Today is April 12th and on this same day in the year 1963 the Beatles released the track “From Me to You” in the UK.

With love from me to you… I was born in 1977.

My business is a gift. I feel that way this morning. I have a day that is booked from nine to five and yes, it is a wonderful way to make a living. I am a photographer. Have you ever considered becoming a photographer? I encourage you if you are.

I will tell you what my life is like as a photographer. I will also also share my perspective and strategy on the business side as I continue to develop my own business model. I have been in business for more than ten years now and I’ve torn my own business down more than once to rebuild, experiment with other platforms, and also to consider the industry as a whole. I ran into a client from about five years back and she said, “You are still taking pictures? I thought you closed your business?”

I closed my business in 2012 to refocus and to reconsider. I had hit a wall and I wasn’t sure if I wanted the life I was living. The biggest part of me just wanted a clear conscious and peace. I didn’t want to be the woman laying in bed each night making checklists of deadlines and orders. “You have to get caught up Amber.” I counted hours on my hands like I would need to amputate one to allow myself permission to rest.

I felt guilty all the time. I felt guilty because I knew that I was not performing at the standard I would set for myself. I would describe it as being on stage and missing a line while playing it off to the audience. The show must go on and maybe no one will notice that I forgot an entire passage.

Business is stressful and “getting caught up” is just as stressful as feeling like it is not possible to get caught up. SLOW is the panic of “Where is the business!!?”

The photography industry has a distinct peak season here in Washington state. I would describe January-March as the “OUT OF BUSINESS” months. Of course this phenomenon does not need to exist. One can write a business model to allow a different influx of clients for those normally down times. I haven’t in the past, but I expect that to change.

My strategy so far has been to ride the wave like a mother and a brand new baby. I sleep when the baby sleeps. I am up when the baby refuses to sleep and when the baby won’t stop screaming I lock myself in another room, I cover my ears and I cry.

Except I am not a new mother. I am experienced and that is what I have to teach.

Liz Hayes will be here at 10:30 am to assist. She is learning here weekly atA Smile Like Yours Photography for about a month now. I am currently teaching her how to make video slideshow presentations for our clients. Today she will be making money. Liz is a busy mother with two toddler boys. She is also an army veteran.

Tabitha Bonfield is a probationary apprentice here at A Smile Like Yours. This just means that I just recently interviewed her and we are giving it a little more time to see if this is going to be a good fit for logistics. Tabitha a super-mom of three kids. They are her number one priority and so we are working to create a schedule that jives with that. She will be here today to assist at 9 am for a shoot and then back again to assist in the afternoon!!‪#‎rockstar‬.

My best with smiles,
Amber Garibay

If you are interested in our apprenticeship program send an email to ambergbay@gmail.com

We are also looking for model representative. Email: ambergbay@gmail.com for more info.

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