I tend to be a really shy person and would rather stay home, to edit photos, rather than go out to do something on most days. Editing a freshly shot destination wedding, surprise engagement proposal, or family portraits is a type of passion of mine. How can you not like looking at beautiful Hawaiian sunset photos and happy smiling newlywed couples? It works out really well that my love and passion for my work fuel me so it’s something that I can do for hours and hours on end. Sometimes, I’m guilty of losing track of the days that pass by as the sunrises and sets. Some days I’m running a little low on sleep. There is no better feeling than the rush of adrenaline I get from a deadline, providing quality images, and getting so many items checked off my list!
Since the beginning of this year my dreams and ideas have been growing; just as a bird expanding its wings to take flight. My wedding photography business was off the ground, but then I realized… shoot (ha,) while I’m great at a lot of things, trained professionals in their field would make my life so much easier! At first I was posting on facebook to get referrals from friends. While that was great for personal and leisurely activities I found that it was really hit or miss. Then it hit me, I had an “A HA!” Eureka moment! Furiously I started researching networking groups and other business building communities in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The first mixer meetup that I attended went really well! To be honest, I was a little scared, so many people in a room that I need to talk to gives me anxiety. I regretted leaving my computer. At least the newlywed couples and sunsets would smile back at me… While here there was the BIG scary unknown! I started to dig deep, I needed a happy place….
Then I remembered that song “Turn it off!” from when I saw the musical “The Book of Mormon,” in Hawaii. (Squirrel* The musical was awesome! If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must! Highly recommend!). The song had the wrong words for a pick me up, but such a catchy tune! Then I started thinking what if it was called “Turn it on!” and the words were changed to describe how there are things that I really don’t want to do, but just needed a quick shift and burst of much needed positive energy. This thought gave me a light at the end of the tunnel. “Turn it on and do something new, do do do do do do do! Turn it on!” I took a deep breath, put on a smile, and said “Hello!” to those unknown strangers in the room and introduced myself as “wedding photographer extraordinaire!” to see if anyone was paying attention. Turns out everyone is there for exactly the same reason and feeling exactly the same way I was.
Fast forward to a few networking meetups later. I felt more confident, I made more connections, I knew more familiar faces. I worked with more people. I also ran out of business cards. Wow! I was excited! It wasn’t nearly as scary as I initially felt. On the flip side, every now and then I meet some people that are very hurtful and discouraging (and I have totally cried on my drive home).
Its instances like that where my partner gives me a big bear hug, makes me some tea, tells me that I’m an awesome human, and reminds me its totally “OK” to not work with everyone. Its unfortunate that such people exist in a community which is all about meeting new people and building relationships, but those people exist everywhere. It also made me realize the importance of how a little bit of kindness goes along way. I also feel so much gratitude when I meet other like minded individuals.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
Having been a wedding photographer in the wedding industry in Hawaii, as long as I have, it’s important to know who I can trust and depend on. Thus I have been coveting and refining a list of my favorite vendors which includes (but are not limited to): hair and make up artists, florists, musicians, catering, videographers, wedding venues, coordinators, officiants, and restaurants. That being said, I’m also happy to share my findings with you. Send me a message for more information.