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Is This Really Happening?

As my move to California is creeping up I am starting to feel every emotion under the sun. In a previous blog post I mentioned that I would be moving to San Diego. Currently all of my work is getting booked out of the Los Angeles area. With that said, I have decided I will be living where the work is, so LA here I come! Only 65 days until the big move, but who’s counting…

Ever since I can remember I have dreamed of living in California. I cannot believe it took me 24 years to actually get out there and see it for myself!  I always thought it would be somewhere I loved and felt at home and I was right. My entire life I have been working to get to this moment. Where I could afford to pack everything up & move across the country all on my own.

I am currently facing a lot with this move. ON TOP of a full wedding season, I have recently taken on a bunch of fashion work which is keeping me busier than ever. Additionally, I had to find a place to live (my new roommate rocks!), schedule a UHAUL, pack my apartment(my least favorite activity), and make sure I am spending as much time as possible with my friends & family while I still have the chance.

With this decision to move, I have had to to turn down Michigan weddings for 2017 which is HARD and slowly killing me inside. However, it is crucial that I save my dates for potential California weddings. I know I need to be focusing my energy there so I can start building my clientele. Turning down work is not something I am good at. But I took a risk when I decided to make this move and I have to stay focused on the bigger picture. Like they say, if it’s both terrifying and exciting it’s definitely a good thing!

I am so so grateful for the business I have built here in Michigan. Even more grateful for my family, friends & clients who helped me get to this point. It is super scary going from 40 weddings this year to starting from scratch in California. I have moments where I doubt myself & worry if I will be as successful as I am here in Michigan. I have to remind myself how I got to where I am today…by hustling and working HARD. Even though I am already an established and successful photographer, I am going into this with the same mentality I had from day one of starting my business. I am going to hustle and work my butt off like no one knows who I am. That’s what I did here in Michigan and within a year I went from 0 to 40 weddings. I think I have continued to be successful because I stay humble. I never lost that mentality. I still hustle, I still go after the work…I don’t wait for the work to come to me. You can’t stop once you’ve made it…you have to keep growing, learning and building your business because it’ll make you that much more successful.

I get a lot of emails from amateur photographers. Most of them admiring my work and wanting advice on business. Let me tell you how excited I get to receive those emails. When I am having days of doubt, I read those emails and remind myself that I am doing something right because people want to learn from me. Just one year ago I was taking workshops from other photographers asking them advice too. Little do they know I am still learning too! I may be successful but it is because I am always trying to excel and stretch myself. There is ALWAYS something to learn, whether you’re 1 day into business or 30 years into it.

From time to time I have to slow myself down and reflect on this. I am choosing to pursue a dream that I have had since I was little. Not everyone can handle the sacrifices needed to chase that dream. Because it comes with uncertainty and the feeling of being vulnerable. There has been a lot of stress and hurdles on this journey thus far but the reward certainly makes it all worth it!

Photos by: Priscilla Isaac

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  • September 22, 2016 - 1:21 pm

    Toni - I love you so much! I’m SO proud of you! Go get those dreams!!!!ReplyCancel

  • September 23, 2016 - 6:40 pm

    Jason - You’re an inspiration to all of us in the field Nicole. I love that you’re transitioning out west, because I think it reflects something many of us want to do, but the major bummer is that I won’t get to work with you any more! =p

    I’d say best of luck out there, but I know you’ve got it in the bag.ReplyCancel

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