I want to start by mentioning that every person’s journey to becoming a successful photographer is different. The time it took me to get here and the steps I took will probably be different than what works for you. I hope that by reading this you can find some encouragement, joy and hope for your future.
My life has been marked by a camera since I was in junior high. That was when I got my first point and shoot digital camera. I took it everywhere with me. My time hanging out with friends consisted of setting up the timer on that point and shoot camera and creating photoshoots. When I entered high school the joy that came with photography only grew. My best friend, Laura Mae, owned a DSLR camera and we often took pictures of each other on it constantly. We would then edit the photos on Picnik (iykyk) and post them proudly to Facebook. Yes, they do still live there.
My sophomore year of high school I joined the yearbook staff. It was now my job to take pictures. I would stage team pictures, attend sporting events with a camera, and capture candid moments in the hallways. I used the school’s Nikon D3500 to capture these moments. In 2016, I graduated high school and used my graduation money to buy my own Nikon D3500.
The fall of 2016 I went to Central Methodist University to study business & marketing. I became involved in various organizations including our campus ministry, Navs. They showed me the summer job application for a photographer at a church camp in the mountains of Colorado Springs. I quickly applied and before I knew it, I was spending 12 weeks in the mountains taking hundreds of pictures of kiddos every day. The summer of 2017 was the year of photography practice. There was no such thing as taking too many pictures, and I learned so much about angles and perspective this summer.
After that life changing summer, I headed back to CMU for my sophomore year and enrolled in a photography course. This course is what taught me how to shoot in manual mode and forced me to really practice the art of photography. As the year went on I wanted some extra money, as most college kids do. I thought this was a great time to start trying to book some photo sessions. In 2018 Rachel B Photography was officially born. I took pictures of my friends, family friends and anyone who would let me for practically nothing. I continued to do this until I graduated college.
I graduated college in 2020 (amidst the pandemic) and started working as a Digital Marketing Assistant at a marketing firm in my hometown. My bookings increased by a large amount when I moved back home. I was shooting every weekend and editing every week night. My now husband and I got married on August 8, 2020 and we greatly appreciated the extra money coming in. However, it was quickly becoming too much to work full time and take on so many photo sessions. Something had to give.
It was time for the full time job to go.
I made the decision in October 2020 that I was going to be going full time photography on February 1, 2021. I used the next 3 months to prepare. I met with an accountant, created my website, designed a logo, set up my pricing and dreamed big. I was terrified but I knew that this was the right decision. Or I at least had a lot of hope that it was the right decision.
My first year of business was bigger and better than I ever could have dreamed of. I photographed a lot of old clients, met oodles of new ones and lit a fire in my passion. I could not have asked for a better first year in business. Now I am beginning year two with bigger dreams than before and an even more focused business plan. I can’t wait to see where this journey continues to take me.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for making this journey something worth reading about.