Twenty Two

"You know what will make a difference? Pour your heart and soul into everything you do and watch every aspect of your life change one by one." 

I never in all my years thought that at age 22 I would be where I am. I had dreams of running my own business and specifically being a photographer. However the timeline to those dreams were on a 5-10 year plan. I’ve learned a lot in just 2 years of owning my own business, through trial and error, questions to other professionals and a lot of portfolio building shoots. Having turned 22 yesterday I figured I would reflect on what I’ve learned this year, business wise and personally.

You decide what your time is worth and you find clients who see the value in your work.

A year ago I struggled so much with the photographers giving away free shoots, taking away business and all that buzz. Today I’m proud to say, go on give away your free shoots, photograph a wedding for $100. Those clients who are looking for a free photo shoot or are looking for a deal…well they aren’t the clients I want. Nor are they the clients I want referring me. I want clients who see the value in me and are willing to pay for the heart I put behind my work.

I love Wedding Photography more than I ever thought I would.

I will be the first to admit I saw wedding photography as being the most lucrative form of income. I honestly just thought I would do it to make enough money to do other things. What I didn’t know is how much more I would fall in love with human interaction. I love hearing the how you met stories; I love the giggles amongst the tears couples have when they first see one another. Most of all I love that it’s one day full of your favorite people sharing one of your best days. The best part about the whole thing is I am the one delivering your images so that you can relive those moments over and over. I LOVE hearing my images brought you to happy tears. This so-called job fills my heart with joy knowing what I’m doing is making hundreds if not thousands of people very happy.

I’m an Introvert. It’s complicated.

Moving out on my own has made this simple piece of knowledge super important. I always thought I was on the cusp of being an introvert/extrovert. I’ve learned that I thrive on human interaction and authentic conversation; Mom and Dad have always called me an old soul. However in saying that I can’t enjoy those interactions if I haven’t had enough time by myself. I flourish when I’ve maintained the right balance.

Boundaries are needed.

It’s ok to say no. It’s ok that I don’t do every style of photography. Most importantly I need to say no to myself. I need to start saying Yes to days off, commit to leaving my business out of the picture for 24 hours here and there. It’s a work in progress but it’s one I’m really trying hard to accomplish.

Goal crushing is the best feeling.

Goals may change, plans will change, but what’s important is that you have them. Working for Lululemon changed my life and how I viewed goals. I accomplished more things in the time I worked for the company than I did in the 20 years prior. This week I’m committed to sitting down and re-evaluating my 1 year, 5 year and 10 year goals. This year I’m devoted to growing my business, expanding my knowledge and finding time for myself, mainly my health.

I may be 22 and young in your books, but I’ve accomplished so much more at 22 than I ever thought possible.

Cheers to my success, but that mainly stems from all you lovers who keep believing in me and supporting my dream. So to that I say Thank You, You're Awesome.

Sarah Beaulieu

Photographer from Calgary, Alberta specializing in Weddings