Washington, D.C. is one of the most cut-throat, competitive, career-driven cities in America. The only two that come close in my mind are New York City and Los Angeles. Moving here was an immensely scary thing. But after two and a half years, I’ve seen a lot change in myself and my business – for the better. Here’s my story of becoming a D.C. photographer, in a place full of amazing photographers.
I moved to D.C. for a job… no not photography. If you’ve been reading my blog a while, you know I work in digital marketing. Nearly a year after I graduated college, I landed a job at a small boutique writing firm in Georgetown. I had no connections here outside of that job offer – no friends, no church, no family. Just my trusty camera with me and a dream for something a little more.
And believe it or not, I had no idea I’d become a D.C. photographer when I got here. I did not start taking paying clients until after I arrived. It was here in the DMV where I realized my trusty little camera had a lot of dream-making power.
Before I knew it, a few sessions for friends turned in to a few sessions for strangers who became friends… and Emily Nicole Photography was born in January 2019 with a vision to specialize in weddings.
This area does not need another D.C. photographer – especially wedding photographers. It can be discouraging to try and build a business in a city that doesn’t seem to need you. But if I’ve learned one thing in business, it’s that the scarcity mentality is a myth we tell ourselves. In a big city like this, there are more brides and future brides than there ever will be photographers.
So how does someone just arrive in a busy metropolitan and start a wedding business? Use your resources. Take advantage of how saturated the market is with like-minded entrepreneurs and get to know people. Here’s how I did just that to earn seven weddings in my first year alone:
If you’re just starting out, or trying to decide if you should, I applaud you!! Take that chance and give it your best shot. Whether you’re a fellow D.C. photographer like me, or you’re one in Richmond, Atlanta, New York City, or any other big city in the U.S., these little strategies I mentioned could help you even in the most saturated markets. It doesn’t produce results overnight, but keep faithfully executing the above for 6 months, and watch how things start to change and grow.
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Looking for wedding inspiration, pro tips and a look into my life and business? Connect with me on Instagram – where my friends call me Em.
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Wedding days can be stressful, but they don't have to be. One of the number one causes of wedding day stress is a disorganized, tight timeline. In this guide, I'm sharing a sample wedding day timeline I use to craft all my brides' wedding day timelines, as well as diving into some pro tips only a photographer might know.