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Jan

ELLE Interview: Life Changing Career Moves

Happy Wednesdayyy! A few months ago I was contacted about contributing to an ELLE piece about how I changed career paths and went in a completely different direction. I had been in the advertising industry but after a while realized, my heart just wasn't in it and I was extremely unhappy.  
 
I felt like the longer I stayed in advertising and committed to this path, the harder it would be to change course. I knew that there was risk in walking away from the career and industry that I went to school for and worked so hard to be in, but I also knew the risk would be greater if I settled knowing there was something else in my heart and that my passion lay elsewhere. I am not sure the timing is ever perfectly "right" for a career change, but for me the "right now" was way better then the maybe "someday." Life is just too short. 
 
I hope that my story and journey along with the rest of these woman inspire anyone who feels like they are stuck and unhappy in their careers, and gives them hope that change IS possible and the right time is NOW to find a career that gets you excited and makes your heart soar.  
 
I'm totally pumped and honored to have been included in this article which is now LIVE! Below is more of my full Q&A with ELLE.com!

Why did you decide to make the switch? 
Although I had landed a job at one of the top advertising companies in NYC out of college, which is what I had set out to do, once I was actually in the industry for a few years I realized that my heart just wasn't in it. While it was what I had thought I wanted, I simply wasn't passionate about it and often times dreaded going to work each day. I yearned to create things, connect with people on a deeper level, and feel like what I was doing was making a difference. I wanted to do something that fed my soul and filled up others, but instead found myself unhappy, unexcited and drained.  
 
 
What steps did you take to make the move? 
Making the move took planning, learning, and a whole lot of hustle. I wanted to be smart about making such a big change, and minimize the risk as much as possible. While working in adverting still, I spent my lunch hour practicing using my camera, mastering the craft and reading piles of photography books in my car in the parking lot. I worked late into the night after work learning about the industry and all the elements of starting and running a successful business. I was up at the crack of dawn figuring out editing programs and studying the use of light and composure. Every waking moment I could, I was breathing photography. But one of the single most important steps I took was to write out a detailed and thorough business plan. I wanted to have clearly defined goals, actionable steps laid out, and financials outlined. I had a clear idea of where I wanted to be with this new career, so I needed to make sure that I had a well defined plan on how to get there and make it happen.  
 
What did you learn from changing careers? 
While terrifying for this risk adverse person, changing careers was one of the absolute best decisions I have ever made. Waking up before my alarm, excited to get working and enjoying what I do is truly priceless and something I am so very grateful for. I know I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be. I get to tell of the most amazing love stories through photos and document once in a lifetime moments for generations to come. I get to celebrate the connection of two hearts, what they have overcome and what has brought them to that very place in front of my camera. I get to meet, connect and pour into the most incredible people, my clients who quickly become friends. 
 
I learned first hand from changing careers that you can't put a price or value on loving and being passionate about what you do. Living your passion day in and out colors the world differently and has effected almost every aspect of my life in a positive way. Having a career that excites, motivates and makes my heart come alive is a gift I won't take for granted.  
 
How did you get your first big photography break? 
I would say my first big photography break was at the very, very beginning when my husband and I booked my first paying wedding couple. At that moment it felt real and from that point on the momentum really started to pick up. I had only photographed one wedding for a friend before (outside of assisting and second shooting for other photographers), so the couple that booked me was really taking a chance on this new, no name photographer who was eager to be a small part of their wedding and document it. The bride had actually posted an ad on Craigslist looking for a wedding photographer, and after responding to her, connecting and sending over our investment details, she booked us. I'm not even going to pretend like I didn't cry when I received her signed contract and payment! I remember telling my husband that I couldn't believe this was actually happening - I was actually going to do what I loved, connect with people, hear and tell of their stories. Even though that was years and years ago and our photography business is in a completely different and amazing place, that feeling has never gone away. Every single time we meet with a couple and they book us, those feelings I had when our first couple booked us flood back and I am overjoyed that they chose us... That they have invited my husband and I, out of everyone else, to be a part of their wedding, witnessing and photographing it as it unfolds. What an honor it is to be the ones entrusted to capture their day so that the big champagne moments and small sweet ones in between can be relived over and over again for decades of anniversaries to come.  
 
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