Five Things I learned in My First Year of Being Full Time Photographer

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On this date, last year, it was my last day at my part time job.  You can find out all about why I made the decision to leave on this blog post by clicking HERE.

 Today’s post is bit short (not much photos to share), but sweet! I wanted to share my top three points I realized and/or learned this year as it was my first year as being a full time entrepreneur/wedding and portrait photographer.

First off, I am BLOWN away at how FAST this year has been. I feel like it flew because of how busy I have been all year. Before I left my part-time job, I had the fear of not being busy. Well, I had no reason to fear. This has been my busiest year yet and I can see it only getting busier. 🙂

Since today marks the first year since my last day, here are the three main points I wanted to share that I learned:

  1. Be Patient. There were months were I would be booked out so far in advanced and then there were months where I feared no one would come to work with me. Once I hit those months, I just wanted to rush to the next month that I had bookings. This tested my patience, because as I waited, the clients still came. I always had something to do during the slow months, though. This is what kept me busy, even if I did not have weddings or portrait session.
  2. Working Harder Than I Ever Have. I thought of myself as a hard worker, but this year really tested myself. I had to push my limits. This meant some nights I was almost pulling all-nighters. I had to manage my time even better.
  3. There Is No Set Schedule. (This kind of going with #2!) This point was hard for me. Since I didn’t have to “clock-in” somewhere, there were some days where I would take my time getting to work.  I am still working on this, too!!
  4. Savings. Since I did have “slow months”, I had to financially save and prepare myself for the months with out the payments. This was challenge for me, as I would always want to invest in my photo equipment or software when I had that “extra” money for the month(s).
  5. Days Can Get Lonely. Although I feel like I work best alone & focused in my office, I did have some lonely days. To help with this, I would make sure I would go out and go to the gym, take a walk outdoors, and/or make some plans with friends. I am blessed to be in an such an awesome community that I have some friendors (friends that are also vendors!), specifically other photography friends! I love having co-worker dates with them. We get our own business needs done, but we also have time to chat & hang out, as if we were all in an office together. They are my favorite!

Are you a fellow entrepreneur and felt this way, too? What else did you learn your first year of being full time or even this specific year? I would love to hear! 🙂

Thank you so much for not only checking out today’s blog post, but helping me give such an amazing year! Feeling OH-SO-VERY grateful for how well my first year of being full time has gone. From the bottom of my heart, I am truly thankful. Thankful for all my loved ones, the creative community, and most my clients!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!! <3

Shelby Danielle
{Follow me of Instagram for daily updates: @ShelbyDaniellePhotography}

About Me

I am a wedding & portrait photographer based in Southern California and beyond!

I started at the young age of 16 in my hometown of Orange in Orange
County, California. As my photography business grew and I got married,
life took me to the Chino Hills area, making me more centered to all
major Southern California counties.

Here on the blog, you will
see a variety of posts regarding tips, sessions & weddings, and my
personal life of being a wife, mother, and business owner. To learn more
about me or to see more daily adventures, follow me on Instagram and/or

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