Several years ago when I first became a wedding photographer, I remember saying, “I have no interest in being in the spotlight. I just want to make enough money to cover the cost of my photography equipment.” And you know what? At the time… I meant it. At the time I still think I had every intention of completing my student teaching semester in college, and moving on to teach accounting and economics to high school students.
Little did I know at that time that I was on a path that would suck me into this industry like nothing ever has! The more people (photographers and bride and grooms) I met, the more encouragement I received, and the more weddings I shot… I was hooked! I knew that everything about my life would change! And it did!
There was something about the way I fell in love with weddings. I noticed that my brides’ eyes lit up every single time I would mention walking down that aisle to greet and marry their groom. I fell in love with the look on a groom’s face when he saw his bride for the first time in her wedding gown on their wedding day. I felt emotional when a father would dance with his daughter during the father daughter dance at the reception. And the look on a mom’s face as she watches her baby boy become a man is just priceless.
I was hooked. I no longer “just” wanted to shoot enough weddings to cover the cost of my equipment. What I wanted was to surround myself with love. I noticed that what made me the happiest was when I was capturing those HUGE moments on a wedding day that usually go by so quickly that a bride, groom, and their families never even really notice it because everyone is running on auto pilot. But even more than that… I noticed that what I loved the most was the reaction from my brides when I would share their wedding day photos with them for the first time.
I do not even know when it happened, to be honest. But one day I just realized that I was a professional wedding photographer. And like many people who get into this industry, admitting that out loud is sort of difficult. But I spent over two years developing my style, my craft, my brand, and my business practices. And in doing so… somewhere during that time I fell in love with what I do. I fell in love with the friendships that I have made with my clients and with other wedding vendors. I fell in love with everything!
I have held off on sharing this exciting news with any of you because to be honest… everything just seems so surreal. I still have many moments when I doubt myself and have to ask, “Wendy… what in the world do you think you are doing? Who do you think you are?” And in those moments I am reminded of why I am doing what I do. I am reminded of why I love my job as a PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER. And that reason is because, as cliche’ as this may sound… I LOVE LOVE! And I love my clients!
So what is this exciting news that I’ve been holding back since before Christmas? Well here it is! I have been invited to speak at Showit United in Vegas during WPPI next month on the Creating New Clients panel! Showit United is an event put together by Showit that sold out in less than five minutes! EEEEEKKKK! Just typing this out here on the blog both excites me and sends me into a nervous frenzy! This is only my second speaking opportunity outside of my own community. I am a nervous wreck if I am being honest… because I will probably get up there in front of that room full of people and choke! But what is even more intimidating to me is who I will be sharing the panel with. I will be sharing this panel with Zach and Jody Gray, and Trevor Dayley. These guys are REAL PROS and have been REAL PROS for a long time. I do not have a CLUE what I will have to offer on this panel, but the simple fact that I was invited is seriously an honor!
So to those of you who will be attending Showit United in Vegas next month during WPPI… HOLLA! I hope I get to meet many new faces, and hug tons of necks! If you get a chance, make sure to find me and wish me luck. Because I am seriously a nervous wreck and have already started chewing my fingernails. LOL!