On June 4th, I celebrated my eight years business anniversary!!! This celebration wouldn’t be possible without celebrating all of those who have supported me throughout this journey. <3 My business has caused me to grow in so many ways, and I’m happy that you all were along for the ride, especially for those who have been following along since the beginning. I hope to never stop growing or learning over the lifespan of my business because that has been one of my driving factors to success! In this blog post, I’m sharing the things that have worked for the success of my eight wonderful years. 🙂
Where it Began…
Now, Stephanie Messick Photography started well before 2012. In fact, it all started in my first film class back in 2006 that led to my first business name “Stephanie Messick Design & Photography in college! Haha! But eight-years ago marks when I became official through the county/state/IRS! That was a big deal because I was still working as a graphic designer then and had NO idea this would really be my future!!!
Here’s a photo from my very own FIRST wedding (Michael and Christine) in June 2012!!!! Thanks, Sonya, for believing in me that I could photograph my own wedding!
Just a couple of short months later, my business became my FULL-TIME JOB! WOW! I booked 7 weddings in the remainder of 2012 and then kicked off 2013 with 30 weddings!!!! INSANE how quickly my business grew! And talk about a whirlwind of a year in 2012. Even before becoming official, I was working countless hours between my graphic design job and my growing photography business. Those countless hours left me with 3-5 hours of sleep every night which was brutal, but I pushed through because I was SO excited about learning and growing! 🙂
The past four months were pretty challenging in my business… In fact, the most challenging in my career (no thank you, COVID-19). But as soon as things started reopening, and I was FINALLY able to step back behind the camera and interact with my couples, my passion returned and overflowed!!! I was so energized after my recent sessions, and cannot wait to continue booking more while weddings are put on hold in the meantime. 🙂 I’m just grateful to be back behind the camera again and seeing the beauty of my clients’ personalities on my computer screen while I edit. <3 And I cannot WAIT until weddings are a thing again so I can document my couple’s BEST DAY EVER!
My Secret to Success
1) Work hard and hustle!
2) Wear a servant’s heart.
3) Passion! If it’s your type of job, this will come naturally and FUEL/energize you!
4) You must be a businesswoman/businessman FIRST. 90% of Stephanie Messick Photography takes place behind the computer, whereas the remaining 10% is behind the camera.
5) Never stop dreaming, growing, and learning!
6) Build community/connections!!!
7) Genuine enthusiasm — Your clients feed from your energy!
8) Never stop showing up.
9) Push yourself with the question, WHY?
10) Never be afraid to try something new.
In the past eight years, I’ve photographed 210 weddings and COUNTLESS portrait sessions. My jaw actually dropped when I saw the total number … I know I’ve worked so hard, but the most rewarding part of this journey has to be the friendships/connections I’ve gained. With that, I’ve been able to enjoy this journey every step of the way, and I’m looking forward to many more in the future!
Thanks for helping me celebrate my eight years business anniversary! I’m looking forward to celebrating many more anniversaries in the future! <3
Headshot photo credit: Krysta Norman Photography