{modern, stylized and urban couture~ san diego county based destination photographer}

Nicole Benitez







I am a Modern Stylized and Urban Couture Photographer based in San Diego {Southern California} and always available for session and wedding travel. Specializing in Modeling Portfolios, Commercial and Editorial Photography, Weddings, Couples, Kids and Seniors.

I love God, cupcakes, handbags, shoes, my family and wine. We recently moved back to California after my husband retired from the Marine Corps and we are living life in the Southern California sunshine.

Thanks for stopping by, make sure you leave some comment love so I know you were here. oxox


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Then and Now... Confessions of a Momtographer || Fallbrook Photographer

In a recent series of posts in a facebook group that I belong too {shout out to my p31 girls}, they were posting pictures from when they started their businesses compared to now. Holy WOW!!!! For one, there are so many talented women in the group and to see how far they have come from then until now.. it was nothing short of inspiring.
This morning I was looking through my backup disc drive and decided to take my own journey down memory lane. I started my business {I use that term very loosely for the first two years!!} in the summer of 2008 with a shiny new canon rebel camera, 5 kids ranging from 2-10 years old, a husband that travelled Sunday- Friday every single week of the month and a dream with no plan. Did I mention I had absolutely no experience and no idea what I was doing?! I looked through folders upon folders of pictures from those early days and alternated between laughing out loud and wincing at the horrible color, composition and just flat out lack of knowledge.
 If I could go back and tell myself what I have learned in just 3 1/2 short years.. I would in a heartbeat. Being in business for yourself is hard!! Working from home is hard {especially with kids}. We think that starting a business and working from home is going to give us the freedom to bring in some money, be there with our kids and do something for ourselves.
It's true, you may bring in some money but you'll quickly learn that you are charging too little and end up burnt out or barely covering your expenses and making $.10/ hr. You'll be able to be there with your kids, but your kids are also there when you feel that you need to work. Stop, start, stop, start..mommy. mommy! MOMMY!!! and an editing session or replying to emails just took you a 10 hour day to complete.. never mind trying to market or connect with vendors. It will definitely give you the opportunity to do something for yourself, but what about all of the other things that we have to do for ourselves and our family.. grocery shop, clean, be a mommy or a wife?
I don't say these things to scare you off, quite the opposite. If you learn as much as you can from those that have already been through it and are successful, set boundaries and schedules for yourself and clients and learn and shoot as much as possible.. the journey is amazing and rewarding and you can be successful at running a true business, being there for your kids and doing something for yourself that you love!
This post is just the first in a series throughout the year to inspire and help your business succeed. If you have questions, please feel free to post them in the comments below, hit me up on my fan page or shoot me an email.
 I am completely embarrassed to even put these out there, but maybe it will serve as a tiny bit of inspiration for other momtographers that have a dream, a drive and are just starting out.
THEN- Feb 2009

Now- Dec 2011

THEN- Nov 2008 
This is one of my first ever paying clients

Now- Nov 2011
 Praise the Lord that I had some awesome mentors to help develop my own style.

THEN- June 2009

Now- August 2011

THEN- Dec 2008
This picture hangs in my house STILL {in the most awful sepia color tone}, I can't make myself take it down. It serves as a daily reminder with how far I have come.

Now- My munchkins from Christmas 2011

I'm glad I am not sitting beside you all to listen to your laughter as you look through these. And THANK YOU to my clients and friends that have been there since the beginning and those we have met along the way!
Happy Hump Day!
oxox
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2 comments:

Christina Lee Photography said...

Wow, thank you for this post!
First of all I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your style! I am a momtographer that {trying} started my own business a year ago. I recently moved out of the area I started my "business" in and am struggling to meet other photographers in my new area. I have gone back and forth between quitting or going for it even harder. This post helps me to realize it takes time. Thank you
Did you have "mentors" in the sense of meeting with them, assisting them, learning hands on from them? If so how did you go about that?

{Nicole Benitez Photography} said...

Christina, THANK YOU for commenting and being so honest! Don't quit. I promise that in time and a lot of practice, it comes! I did have a couple of mentors Justin and Mary Marantz for one. They are amazing and inspiring! Partly I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time to be able to shoot with them and they were awesome. I also did a few workshops with photographers that aligned with what my goals were. I got real with my own goals and style and started asking questions. I would ask around to photographers that you admire and see if they would be willing to help you out. oxox