a wonderful canon 5d mark ii that Im so blessed to have and is attached to me where ever I go. I have struggled though with other photographers both in my town and out. I didnt decide for sure until my senior year a week before applications for college were due what exactly I wanted to do with my life. I had always set up my own shoots, worked with my moms cameras and fiddled with old film ones but I felt like I had no other choice. I had never been good at math, science, english, etc. Arts were always my strength and where I spent a majority of my time during school hours. For my graduation I received my camera as I mentioned earlier and was in love as soon as it was placed in my hands. I had done some shoots in the past for seniors, couples and occasional children shoots but never was serious. I went to school in Milwaukee at Pecks School of Art for one year and my love for photography grew deeper. I KNEW it was my calling. The summer after school I decided to return home to living with my family since I could no longer afford the school that had taught me so much about myself and what I was meant to do. Since I no longer had the classes I created my own. Constantly reading about photography, amazing photographers in the past and present and broadening my scope on what photography was to me and different techniques as well as appearances of my photographs I was learning non stop. I am proud to say I have NEVER used anything but Manual on my camera and have taught myself a great deal through trail and error. I got an internship with a photographer in my hometown who taught me even more which I was so very grateful for. Getting to see the business side of it all. Yes, so very much work, but I was even more excited. We attended a conference on lighting one day just to get me a little more education. As we took our afternoon break and many headed to lunch, a group of us ended up eating together at the same place.Only knowing the lady I came with we went around telling stories of photography and everyone’s business. Then a lady looked at me. Very puzzled she looked at me, “and…what are you doing here?” she asked. I explained to her my schooling, internship and dreams. She took one look at me and said, “Well I hate to break it to you but you’re never going to make it.” My heart instantly broke and I once again explained myself how hard I had been working and how driven I was. This was NOT just a hobby. It was my goal, my dream, my determination. What I had been pouring my heart and soul into. I had nothing else. She replied. “Like I said, its not going to happen.” My eyes watered and I looked down to continue eating my food. Hiding the hurt this lady brought to me. She didnt even know my name. She had never seen any of my work. She didnt know anything about me besides the 2 minute overview I gave her of myself. When I got home I packed all my photography equipment and prints and stashed them away. I truly had nothing now. Nothing at all. A few weeks later I decided enough was enough. This woman, this stranger, she was my fire. I have worked so hard to build my dream to prove her wrong. I am still no where near my full dream, nor my full potential but I will accomplish everything I dream. I do not have a studio or use fancy lighting equipment. I shoot only outdoors and have built a wonderful business. I have clients coming back constantly and referring me. I have done weddings (which I have stepped down from since it is no longer where I feel my strengths), kids, seniors, families, couples, engagements, pets,as well as had my work on the cover of music albums. I have traveled the world with camera in hand and the images I bring home show the amazing things I saw and felt. I have captured photos of animals you only see in books, an ox secured by a rope with a small child’s hand at the other end turning back to smile at me. Ive made time stand still as hawaiian dancers breathe fire, sea turtles come to shore for rest or zip lining hundreds of feet above a costa rican rain forest. Ive stopped monkeys gazes from up in trees and laughter of children playing soccer. Seen castles and rivers and buildings you learn of in High school history class. Latest, Ive stopped time as a young girl cradles her baby. Her baby who lives in a tunnel under a bridge in a city clueless to their existence, pain or struggles. I have accomplished amazing things with my photography and its only just begun. I am preparing for a relaunch of my business in coming weeks and my heart is filled with anticipation and excitement for where this next journey will lead. Nameless woman who told me I never would…..I am. I am accomplishing my photographic dreams. We are young but determined and strong hearted. Our love for our art is over flowing. You dont need a degree or loads of money or this or that. Its not a hobby. Its our life. Its what I do every day and it fills me with so much happiness. At my young age of 21 I never thought I could have or would have already done so much. Lived so many places or met so many amazing people. Don’t dare to ever put us down ever again. We WILL overcome the obstacles you say are before us. Our dreams will be our realities.

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