The other day I got the latest edition of the ABA Journal in the mail which proudly featured an article entitled “Why I Love Being a Lawyer” on the cover.
Naturally, being the sarcastic person that I am, I snapped a quick picture of it with my cell phone and uploaded it to facebook along with the caption “because I’m really a photographer instead.”
I started the photography business while I was in law school, as a creative outlet and something fun to do aside from spending all the hours in my day highlighting in a textbook.
While studying for the bar I would spend my free time doing things to better my photography business and attract more clients. During that time it slowly became clear to me that perhaps being a lawyer wasn’t what I was supposed to do with my life.
Even with that idea forming in my mind I sucked it up and continued to study.
After two full days of testing and three months of waiting, I found out the results of the exam.
As soon as Matthew read the words “We would like to congratulate you…” out loud, I started laughing and crying at the same time.
In the time that had passed since taking the exam and finding out the results, I’d already shot two weddings. You can’t get a job as a lawyer until you’ve passed the bar exam, and instead of waiting passively, I spent that time marketing myself as a photographer.
I improved my website, had sample albums made, and started blogging more.
I had a decent flow of new client inquiries and was staying pretty busy with the clients I already had.
About a week after finding out we had both passed the bar exam, Matthew and I got sworn in as members of the Georgia bar.
Matthew knew that my heart was really in being a photographer, and on that day he gave me my first antique camera as a symbol of the new life I was making for myself.
Being a wedding photographer is wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but it’s not always as easy as it seems from the outside.
It’s so much more than just taking pictures, it’s running a business every waking hour and simultaneously scheduling time for family and friends.
Some days I get so worried about finances and the future that I can’t help but cry.
Then there are days like today, where I see the cover of a magazine for another life that could have been mine.
I’d be lying if I said that I don’t wonder every now and then what my life would be like had I become a practicing attorney instead.
How it would feel to have a steady income and not pay an obscene amount for private health insurance every month.
But on days like today I realize how very proud I am of everything that I’ve done all by myself .
How good it makes me feel that I have this business that I created from nothing and have turned into something bigger than I’ve ever dreamed of.
That although I may work until midnight some nights, I have the freedom to sleep until noon if I want.
I work in my pajamas and not in a suit.
I can travel to another country to shoot a wedding and not have to ask anyone’s permission to get time off to go to there.
And that my friends…that makes me smile.