Earlier this week, I almost made a huge mistake! I heavily considered quitting SMS Photography.
For the last couple months (especially these last 3 weeks), I’ve been throwing all kinds of different “mud” (ideas) at the wall trying to see which one would stick. It seemed like all of them would just slide right off and I became very discouraged. I was working over 40 hours a week on this “job” I called my passion and yet I was so frustrated I was starting to lose the joy I found in it. This discouraged me and I seriously contemplated what it would be like if I didn’t have my business anymore and just took photos of my personal life.
At this point, photography for business and photographer for pleasure is a very blurred line and incredibly hard to separate. Immediately, I started praying. I knew this could either be the devil messing with me OR it was God gently telling me I wasn’t supposed to be a professional photographer.
Desperately praying to hear from God about which route I should take, I was in the car with my husband when, thankfully, God put it on my heart to talk to Aaron about my feelings.
Once I had spoken my heart, Aaron looked at me like I was crazy. Instantly, words of encouragement flew out of his mouth. Yes, I had been throwing lots of different mud at the wall, some of which Aaron didn’t really understand why I was trying to throw it in the first place, but he told me just because it wasn’t sticking now didn’t mean it wasn’t going to stick at all.
3 weeks ago, I implemented a new aspect of my business which demands I only get my ideal clients. This is a very good thing because it means I’ll be treated the way I want to be, my art will be desired, & I’ll get paid what I deserve. However, like anything, it takes time to get into the network of my ideal client (not to mention I just recently moved across the country so I am completely starting from scratch). So just because I’m putting in more than 40 hours a week into this “job,” that doesn’t mean they are wasted hours.
Aaron helped me decide which “mud” was likely going to be the most beneficial in reaching my ideal clients and encouraged me to focus on those areas.
In the midst of all this, I was reminded that I need to put God in the middle of it. Not just say I will and then take matters into my own hands, but REALLY put God in the center of my business.
Throughout these 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting, every day I have prayed over my business. Praying for more leads so that I can be a blessing to them & also provide for my family. During this conversation with Aaron, I was convicted and realized I needed to stop praying for more leads and START praying for God to be in the center of my business. And once the business had been given to Him, He would bring me clients that I could bless with my talent of photography.
That afternoon, I went online & tithed 10% of the last photo session I had done. You know what happened? That night, I went onto my computer and I saw I got 2 emails inquiring about sessions. And 1 of those inquiries was a wedding.
Immediately, I knew it was God. If He is truly in the center of my business, then SMS will be successful.
Aaron also reminded me how talented I am (something I often question) & I don’t need to prove to anyone that my business is worth it – I’ve already proven that. He took me back to all the session I’ve done since my business started (52 total), namely the wedding I photographed 4 weeks after we moved to Alabama. He told me how proud he is of all I’ve accomplished & how hard I’ve been working to make SMS Photography reach our dreams. Aaron encouraged me that I can do this – that I AM doing it. It’s not a waste of time & it will be able to provide for our family financially & all that we have planned.
SMS Photography is me. That’s why it’s called “SMS” – Sarah Marie Shaver. It’s apart of who I am & always will be. I need to not get discouraged when my calendar isn’t packed full of sessions because it means two things:
- I have freedom (with no time constraints) to create a styled session where I can photograph for fun + add to my portfolio
- It means my ideal clients are on their way
SMS Photography will always be a successful business, even if I don’t have 2 weddings booked every month. Why? Because…. [see quote below]
Now, I realize that I am incredibly blessed to have such a supporting husband who believes in me even when I have doubts. I know not everyone has that, so if you need some good vibes going your way, let me encourage you –
You are phenomenal at whatever you are faithfully and diligently pursuing! No one has success overnight. Stay true to who you are, what you want your situation to be like, & keep God in the middle of it. Always.
I am so thankful for my business! It’s a dream unfolding before my eyes & I am so fortunate to call it MY FULL-TIME JOB! I am so blessed by Aaron & his undying, unwavering love + support of everything I do. And I have such a phenomenal God who wants nothing but the best for me and for this dream He has put inside of me to come true.