Northern California has a treat in store. Our Featured Showiteer, Caroline Frost is giving up her New York postal code after nine years to head back home to the West coast. After shooting weddings, romance, and all the natural and industrial images New York has to offer, we have no doubt she will do amazing things in California with her gorgeous photos and compassionate heart. Oh, did we mention that this lovely lady takes 10% off all her revenue to put towards charities she is passionate about? A heart for photography and people? Now that's a Showiteer!
May I introduce to you, Caroline Frost.
I did not study photography in college, and right out school I was at a desk job that was somewhat miserable for me. I wanted to so badly to have a career where I could work for myself and create something, but had no idea where to start and was afraid of being a starving artist. When I got married, researching wedding photographers was so eye opening. My wedding photographer, Melissa Vossler, was a mom of three who was self-taught. I used to think wedding photography was cheesy and lame, but her work showed me that wedding photography could be beautiful art. She was also such a peaceful presence and an emotional support on my wedding day (which had a few stressful bumps in the beginning) and I wanted to be that for other brides too! It sparked my interest as a career that would fit my gifts, interests and personality.
I bought myself a Canon Rebel with my graduation money and all the photography books I could get my hands on. I studied and read the manual and practiced on my friends. I reached out to other wedding photographers that were semi-new but already had a business and sent them my online portfolio.
Jasmine Star's blog was so helpful to me when I was getting started because it had so much great advice and amazing resources for learning the business and getting started, but given how much I felt my personality differed from hers, I ended up trying a different marketing model that focused more on my work than on my personality (though I still think what she teaches is so important- especially to have an awesome about section on your site and to have your own unique voice in your blog post writing and posts etc!) For awhile I used Zach and Jody's “One Collection” business model, which was great for making more profit while still being in a medium-income market, but eventually I felt I was doing too much work for the extra money with the post-wedding sales sessions, and decided to branch out and really go for a high end client and more expensive collections.
I attended Jose Villa's workshop and he was such an inspiration to me. His humble, more quiet personality was something I related to since I'm not as comfortable having a huge internet personality, but he's very service and client-oriented. At our one-on-one during the workshop, he encouraged me to double my prices to get the clients I wanted, and though I was scared, I did it. There was a couple month lull, but then business started pouring in and hasn't stopped. I'm so grateful for his advice and encouragement. He also inspired me to try out film, which I fell in love with and now it is 75% of what I photograph on the wedding day.
It was from that small portfolio of friends and shadowing that I booked my first wedding and engagement session.
I prayed about it and decided to take a leap of faith and quit my desk job which was making me so miserable and focus on building my wedding photography business even though I only had one wedding booked. We didn't want to have to use our emergency savings, but it was there just in case. However, we never had to use it! God was true to his promises. Business came pouring in as soon as a quit and amazing things happened like my first engagement session ever was published on style me pretty (please don't go looking for it – it was horrible! Those filters I used back then, ugh!) and then my first ever wedding was published in The Knot Magazine. I made as much in that first year as I did at my desk job and the next year, triple that! I'm so grateful to have a career that I love!
See what we mean? Her passion for her craft and the people that have helped her form her business are so very apparent. Caroline's love of life will be a welcome asset to Northern California! Don't you think?
If you are planning to move markets like Caroline, Jessica Frey has some helpful tips. Oh, and Rachel Ashcroft moved markets successfully, too! She talked about it on Showit LIVE recently. How many of you are planning a big move that will have you switching markets?
I am anxious to see how Caroline's plans unfold through her blog and on Instagram. Hopefully, she will come back and tell us all her tips for having a successful bi-coastal business! So please keep in touch, Caroline! We are grateful for her taking the time to share her journey with us.
As one last question, we asked Caroline to leave us with some advice to pass on to those about to embark on a new photography career.
Confidence is key to building your business. This is true in your emails, meetings, and pricing. Just because you're new doesn't mean you shouldn't get paid a reasonable hourly rate for your hard work (and don't forget to account for the hours spent editing)!
We couldn't agree more, Caroline. You all are worth so much. Don't ever sell yourselves short. This Showiteer community is made up of so many priceless gems. We would love to hear from all of you! Are you interested in sharing your career path and experiences with us? Let us know! We love to be inspired! Take a peek at all the previous Featured Showiteers.in the series here.
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