With my anniversary of being in business (for round #2) coming up, I have been reflecting on where I was and where I am. Not to mention where I want to be!!!! I started out my business known as Patriotic Hearts Photography due to my love for the military. Now Patriotic Hearts is my internal program of giving back under Rachel Brenke Photography.
After floundering for marketing and business DESPITE having an MBA and business smarts, I sat down and dedicated myself to creating my business and marketing plans. DUH! I should’ve known that from the beginning right? NO WAY! I got so distracted by my fancy new camera (which I happened to glance at today at Sears – that tiny thing!) and how I could make a quick buck. I went about my business the entirely WRONG way.
However, despite the fact that I did this wrong, I do appreciate it. It was revealed to me the hard work that it takes to get a business going, what it exactly entails. It is one thing learning it on paper; it’s another putting it into practice.
I’m am baring myself to all of you by showing you this awful work from before, but my hope and prayer is that it will encourage you. It will show you not to give up, not to listen to ridicule, to accept help. August of last year, I presented a picture to my colleague Morgan Kervin (www.morgankervin.com) who had been in business successfully for a few years. I asked for criticism. As a newbie I needed it. But I wasn’t ready to hear it. I went as far to defriend MK (love my nickname for her ) and ignore her. BAD mistake. She did what I asked. She had the heart to help.
It has taken me putting myself out there, asking for criticism, being knocked down a few pegs. In fact, I’m knocked down pegs everyday when I visit some of my favorite photographers work.
It is worth getting knocked down some pegs in order to scramble higher on my own ladder. I’m not telling you to take stock in every criticism you receive. Choose your mentors and critics wisely. Dedicate yourself. Develop your own style. Learn from the ground up how to run a business. Commit yourself to the business and learning the craft. I am ecstatic for August 2012 because I want to see how much farther I can go.
Without going through these hard struggles and hits along the way I would have never discovered my passion to help new photographers with workshops, nor would I be at 3,000 fans (8,300 as of March 2012) when I had maybe 50 last year.
I don’t claim to be the best. I don’t claim to be amazing. I claim to want to encourage others.
So without further adieu, take a looksy at my diptyches comparing August 2010 with August 2011.