I’ve gone back and forth about exactly how to bundle the past ten years into one neat and tidy blog post so many times. It’s incredible as you think back just how much has quickly changed in a decade. It all goes so slow but oh so quickly.
I started with a bank account filled with a years worth of salary saved back and a big dream to chase of owning a business and being my own future maker. I promised myself it was going to be a sink or float situation with all my eggs in one basket. If I didn’t make it after that first year, I’d go back and find a full time gig. If I was still floating at the end of year one, I’d continue chasing my dreams and working hard. At just 23 years old I left my accounting job and told myself I had a year to prove that I could make it on my own. I hustled, and learned so much those first few years. I cried myself to sleep on multiple occasions. I can vividly remember questioning if I’d made the right decision but after each portrait session I left giddy, learning more and more while meeting the most precious families. I was starting to learn about myself as a person, and finding my passion for photography along the way.
Since those first years filled with anxiety and fear of the unknown I’ve trusted in God’s journey for me and truly had some life changing experiences! I’ve traveled to a workshop in Oregon as well as recently to one in Texas. I’ve meet hundreds of photographers who have both educated me and also inspired me. I’ve of course met thousands of clients through my tens years. I’ve shot over 200 senior sessions, and have enjoyed creating each session as unique as them. Each person on this journey has made their own impact in my life. I’ve also been featured in a few magazines and websites. It’s been so much hard work and sacrifice, but I wouldn’t change a single thing on this journey. Look at all of these beautiful experiences I’ve been able to go on throughout these past ten years.
So where will we be going into 2023 and the next decade? God willing, we’ll continue meeting new clients and digging deeper into memory making! I will continue to niche down and focus on my seniors as well as serving families here in Nebraska. I’d love to start traveling more and shooting destination sessions to make my seniors feel like their senior year can be intertwined with both memories and experiences. I would love to provide more products that are unique and something you can cherish to pass down to your future families. That is near and dear to my heart, so helping other families create tangible gifts to see their pictures is very important.
I’d love to dig deeper into the education side of my photography business. That means helping new entrepreneurs learn the tricks of the trade as well as encouraging families to help find ways in their daily life to document their own families. I’ve been working on building content geared towards photographers and I’ve always been weary to share those things, so over the coming few years it’s a personal goal to share more about owning a small business and how to maximize things to make a bigger impact. Something big on my pipeline is to host in person workshops for photographers to come and learn at.
I want to hire an associate team to serve more clients. This is something I’ve been tossing around but I’d love to hire on an associate photographer at some point. I’m only one person and it pains me to turn away clients when I’m booked. By opening my schedule to an associate photographer I can increase my bookings to serve my clients while also still getting to do the most important parts of the job. I’d also love to bring on a few more associate members to help micromanage the small tasks. My main goal is client interactions and that’s what I love the most so the more I can do that is what I’d love to set myself up to do.
To wrap things up, I am so grateful for each and every single friend and family member who has supported me, hired me, and has shared my work with their family and friends. I wish I could personally hug all of you individually. My business has thrived over the last decade because of all of you. There are so many things I want to say but am having a hard time putting all the thoughts together on my head. So I will close out with this.
If you’re traveling the path of chasing dreams, keep your head down and focus on your goals. Unfollow the local legends, don’t play the comparison game. Do what you want and don’t forget to niche down in what makes you happy. Go against the normal rules of your industry and offer what is important to you. Set your own standards. And most of all, take some mornings off to drink coffee. Always spend time in gratitude even during the hard days. It will always get better.
If the next 10 years are going to be as epic as the first 10, I can’t wait to get started on all these new projects and goals. Time to push my boundaries and continue to do what inspires me. Thank you, thank you so incredibly much. I am forever humbled.
Much love, Kelsey Homolka with Dirt Road Photography
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