Some researches state that 80% of small business fail within the first 18 months, others believe that only 50% of small businesses survive the first 5 years… Regardless of which stats are correct, I am proud to say that I’ve been in photography business for 10 years. It has not always been easy, but the fact that I am still here 10 years later really means that I have found something that I was meant to do.
I have a confession to make, I don’t really know which exact date to consider ABL Photography’s birthday. It’s been about 10 years since I have embarked on this journey, but I can’t quite decide on which day exactly was ABL Photography actually born. Was it when I did my very first photography course? when I got me first SLR camera? when I first photographed a friend’s wedding? when I got my first paid commission? when I attended my first photography convention and joined SWPP? or was it when my first website went live? I don’t really have the answer, but all of these things happened approximately 10 years ago.
Another important milestone also happened in February 2008. That day using my friend’s studio lights, we have set-up a studio in my living room. I invited lots of friends for a practice run, and had about 6 families taking up the offer to take part. My friend and I were both pretty clueless about studio photography, so we took hundreds and hundreds of photos, most of which were pretty useless, but we also ended up with some really good photographs. And the most amazing thing was that one of the families actually placed an order for framed products! I loved it all so much, I have decided to buy my own studio lights and I just never stopped from that moment on.
Here are some of the photos that I took during that very first practice session in February 2008.
I still remember the excitement and the enthusiasm that I was feeling that day… and I am delighted to say that I still have the same excitement before every shoot now. The difference is that after 10 years of experience I know exactly what I am doing, and I am prepared how to deal with any possible challenge in any situation in any type of shoots.
The other big difference is the change in my own perception of what I do. Even thought I could take some decent photographs 10 years ago, I did not believe they were good enough, so I was not comfortable charging for them… and that was perhaps the most difficult obstacle that I had to overcome to make it into a proper business. I now believe in myself and I love what I do. It’s been challenging 10 years, but I am so happy I’ve had a chance to follow my heart and get to the point where I am today. I’ll be planning a celebration soon!
Here is the timeline of all significant event of the past 10 years: