My struggles to figure out what I’m going to do with my life are no stranger to this blog. I sort of thought I’d have this figured out by the time I was 28, honestly. I graduated from college 8 years ago for godsake!
Last summer I figured out that my little “hobby job” of photography was really what I wanted to do with my life. But I was scared. Nevertheless, I set a plan.
Work my ass off trying to get photo jobs. Ask friends to recommend me. Start doing whatever free advertising I could (craigslist and facebook mostly).
I was done thinking I could maybe make it work with law. I was giving up on the idea that I might have a long career as a lawyer, and starting to lean into the idea that getting out was a possibility. My goal was Spring of 2015. Build up enough clients to make enough money by 2015 that I could quit my law job and be a full time photographer.
And I’m working the plan. I’ve got two weddings booked (one was last weekend and went great, the next this coming fall). I have a third couple who may book me soon (I hope). I just bought my first paid advertising on theknot.com and I’m about to flyer my neighborhood to book some family/baby shoots. I’m using my business facebook more regularly, I’m doing my photo blogging more regularly, I’m all in.
I feel like I’m really doing what I can at this point to make my photography business a success. And I’m so excited at the possibilities. The idea of doing photography full time is like a dream to me, because its what my mind wanders to when I’m driving. It’s what I get excited about when I wake up at 2am with an idea. It’s what makes my entire day when I get a couple “likes” on an album I post on facebook.
But as I work to make this dream a reality, I’m starting to get hit with the guilt. I would never say I regret going to law school because I met some amazing people and chances are, I would never have met my husband if I hadn’t done it. So I’m glad that I went, even if not for the actual law knowledge. However the going came at a steep price. And not just for me.
B and I will be paying off my law school loans until 2028. The idea that we’re going to be paying off loans for an education that I’m not using at all (once I move to photography) makes me feel horrible. And maybe worse than that, the idea that my parents contributed to my education (they paid my rent/cell phone/car insurance while I was in law school) for three years and I’m not going to end up using it? Ugh. GUILT.
I’m trying to give myself permission to just be happy. Everyone makes the wrong choices sometimes and it isn’t like I’m going to quit my job until I’m making enough that we will be okay financially with my doing so. So if law school and working as a lawyer for 6 years was just part of my journey to becoming a photographer, maybe the loans and the support were just a necessary part of getting there?
I guess so. Regardless, I’m happy with the direction things are moving. I’m excited about my (career) future again for the first time in a long time. I think the guilt is just going to be one of the many hurdles I’ll face in my journey into a new career.