One of the studios that I do contract work for has given me 13 weddings to shoot between now and December 30th. That takes my fall wedding count up to 15!! That’s no only the most I’ve ever shot in one season, but in one year! Crazy right! I’m praying that I can stay on top of everything and make each one as fun and memorable as possible! But will all of this success, I gotta say that it’s not where I want to be at this point. Yes, I’ll be working more than I ever have but I won’t be making as much money as I could be if all of these clients hired me directly, rather than through a 3rd party. These contract weddings will get me about $7500. If these gigs were my own clients, I’d be making $33k. See the difference?
With that in mind, I’ve started brainstorming ways to get the word out about my photography and replace the income that I make via third parties. First, I’m going to meet with as many event planners and wedding coordinators as possible. I’m going to visit event venues and show my portfolio to anyone who will listen. A lot of times, photographers get hired after hiring these professionals first. Getting on their radar will help me get noticed by more brides sooner in their wedding planning process.
Second, I’ll carry printed samples and business cards wherever I go. Everyone I meet should be able to see and touch my work, everyone I know should know exactly what I’m capable of. Everyone should have one of my cards! And finally, I’ll get more active online via my company Instagram, Website and Youtube channel. Plus, I might start a podcast! While some people think this should be my first strategy, I’m a firm believer in word of mouth still reigning supreme when it comes to getting new clients. While I’m not working or out networking, I’ll be creating as much content as humanly possible for online viewers. This way, they’ll see me in action, get to know me better and start seeing me as an expert in my field. I want to start building trust before I ever meet them in person.
I’m going to make a vision board for myself centered around these things. I want to be reminded of all of the things that I need to do now so I can do the things I want to do later. What do I want to do? Work less, earn more and have adventures. Do you have a vision board? I’d love to see it!
It’s hard to keep consistent with one thing, let alone 3 or 4, yet here I am trying to balance two brands, a personal blog, and a Youtube channel. As you can see from the date of my last post on here, I suck at juggling. hahahaha. It’s ok though, because I’ve got some help coming in the form of interns! Seriously, I’m getting some interns for my company to help me take care of some things so I can focus on growth and finances.
Ok, enough of that. Here are some photos to update ya on my life lately. I’m slowly and surely getting my life in the health department. I’ve been eating more fruits, especially mango via smoothies, and taking my dog on longer walks in the morning. I don’t have a real fitness routine as of yet, but I can feel myself getting more energetic. I’m hoping to incorporate biking, hiking, walking and yoga into my weekly routine. By my next birthday, July 5th in case ya want to get me a present hahah, I want to have mastered a fitness regimen. I’m also hoping to have ditched this bra budge and have a flatter stomach.
One thing I have started to be more consistent at is making videos for our (my husband and I) Youtube Channel. I didn’t expect him to get into the vlogging spirit but he has started to enjoy the ride and record on his own! Can’t wait to post the next one featuring him getting physical training from our friend David. In the meantime, here’s our most recent vlog below. If you had fun watching, tell us with a comment, thumbs up and hit the subscribe button.
It’s been a little over a year since I left the corporate world and I must say, I don’t miss it at all! Cue the Beyonce “I ain’t sorry, I ain’t sorry…”. Today my stomach was cramping so I took Justice (woof) for a walk before planting myself by the pool. Sitting there in the shade there was no annoying boss giving me a pile of non departmental tasks to do, no irritable clients calling about their websites…. It was just me and the soft sounds of the wind and water. I will work my butt off everyday if it means never having to go back to that kind of day to day stress! Now I can focus on what matters most to me.
Just in case you guys didn’t know, I’d love to hear from you. Leave comments and questions here or hit me up on Instagram some time. Let’s get social.
Today I went thrift shopping and found some great pants by Express for only $8.99 😀 I also found an awesome oversized pink polka dotted shirt that I might resize for myself with my sewing machine. This gradient top is New York & Company. This all came out to just under $20. Not bad!
The chefs at the coffee shop experienced with Dragon fruit and bacon today and I got to try a free sample. It was pretty interesting, flavor wise. The fruit kinda tastes like kiwi 🙂
In case you were wondering, I’m thirsty for more out of life haha. My phone died midday so I hardly captured any moments from the day, sorry. But I did manage to get a few before the battery bit the dust. First, here’s my OOTD.
To get the day started, I hit the library and the library in search of some language books to help me study up on my Japanese and French. Yea, I’m learning a few languages all at once, trying to jump start my brain, hahah. I feel it’s working. I’ve linked up with some language exchange partners who will help me practice what I’ve learned on Skype and FaceTime. Until I get a decent grasp on the languages, I’m mostly helping them with English right now hahah.
I also scored an intern recently! Her name is Sakura. She’s a friend of mine and talented makeup artist trying to find out what direction she wants to take with her career. I’m hoping that spending time with me will help her learn a few things and find the inspiration she needs. We went out and captured a mixed use space to help the owners start a photography residency program. It’s so open and bright and empty. Perfect for a photographer or videographer who needs a simple spot to work a few hours a week without paying an arm and a leg in studio fees. Once we finished working, we grabbed some food. These sandwiches were delicious!
I’m currently juggling three huge projects and they are taking up all of my time and energy to produce. I haven’t blogged on here in so long, my apologies. Hence, I’m making some changes. I want to turn Elleword into a photo diary. Life and Style will still be the main theme but I’m doing it for the love of sharing and tracking my days as I live life courageously. Let me know what you think of the new direction. Here are my pics from today. Sorry, some of them are not as great because I took them with my phone (I really need to upgrade!!).
I’m getting back to OOTDs so I can force myself to dress well every day. I can’t be walking around looking crazy if I expect to reach out to potential clients on a moment’s notice. After I got dressed, I headed across the street to a new coffee shop that opened up recently. It is so cute! I found a great spot to do some business planning for Gernelle Nelson LLC and two top secret projects that I can’t yet share but am stoked about! Here are some pics from the coffee shop.
And now for my OOTD. I wore way more neutrals than usual for this look, including my husband’s sweater from Express. I call it my tomboy style, haha.
2017 started with a romantic road trip to New Orleans with my husband Brandon and learning that one of my weddings had be published in a magazine! I wanted to just revel in the moment but time waits for no woman. It’s January 19th already. Time is moving on, I should too. I have some goals for myself that require more work and energy than I’ve needed in the past. I’ve already failed a few times to keep my new routine but I’m not giving up. It takes time to establish a new habit so I won’t give up, slack off or be too hard on myself. Just gotta take it day by day and improve.
My Daily Goals
workout 30 minutes
drink water and avoid junk food
prayer and read the bible
hand out a business card and work on something for my company
look at my bank account and budget
My Company Goals
Find a way to network with people one on one each week
I’m getting back into Youtube, first by posting footage I’ve been holding onto. While it’s a lot of work, it’s also a lot of fun capturing everything and looking back at all of the great times I’ve had with my family and friends. It’s like I get to relive the moments over and over. Here’s my intro video.
Aside from reaching the big five year milestone in our marriage, Brandon and I have had so many things happening back to back. I thought I’d share what we’ve been up to in a blog post; here we go.
On The Home Front
We moved into our dream apartment complex a few weeks ago! Eventually we’ll be able to land our dream floor plan, but for now, we’ve settled into a cozy space on the fourth floor. Justice (woof) has adjusted pretty well to our new space. He loves his new bed that we bought for him and tends to eat snacks and store his toys there. It’s actually pretty cute to see him snuggled in there. Our complex is a great place for people who enjoy being social to flourish. There is a happy hour held every Wednesday where residents can mingle of snacks in our 24 hour clubhouse. I’ve met so many fun and interesting people who I think could become our friends in the future.
Brandon and I tend to camp out at night in the clubhouse while working or surfing the web. We could purchase an internet package but it’s nice to get out of our apartment for awhile. One of our favorite things to do is watch DVDs over dinner in our small home theater. To keep the carpet safe and our food fur free, Justice isn’t allowed in there. We’ve also walked way more than we used to now that there is a park across the street. We even took a 5 mile bike ride up the street and around the corner on a few bike trails. Hopefully, we’ll get a good fitness routine going where we can use the 24 hour gym at the complex as well. One step at a time 🙂
As Far as Work Goes
Brandon just spent most of the last two weeks out of town for work conferences and meetings. He’s been working harder than ever trying to make the project that he and his team are working on a success. There’s a possibility that he could get a raise soon but for now, we’re in the ‘waiting’ stage. It’s been frustrating for him to not know what they will decide since he’s doing his best, but we try to focus on enjoying ourselves together when he gets off work. That seems to really be helping him to relax. I hope he gets the raise but in the meantime, I’m working hard to help him with our finances by budgeting and working on finding clients.
I’ve shot two weddings this month and I have one on the 12th of November. Business is starting to get rolling for Gernelle Nelson! I hosted a photo booth at our apartment’s halloween party and landed some perspective clients, one wedding included. I even met the editor of a local magazine who asked me if I’d like to take images for them sometime. Um,… Yes!! I’m praying for guidance on how to be social, and how I can help others while building my company. Just gotta stay consistent!
That’s enough of the updating, I’ve written quite a lot for the night and don’t want to bore you! Have a good night readers.
It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote. I hope you’re not feeling neglected! My apologies, so much is happening all at once these days. I’ll fill you in on some of the details.
To start, Brandon and I are moving in two weeks! It’s a cozier place in the heart of a historic area in town. It’s full of unique shops and restaurants. My shared studio space is within walking distance, as is a park where I can take Justice (woof) when we need an escape from the apartment during the day. I’m so excited to be moving to an active part of town. There are events happening each week and all we have to do is walk outside. The area is so beautiful, it’s like I’ve landed a supporting role in ‘Hart of Dixie’ and I’m living in Bluebell. If I see Lavon Hayes, I’m going to flip!
My company is starting to get noticed, thanks to regular posts and videos on Facebook and Youtube. I’ve partnered with a media company that sends me wedding clients in the area. They edit images in house so all I have to do is shoot and send! I’m already preparing to shoot two weddings next month thanks to them. I also had this great collaboration with a group of stylists and models yesterday. We had so much fun! I feel like I’ve made some friends in the industry and that these images are going to bring great clients and brand recognition for Gernelle Nelson LLC.
I’d love to chat more but my company is calling! Every day I’m learning something new. Every mistake is an opportunity to improve. Every shoot is a victory and step towards my goals. I appreciate your support!