This is a VERY exciting day for me, y’all. I have been working hard and anxiously awaiting for the moment that I could announce both my brand new website AND the fact that I am blessed enough to have taken my photography business FULL-TIME!
It’s actually insane to me when I think back to the place I was exactly one year ago today. I was still living in Raleigh working a full time job in corporate fitness, which I loved, but I knew there was something missing. Even though I truly enjoyed my job so much and felt like I was really great at it, there was always a voice inside telling me that I could do more. But I didn’t quite know what “more” meant at the time. Throughout my three years at that job, I was always working some type of “side project,” and looking back it all makes sense as to why I constantly felt the need to do that. I came to the realization that I was actually a creative entrepreneur living in a science-based, corporate world. Don’t get me wrong…I am still very passionate about health and fitness and enjoy teaching a few classes a week. But deep down, I think I always subconsciously knew that it wasn’t the full time career I actually wanted.
Before moving to Wilmington, I was “hustling” my photography business in the mornings and evenings and on lots of weekends. I knew it was my goal to “one day” take it full time when the stars aligned so that I could have flexibility in my schedule, take better care of myself, and one day have the ability to be a stay at home working mom. I know for a fact that God placing me and Jordan in Wilmington was ultimately what allowed me the opportunity to make that dream a reality a whole lot sooner than I could have imagined! Not the being a mom part (no plans for that too soon) but the part about being able to take my business full time, that is!
To make a very long story short, Jordan and I had been really wanting to move back to Wilmington for about a year. I say “move back” because we both went to college here, but didn’t know each other until we lived in Raleigh (fun little fact). Every time we came back down to the coast to visit, we just felt this pull to one day live here together. After a lot of thought, prayer, and waiting about a year, Jordan was presented with the perfect job opportunity in the area. We had just gotten engaged (like literally he proposed to me the same weekend he interviewed for the position), so we had to make the decision to both leave our current full time jobs and make this dream actually happen! It’s crazy how quickly it all went down. We got engaged, he got the job, we had to find a place to live in Wilmington and a sublease to take over our place in Raleigh, we put in our notice at our jobs, we packed up the townhome and rented a U-haul, and we were in our new home on the coast in about 2-3 weeks! I honestly don’t know how the heck we pulled it off, but somehow we did.
Although it was scary making the change, it always felt right. I never had a doubt in my mind that this was where we were supposed to be, even though all of the full time job opportunities I thought I had lined up seemed to fall through. God brought us here for a reason and he made sure I felt secured in that. Because right away we were connected with the BEST people and built the most incredible community. Somehow through this community, word spread and opportunity after opportunity came along for me to tap into my photography business. Eventually it got to the point where I could no longer keep up with the many part time gigs I had going on. And it was time to decide whether to keep up the hustle and eventually burn out completely, or take the leap to make time to truly pour into my business and take it even further. I am so proud of where I was able to take my business WHILE juggling a million other things on my plate, so I can hardly wait to see where it’s able to go now that I have created more space in my life for it to grow even more!
I could seriously go on and on about how incredible it is to be surrounded by the best community, to be supported by the sweetest and most genuine clients, to still be able to serve the Raleigh/triangle area community within a quick car ride, to be asked to travel around the state and the country to photograph the most important day of my client’s lives, and to be doing what I LOVE and what brings me so much JOY every single day. But I will end it here, simply with all the gratitude I can express.
Thank you all for supporting me, for encouraging me, and for walking alongside me in this journey. Here’s to a beautiful start or something new!
*photos by Arisa Yoon, edited by me.