How a threat started my photography business

How a threat started my photography business (A nudge forward)

Ever hear people say things like “why me?”, or “why is everything bad happening to me?”

Well today, I have a story for you about how a terrible, aggressive and threatening situation led me to start a super successful photography business.

 

Sometimes, when you’re so submerged in a stressful situation, it’s difficult to see it from a different point of view. You have too much emotion involved. But it could be nudging you to do something different.

 

Over a decade ago, my husband bought me a semi-professional DSL camera, so I could take gorgeous photos of my baby daughter! I was pretty pumped!

The only problem was, I didn’t really know how to use my new camera.

I knew a lot about photo editing from my years of working in advertising. But how to get my camera to take those awesome photos was something I wanted to learn more about.

So, I enrolled in an evening course at my local community college that taught me the fundamentals of how to operate a camera.

It was very technical, but our final project was to use our new skills and photograph 5 creative “wow” images that would be critiqued.

 

Here’s where the story gets messy… 

 

To complete my assignment, that weekend my husband, daughter and I attended a wedding where my husband stood as a groomsman. From the church pew, daughter in tow, I took photos.

Later that weekend, I posted the photos on my personal Facebook page.

Fast forward 6 months, I received a frantic call from the bride and groom. In horror, they exclaimed, that their wedding photographer was threatening to sue them if I didn’t remove the photos taken at their wedding from my Facebook page.

At first, I couldn’t understand what was going on. After all, several of the guests at the wedding took photos and posted them on social media.

Then, I received an email personally from their wedding photographer.

He exclaimed (in a not-so-nice manner) that the contract the bride and groom signed for their wedding photography coverage strictly indicated that only ONE professional photographer could be hired for their event. 

And because they signed this with him, I must immediately remove my photos online.

(He also had some other choice words for me... and suggested I never pick up a camera again. You get the idea.)

I wrote him back clarifying that I was not a professional photographer. I was a guest.

Being a professional photographer had never even crossed my mind at this point.

Long story short, he insisted he would sue my friends if I didn’t remove the photos. 

I ended up taking down the photos to spare my friends any further headaches or threats.

But, I did write their photographer back to THANK HIM.

 

I thanked him for letting me know that I have a real talent for photography. And for letting me know that professional photography might be a great fit for my skill set.

 

Well, needless to say, I never received an email response from him.

The next week, I set up my website and purchased my domain name!

And here we are today - I’m photographing what I love and helping others build multiple 6-figure photography businesses too!

How did you start your photography journey? Was there a life event that made you say ah-ha’ this is what I want to do? Send me a message and let me know!

Hope you have an amazing rest of your week growing your business!

Warmly,

Heike

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