My first photography job was a Sweet 15, close to 10 years ago. I remember I charged my neighbors $40. I clearly had no idea what I was doing (in terms of pricing). Keep in mind I wasn't even calling myself a photographer at the time. I was just a guy with a camera and an interest for photography. I bring this up because this was the day I realized I could turn my passion for photography into a business. This was the day Mr. FlakoVeli was born and I didn't even know it.
I was amazed to see someone would actually dig into their wallet for me to do something I do on my free time. It was almost weird. For the first time in my life I actually enjoyed making money. This changed everything for me. From that moment on I began to look at photography different. I came to respect it. How couldn't I? It fed my family and paid my bills- still does.
Just recently I did a Sweet 16 for 20x the price of my first job. Which is what inspired this post. I was humbled to see how much I have grown since then. Not only as a brand but as an individual. The journey has not been easy. Try explaining to a bride how you lost half the pictures of her wedding, or tell a club owner that the pictures came out horrible because the rooms were too dark. We're talking about years of trials and errors. That's the catch of being a self-taught photographer. You have to be able to learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others.
I freelanced on the side for a while until finally starting my blog 3 years ago. Little did I know it would soon evolve into a lifestyle. I have traveled many states. Met some famous people. Experienced amazing things. Heard awesome stories. Created unforgettable memories. All this because I picked up a camera and decided to think and create. I hope these words move some of you enough to spark some motivation in you. Find something you love to do and figure out a way to turn it into a business.