It doesn’t feel real most of the time that I operate a business. I loved photography so much in high school and when the first person ever asked me to take headshots for them, it was a “WHAT IS HAPPENING” kinda moment. I was SO nervous! That was my junior year of high school! I wish I had taken it a little more seriously, been more open to learning, etc. I wish I had done a lot of things differently! That’s why I’m starting a new blog series on being a young business owner (or any new business owner for that matter)! There’s so many things I learned in my first few years of business and a lot of it, I can’t take credit for. There’s a handful of people that directly affected my growth as a photographer and I want to highlight one of those people today!

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I met Kaitlyn at freshman orientation the summer of 2011. I remember her mom saying something about her being a photographer, and I was like wait-what?! You’re a photographer? Me too!! What I didn’t know was how GOOD of a photographer Kaitlyn was! I remember going to her photography page and immediately feeling jealous. She was SO good and I thought I was hot stuff in high school… ha,ha,ha. Kaitlyn took it to a NEW LEVEL. I had never seen photography so good, so creative, and so colorful… seriously! My exposure had been pretty small to the photography industry, and Kaitlyn really was so talented, so I was just blown away. I remember being scared to ask her anything. I thought she wouldn’t want to tell me the answers! But one day about a month into school, we got onto the topic of shooting modes, and she said something about shooting in manual and I was like WHAT’S THAT???????? Ohhhh I had so much to learn. Kaitlyn showed me how she shoots in manual and I answered something like” Yea well my camera screen is always black when I shoot in that mode!!” She picked up my camera, changed my ISO, and said “here ya go!” Now, she didn’t tell me exactly what ISO was… all she did was give me just the little bit of introduction I needed to shooting in manual and it basically showed me I REALLY needed to learn more about my camera. I used to blame my camera for having dark pictures, missing the focus, etc. and it was actually things I needed to learn how to fix.

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After Kaitlyn told me about shooting in manual, I had a session a few weeks later that I was SO excited to try out my new knowledge at. And it went so much better than my shoots had in the past! I now had full control over exposing my images, and they started to look closer to what I was going for. It would be a LONG time before I started to get the exact look I wanted, but I was just taking the first little baby steps to learning more about photography and sharpening my skills. And it was all thanks to Kaitlyn! Without her, it probably would have been a while (if ever) before I realized that there was a lot more I had to learn. I have a whole list of things I wish I could go back and tell my 18-year-old self about photography and becoming a business owner. So I’m going to start sharing those things in the hopes that I can help a few more young photographers learn more about their passion for photography or just starting and growing their own business. If you have any specific topics you’d like me to cover or would be curious to know more about, please let me know! Comment below or shoot me a Facebook message… I’d love to help answer a few of those questions because they might just be similar to what I was wondering myself 3 years ago!! :)

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These are two of Kaitlyn’s pictures she took of me and Justin in May of 2012 :) They’re still some of my favorites of us! I was SO skinny… sad face. I would still set these as my profile picture today if I didn’t look so different and my hair wasn’t so much darker. I just love all of them! It reminds me of what a classic, timeless image is… if 3 years later I still want to set it as my profile picture, she definitely did something right! Check out more of her work here! And I can’t wait to really dive into this College Business Owner series!!!

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