As I sit here in my overly cluttered, hopelessly unpacked, brand new Click Chick Images office, I can’t help but feel blessed and overwhelmed simultaneously. Some moments I think “WOW, I’m so glad we took this leap of faith and determination and made this happen!”, and other moments I think “WOW, we are completely insane!”. Luckily, I know how much Joe and I have both accomplished in the last several years, and I know with our determination, the skills and talents we’ve been blessed with, and our need to succeed that we WILL succeed. I know far too many people who are sitting back and waiting for their big break. I hear it all the time, even from friends….who say things to me like “Wow, you’re so lucky.” NOPE. I’m not lucky, not even a little bit. I don’t hit the lottery, and when playing “heads or tails” I always call it wrong. I make things happen for myself. I know that things will never get handed to me or fall into my lap undeserved. I bust my **rhymes with glass** for every cent that I make, for every photo that I take, and for every thing that I want out of life. Sometimes I think that maybe it would be nice to be one of those people that awesome things just happen to. But then I’m quick to correct myself and know that I can be proud of everything that I have because I worked hard for it. There’s nothing like the sense of great accomplishment in a world where it seems so many are looking for handouts.
ANYHOW, wow–what was THAT rant about!? I meant to start off chatting a bit about yesterday’s bridal expo! I suppose I will do that now! As soon as we decided that we would be calling Austin, TX our new home, the never-ending Google searches began! What magazines do local brides read? What about bridal shows? Do I want to invest in mass advertising? I decided to keep it simple, just like I did when starting my business in PA. I KNOW that word of mouth is the key to a successful business. You can invest a million dollars a year into advertising and that may not be nearly as successful as having a handful of happy clients singing your praises. I made the decision that I would not be paying for any sort of print or online advertising, but relying solely on networking opportunities and other situations that would put me face to face with my potential clientele. Alas–the Austin Bridal Expo registration paperwork popped up in my email. It was such a great experience to be able to mingle with some of the city’s finest wedding industry vendors and to meet HUNDREDS of eager brides.
Here is my (I’m embarrassed to say it…) INSTAGRAM picture of my bridal show booth at the Austin Convention Center! Yep, I’m a photographer that didn’t bring their “real” camera to a bridal show. So an iPhone picture will just have to do!
Though my voice is feeling a little hoarse today from all the talking I did (and LOUD talking as my booth was located directly next to a DJ!), I am so excited that I was able to meet everyone that I did. There were a few brides that stood out to me yesterday. About halfway through the bridal expo, an obviously overwhelmed and tired bride hesitantly approached my booth. I greeted her and told her “CONGRATULATIONS!!!” with a big smile. She looked at me a little odd and said “You know?… I’ve visited probably 50 booths today and have been completely bombarded with sales pitches and had literature shoved at me left and right….and you are the FIRST PERSON to say congratulations to me!”. Wow. Wow. Wow. REALLY!?!? Please note that I am not saying that my “method” is right and all those other vendors’ methods were wrong, because I don’t think this “method” is really a “method”! I just LOVE weddings, and love LOVE, and know the feeling of getting proposed to after waiting forever, and the feeling of planning a wedding….and it’s a super exciting time. I just want to hear all about it! For a wedding vendor (who clearly KNOWS that this woman standing in front of you is getting married as per the bright pink “I’m the bride” sticker, and that is the WHOLE REASON she is at this bridal show) to instantly start the same monotone car salesman-like pitch they give to each and every person to come to their booth is both rude and ignorant. Ok, end of that rant.
Next rant. A bride and her mother approached my booth and began to look through my sample albums. I asked questions about the bride’s big day…her date was still up in the air. She said “THEY” told her that she couldn’t have a Sunday afternoon wedding. I asked a little bit more about what she had in mind, and turns out, she really wanted to do just what I did for my wedding, a Sunday morning brunch! She loves breakfast food and wanted it to be a focal point in their wedding. I asked who “THEY” were, that told her she could not have a wedding on a Sunday afternoon. She said that a photographer told her not to because the afternoon was the worst time of day to take photos. Um. EXCUSE ME!? Seriously!? Yes, sure…it IS NOT the best time of day to take photos. And YES photos are important. But you know what?! Work around it! Why should a bride have to change everything about what she’s envisioned for her wedding day simply because it would make a photographer’s job a little easier? Amazing. I was stunned that someone had the **rhymes with malls** to crush a bride’s spirits like that. Geez. Anyhow, my own wedding was on a Sunday morning and I hired one of the best photographers I could think of, and my pictures were fabulous. A good photographer will make it work and not make YOUR wedding about THEM. Yes, I said it. And if those sound like fightin’ words, BRING IT because I’m a TEXAN now 😉 Ok, end of THAT rant!
A good friend’s mother, Kathy Travis, posted something on my Facebook page that stuck. She said “moving is the BEST THING to reignite creative juices”. How profound and relevant! yes-Yes-YES! Being in a new and amazing place is making me feel SO inspired, has filled me with so many new ideas, and has be chomping at the bit to start photographing anything and everything in sight. I’m ready for it all, I’m ready to take Austin by storm. BRING IT, because I’m a TEXAN now 😉
So there was my potpourri of a blog post. If you’re still with me, give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself by closing your strained eyes for a few minutes! I appreciate EACH AND EVERY one of you reading this blog, all of my clients, and all of my family and friends who believed in me and encouraged me. I NEED positive reinforcement to thrive. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. So THANK you for every Facebook “like” and blog comment! Y’all are the best!
For more information on wedding photography in Austin TX and worldwide, visit the Click Chick Images website. For availability or to book, email Chick@ClickChickImages.com