As much as I love photography, starting a business wasn’t something I gave much thought to until late 2020. I was furloughed from my full-time job for a couple weeks, so I took a photography class to keep myself busy. I learned so much about editing in Lightroom from Katelyn James’ Consistency Course and found myself even more excited to have my camera in hand. More importantly though, I started to feel a nudge to start a business. Very long story short, after many late nights and lots of googling, I launched ETP in June 2021. It has been an incredible experience to work with so many wonderful families this year. I’ve learned a ton, had even more fun, and am excited to share with you my Best of 2021!
While I have two of the cutest little models (maybe I’m biased), I knew that my portfolio needed to feature more than just my own kids. So, I reached out to some friends and family to help me get started. I got paid in wine, margaritas, and baby snuggles, and couldn’t have been happier. (We all start somewhere, right!?) It was great to work with people outside my immediate family and practice what I’d learned from the posing courses I took. Thank you so much to the Bencoes, Dochertys, Piazzas, Gulicks, Odames, and Heavners for helping me get my business off the ground.
By early July, I was ready to hit the ground running. I will never forget my very first session with a family that I didn’t previously know. The Mims family reached out to me requesting an extended family session while their 21-person crew was traveling in Albuquerque. I had so much fun with them and loved hanging out with so many fellow teachers. After their session, I had the opportunity to shoot in a variety of other challenging and exciting conditions as well. High winds, check. Top of a mountain, check. Mosquito-infested canal, check. Roadside pullout, check. The conditions at each shoot kept me on my toes and taught me something that I can use in future ones.
As summer turned to fall, my schedule really started to fill up. I offered my first set of mini sessions during Balloon Fiesta and had the chance to work with some amazing families and couples. It’s a roll of the dice with the balloons and the weather, but I still can’t get over how perfect that morning was! We had beautiful views of the river, mountains, and balloons, and the weather could not have been any better. I’m definitely going to miss this view next fall.
After Balloon Fiesta, I spent many weekends in October and November capturing different families. We spent a lot of time in the foothills and at Juan Tabo Cabin, but also made a few trips down to the Bosque. We even ended up at the Bachechi Center with the Lewis family after the weather tried so hard to cancel our shoot! I never expected to work with so many clients in my first year of business, so it was both a pleasant surprise and an honor to capture these memories for so many families.
I intentionally booked fewer shoots in December so I could spend my favorite time of year with my family. Outside of a session itself, culling, editing, blogging and delivering galleries takes a lot of time and I wanted to have time to really be present with my kids. (The highlight of the holidays with them was baking and decorating cookies!) My favorite session of the month though was the Watson’s Lifestyle Newborn Session. It was an honor to gift this to them as they prepared for their first Christmas as a family of three. Since I typically shoot outside in the sun, it was a fun challenge to tackle an indoor shoot. I was happy to not have to use my flash and am very proud of the way the images turned out.
I’ve always been one to set goals and make New Year’s Resolutions. I like the feeling of working towards something and accomplishing what I set out to do. I know this coming year is going to bring challenges in my business, but I’m excited to tackle them head on. We’ll be PCSing (aka “moving” for you non-military folks) for the first time since I launched ETP, so I’m already preparing for what that will look like. I’m hoping it’s smooth and am already excited to start scouting out some new locations!
If you made it this far, thank you for supporting me! I hope you enjoyed my Best of 2021. Cheers to 2022!