Happy Anniversary to SMP…. {Fredericksburg VA photographer}

When I started my photography business, I said some silly things.

I said that I only wanted a hobby.

I said that you don’t need a super fancy camera if you have a great eye.

I said that I specialized in…. everything, really.  I think at one time, I couldn’t even fit everything in one tagline.  “Specializing in maternity, engagements, babies, children, families, newborns, seniors, headshots, events…. ” Lord, have mercy.  I do believe that is what one calls “finding themselves.”

So, if you are a photographer, you probably already know what happened: I upgraded my camera…three times.  Yes, you need a great eye, but you also need the right equipment.

I found a style.  And the most amazing thing is that I found that a lot of families really loved my style.  Which meant my hobby grew and flourished into a bona fide business.  The first time that someone called me that I didn’t know and said “I just love your work and would love to schedule an appointment” I literally got off of the phone and jumped up and down on  my couch.

As my business grew, I prayed hard for guidance.  Because, truthfully, I did not love every type of photography.  And I wanted my clients to always get my passion and love poured into their finished product…so, I made a decision to specialize.  To really specialize, not specialize with twenty tags but to focus on what gives me goosebumps: expectant mommies, the birth of a new baby, a precious, sleepy newborn and of course my boudoir division, which has really taken off.

And I began to learn more and more and more.  To study my craft more and more.  To join professional associations to surround myself with true, seasoned professionals. To attend classes and conventions, to soak up the knowledge of far more experienced pros, to raise my hand every single time and say “I don’t know the answer! Teach me!”

And believe me, there were some bumps… a lot of bumps… and some pictures that I wish I had not taken. (hahaha…of course I will never share those!)

But, I began to say with a straight face “I am a photographer” when people asked what I do.

There are a lot of photographers around today.  That is okay, there is room for us all.  I love to meet guys and gals that are picking up a dslr for the first time and trying to figure out what all of those knobs do, because I have been that photographer. I love the excitement of beginning their journey~ we all start somewhere! And I love meeting with them and sharing some of what I have learned, as so many have done for me.  And I think it is only fair since I still have so much to learn from those that have been doing it longer and better than I.

It is the eve of my business anniversary.  A lot changed this year, and all for the better.  Stephanie McFarland Photography has grown by leaps and bounds, fertilized with learning and nurturing and striving to deliver a product to all of my clients that they cherish for many, many years.

Photography is important.  Very, very important.  It is what helps you remember today.  It is what captures a moment with someone you love, or for someone that you love, because we never know what will happen tomorrow.  It makes us hold a kinder mirror to ourselves, and see an inner bombshell where we thought only a soccer mom lived.

Invest in your memories.  Invest in a photographer that invests in their business, that continues to learn, that feeds their business with excitement and passion.

And thank you ALL for all of the beautiful moments that you have shared with me.  Thank you for believing in me, trusting me, encouraging me and just making me so, so happy I could just bust!

And Happy Anniversary, Stephanie McFarland Photography!

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