The time has finally come, I have officially been a full-time professional photographer for 6 months now. It seems surreal to me that I have reached this milestone in my life and, while it may be heart wrenching at times, I would not trade this for anything in the world. Being an entrepreneur is ROUGH, and being a creative makes it even rougher. I have found that we, in this world of professional creatives, like to be called the “creativepreneur”. To some, this may seem like a weird term that we have made up for ourselves. Yet, in reality it is exactly the term that represents us as human beings in the professional world!
I have an arts degree. I am supposed to be in the education world, educating young brains to become the next Mozart or Beethoven. I am supposed to be leading choirs in performing musical works, and yet, here I am, a photographer. Capturing the most precious moments that a couple, family, or even just a single person could ever have. I am a creative. I thrive on art, creation of beauty, and revel in the idea that I am able to make something that people can look at for generations to come! I love my job as a professional photographer. Being able to sit at my desk, or in a local coffee shop as I am right now, and work on something magical to share with the world, is something that I would never want to give up!
Being a creativepreneur is something that I never expected to learn so much from. Sure, I know that being this type of business person is going to bring me struggles. I learn so much from the past, and even more from the future. Each wedding that I attend and photograph will teach me something for the next. Every client that I get to know will leave a lasting impression on my heart and soul. All of the vendors that I work with at each event will help me to move forward towards each of my goals. I am still learning, but, I wanted to share specifically 7 things that I’ve learned as a “creativepreneur”.
As someone who was a server for the past 7 years, this is really no change to me. However, realizing that you are no longer able to leave your business AT your business is something that I have had to come to terms with. 6 months as a creativepreneur has changed my concept of what time really is. Time is no longer my friend. I have to create time for things that are important to me, and for work. One app I have found most helpful is “DO!“. I love the ability to check off the items that I have completed, and create new tasks quickly! I work each day to finish the tasks that I created over the weekend, and on weekends I photograph weddings all over the state, and sometimes destinations as well. It really is a 24/7 job. It is difficult to put down the email, texts, social media, and catch up with my real life sometimes. I respond to emails sometimes at 11pm, and check Facebook until midnight. I have to make the conscious decision to stop and reset.
I used to enjoy Instagram. Now, I feel as though the only reason I pop on is to see what everyone else is up to on their Insta-Stories (the Instagram version of Snapchat). I feel the constant need to make sure my post each day matches the look of the ones next to it. I am researching new quotes to paint so that I don’t run out for my 9th day quote post. I feel as though I am no longer truly social on social media. The whole platform is just another way for me to share my work with the people around me. But, in the long run, it really is the best way for me to show off what I have been working on. I am able to share each wedding that I have photographed, I can show you this blog post, I can show off work that you haven’t seen before, and so much more. I barely see my old friends posts anymore, now all I see is what Facebook thinks is “Important” to me, which, most of the time I could really care less. My feed is filled with videos that I don’t care to watch, stories of people I don’t know, and pleading cries for someone to be noticed. I want followers, I want a good “reach”, I strive for the social media type of perfection I see on other blogs and feeds. It is no longer social, it is work.
PS: While writing this post I have, so far, logged into Facebook and Instagram at least 3 times each as a distraction from what I am actually trying to write here.
Guys, every single thing I see on Facebook or Instagram that is a DIY project I see as a challenge. I can do that. I could build that. No, Casie, you can’t build that giant farmhouse table with the perfect walnut stain all by yourself. Yes, I can. No, the reality is that it is not as fun as you think it might be to be a creative person. I feel the constant need to create the things that I see on social media and the internet. Those pretty watercolor quotes that you have seen grace my Instagram feed? Yea, those are just my rendition of what I have seen other creatives be able to create. That really awesome necklace that I have started wearing? Yea, I copied it because I couldn’t make it to the jewelry pop-up that I really wanted to attend. I have a constant need to have something in my hands and being creative. I made frames that I have used at bridal shows, to show off the prints that I want shared with potential clients. I made my desk, I copied wall art off Pinterest, I made my old furniture when I first moved to Orlando. Come on. Make it stop. I must create all the things!!!
Being someone who is very close to my mom and dad is something that I actually am pretty proud of. I love my family, and being able to be with and around them as much as possible. However, keeping close friendships and relationships strong can be quite difficult in my life of creative entrepreneurship. I attempt to make friendships with other vendors in my area, other photographers, other creatives, people who share the same vision as myself. But, man, let me tell you how difficult it is to keep those relationships strong and friendly. We try to lift each other up and share the same dreams and struggles, but making time for coffee meet ups, lunch, and meetings with big groups, it can all be really hard. Sure, I have a close knit group of ladies that I can turn to at any moment to chat with about the things that I am struggling with, but sometimes they are busy too! Don’t even get me started on the most important relationship of all, the man in my life, Dave. I have been with this perfect gentleman for three years now, yet, because of all the changes in my life, I know that I have not been as attentive as I should be. I don’t work as hard as I used to for his attention, nor, do I make time like I should for the two of us to spend together. I love him with all of my heart, and he does everything he possibly can to help me be successful and happy. Now, don’t write me off as some jerk, please. I have actually gotten better at this over the past 6 months, but it is still a very difficult process to stop myself and consider the people around me before I consider my business.
I share so much on social media that in the long run my life now is no longer private. Everything that I do is shared with the “friends” that I have on Facebook. I post my stories on Instagram at the newest coffee shops and places around my home. The people that follow me know what I am doing, they know what my apartment looks like, they know what I will be up to this weekend. I wish that this wasn’t the way that life is now, but sometimes there is no way to get around this new me. I do keep some parts of my life pretty private. Nobody has seen a photo of me on the toilet, yet. 🙂
But, in all seriousness, life is not the private life that I had before social media and before my life as a creativepreneur. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing at all times. We have emerged into the time of constant updates on all platforms and it is daunting sometimes knowing that you have to keep everyones attention. I share moments on Instagram or snapchat that probably shouldn’t be shared. But this is the new normal.
My life as a creativepreneur is lonely. Today, I wrote this entire blog post sitting at the closest Starbucks to my apartment because of one, free wifi, and two, the fact that I would be able to interact with other human beings. Sure, each day Dave comes home and shares his stories about the restaurant that he works at. I am able to live vicariously through the stories that he tells me, but, that doesn’t cure the loneliness that I have to endure from 7-5pm every single day while he is gone. I do attempt to create work days at my apartment with others that may need to have others around while they are working. My desk has two chairs sitting at it in hopes that someone will want to come and work next to me. I miss being around other people while I am working, I miss being able to gossip about nothing. Working as a server was a really great job for my need to be around other people, but it was also the most draining and self esteem depriving job I have ever had. I was not happy there, and that is the main reason I left to become a creativepreneur. However, I am constantly lonely. I want to be around others. I want to share my passions and dreams with those who truly understand what is going on in this ridiculous mind of mine. I want to share my goals, and help others to create a list of their own. Being able to share all of the knowledge that I have collected is something that I revel in! I need to be around other people, and I am deafened by the silence of my lonley apartment.
I would not trade this job of mine for anything in the world. You could not pay me enough to go back to a brick and mortar job with a boss. I love being my own boss. Being a creativepreneur is probably the most freeing feeling in the entire world. I am able to travel, go overseas, see places that I never thought I would see, and so much more! I am able to enjoy what I love doing, and not feel like I have to impress someone just to make sure I get a promotion. I don’t need a promotion, I am the CEO of my life! Photography is my passion, I started as a high schooler, just wanting to take pictures of the memories I wanted to be able to remember forever. I got my first camera when I was dual-enrolled in the local state college, and was able to start learning back then all of the information that I know now. I never dreamed that I would be able to be my own boss and create a living from doing something that I love. Here I am though, making it through life every single day because my clients trust me, and I love them. My future is held by the people who love my work and share it with others. I live off of word of mouth and the love that my clients have in sharing what I have created and captured for them. I would not trade this job for anything, ever.
Remember, if you are sharing in these same thoughts and struggles, just know that you are not alone out there. The world is filled with creativepreneurs just like you and I that are going through the same exact thing. I have found help through the Rising Tide Society, and other great groups online that I can always count on to make myself feel a little better. I know the struggles will never go away, and I know that I will one day look back and laugh at myself for how petty I thought things were now. I love my job, I adore my clients, and I love my life. The people that I have chosen to surround myself with are those that I know will never leave my side, and knowing that they care makes it all worth while. I have a support system, those that love me and those that care. I am happy with what I have created for my business, and being a creative at heart. I love creating art and sharing in a couples biggest day. I am me, and I am happy. That is all that really matters in life, right?
– Casie <3