I will never forget July 17, 2021 and what that meant for me. This was the day we celebrated that I had decided that I was going to take a leap of faith and launch my own photography business. I had no idea all the details that would include, the workload, or the steps necessary to succeed in the industry. I had enjoyed the art of photography for the past 6 years leading up to this decision. It was a hobby that started off as a dream to be featured on an Apple "Shot On iPhone" billboard. It was this constant desire to learn more and to be better than I was yesterday in the craft. I remember the repeated photoshoots with friends and roommates in Downtown Minneapolis. The horrible first edits that I did on my phone, the inconsistency in looks and vibes, and the feeling that this was never going to go anywhere.
Little did I know that those 6 years would lead to a repeated echo of friends and family members that didn't know were echoing each other's encouragement to launch my own photography business. This community saw potential and skills that I didn't know I had for photography and saw the potential in those skills growing into something more. The crazy part is that the majority of the people encouraging me to take this step in life did not talk to one another. There was no way that this wasn't God getting my attention into the next season of life. I packed my stuff, moved back to the cities, and launched Refined to Redefine Creative.
Over the next year I began getting clients for engagements, couples, weddings, senior photos, family photos, baby photos, baby announcements, etc. Something I had my own doubts in took flight and I don't know that I was expecting or ready for that at that time. Nevertheless, I was very thankful to get the chance to work with amazing people in the industry, learn, and create my own brand feel and look moving forward.
In June 2022, I was offered a job at Summit Church in St. Paul, MN as the Communications and Hospitality Director. While my role was extremely busy and at times overwhelming, I LOVED IT. It kept me on my toes and it impacted the community I was in. This meant that my photography business took the back burner spot for 11 months. I felt the pull to move back into full time wedding photography. I couldn't shake the feeling and asked my family and a few close friends to pray to see if this was the right move. After a few months, we had reached the agreement that it was time to transition. The day that I made the final decision that I was going to hand in my notice I knew that I didn't have any clients booked for the season. However, that very day I made the decision was the same day I got many texts and emails and phone calls to start booking me for the season. Nothing was a clearer confirmation for this transition than this moment sitting in a meeting and having my inboxes begin to fill up with inquiries.
On April 30, 2023 I wrapped up my time at Summit Church and May 1, 2023 I began working for myself fully. I woke up May 1, ready to tackle the day with excitement and certainty that this was the correct next season in life. Up to this point, I had believed that people don't get to live their dreams. I woke up knowing that this was a dream I've been wanting to see come to pass for a while and hopefully the beginning of something amazing. First thing on my to-do list that I had been working on for weeks was to give my social media and website a fresh look. I knew that I wanted to focus and prioritize wedding photography but still offer other photography services as supplementary services.
This feeling of getting to do what I loved to do was the fire that was carrying me forward for the first week and then the reminders brought my feet back to land. I was reminded that there will be bills that will need to get paid, there is income that I need for myself to not only pay bills, but to be able to continue to invest into my friendships and communities. That fear quickly began to grab a hold of stomach and I began to question if this was a wise move. I began to wonder if this was where I was supposed to be. If you're anything like me, you may ask yourself where you could find an answer to such question.
Well, I found myself at church on a Sunday evening and I asked God the question "Is this where I'm supposed to be business wise?" And I met this guy named Dan at church and he said "I'm not sure if this is prophetic or something but I feel God wants me to say to you that you are right where you are supposed to be and that you will kill this business adventure you're on." OH MAN DID THAT GET ME FIRED UP TO KEEP GOING.
I'm not saying that this eliminates the realistic fears knowing I have bills and deadlines, but I'm saying that it doesn't beat the excitement and joy to get to live in the wake of prayers I had years ago in life. Excited is probably an understatement about how I feel about this next season of life. I will do my very best to keep you updated along the journey and if you have friends and family members that need photos taken, send them my way!