Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hobby to Business to Hobby

Way back in the year 1999 my hubby wanted to cheer me up. I was going through a “blue” stage & it wasn’t pretty. The poor man. So what did he do? He threw me a surprise birthday party which I found out about so it wasn’t a complete surprise (thank goodness!). He invited a lot of friends and even arranged for a friend to make the cake. It was a lot of fun.

But what I remember most about that day is that he gifted me with my first (and only at this point) SLR camera. He bought a Canon EOS Rebel and it used film. Actually, it still uses film. I still have it & I still love it. Even with everything so digital these days.

Over the years for either Christmas or my birthday he would buy me a new accessory for it. I have a telephoto lens, a tripod, an external flash, and a trigger for it. I love this camera and I used it a lot.

Once day I decided to try my hand at a little photo business. I started small. Well, I stayed small too. I did a handful of weddings, a few family shoots, and some senior photos. A good year was two weddings and a few miscellaneous shoots. I never pushed it hard but I enjoyed it.

Weddings were fun as my sister soon had the exact same camera so she would come be my assistant. She would keep both cameras loaded and hand them to me to use. I would just switch out my flash. We had a blast hanging out together – even when we were on our feet for 4+ hours.

The only camera I used was my beloved SLR film camera. Digital cameras were becoming popular but were still very expensive. I wasn’t worried at the time.

Then we moved to the boonies – that’s where I live now. I still managed to get the word out that I was here by hanging some flyers in some local stores. I did a few senior photo shoots. I managed a few paying jobs but nothing of any substance.

Finally the digital movement exploded and I hung up my little SLR. I even moved over to digital myself. I still took lots of photos. I still had fun. I just didn’t do it for pay.

After my Mom died at the beginning of the year, my Dad gifted her old digital camera to me. I had a small Nikon point & shoot. It was a good camera to carry all the time but the photo quality wasn’t always the greatest. I know carry a Kodak Easy Share. It’s an older model but the photos that I can coax out of it are better than the Nikon. It’s not quite a SLR camera but has some manual settings – although admittedly I still haven’t read the manual to figure them out. Shhhhh, don’t tell my photography students!

So earlier this year a friend on mine had posted to Facebook that she couldn’t afford to get her twins photos done. I thought, “Hey, I could do that!” So I offered my ability to Lori-Beth. Her twins are certainly adorable and a lot of fun to shoot. In fact, I just did their Christmas photos too.

I’ve been having a lot of fun taking photos of my friends and their families and newborns and more newborns (and hopefully more newborns!). I even had one paying job in the midst of it all.

Right now it’s still a hobby. My camera is not really powerfully enough to do weddings although I did shoot three this summer. Two were done with a borrowed digital SLR camera (some day!!!) and one with my Kodak. That was my sister’s & I’m admitting right now I still have to edit the photos!

I use Picnik to edit them. So when I do a shoot, I will take anywhere from 20 to 100 photos. However, once I do all the editing on them (typically just adding effects like B&W or frames), I end up with three times the number I took. Then I load them to an online service & all the families to order whatever they’d like.

Will I turn it back in to a business someday? Maybe. Right now I’m just having fun with it all.


  1. I absolutely love PICNIK! I use it all the time! Makes my life so much easier!

  2. I find that I enjoy things a lot more when I'm not under any sort of pressure like a "job" would be... I just can't take on one more thing with homeschooling and running our business, but I do have several hobbies that I'd sure enjoy turning into a business as soon as I'm done schooling my kids!


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