CELEBRATING 5 YEARS // VIRGINIA WEDDING + YOGA PHOTOGRAPHER, KRYSTA NORMAN

JUNE 30, 2019

FIVE YEARS IN BUSINESS!!!!!

That’s right another year in the books for Krysta Norman Photography!!

Statistics show that 50% of small businesses will fail within the first 5 years, so this is a HUGE milestone for me!

This past weekend I was away celebrating a friends bachelorette party and with a little rosé and an ocean view I started dig into the feels and reflect on the past 5 years. A few things kept surfacing: opportunities + learning experiences.

OPPORTUNITIES

I have photographed clients in Jamaica, Mexico, Iceland, France, Italy, Turkey, Spain and Portugal.

OPI has hit me up in my DMs and I fangirled so hard. Still waiting on a sponsorship and also on Haribo for some recognition – haha!

I have been featured in publications that I’ve dreamed about including Southern Living, Southern Bride, Virginia Bride Magazine, The Knot DMV and recently as of this week Harper’s Bazaar/Town + Country.

I worked a wedding with secret service and I even met the President of the United States.

I broke into the yoga community and started photographing studios + teachers.

LEARNING EXPERIENCES

COURAGE // I think this was a big one, finding the courage to say no. I’ve been taken advantage of for “exposure,” especially early on. Being eager and motivated to start a business, I found myself jumping at all opportunities including those that wouldn’t benefit me or my brand. This I feel like is the most typical thing to happen to a vendor – especially photographers. I’ve been asked to work for exposure <read that as free, meaning zero dollars> I don’t know how many times. It’s come from publications, businesses, influencers, vendors, potential clients and even my friends. Don’t get me wrong there are ways to collaborate on a project without exchanging money, and to be honest those have been some of my favorite creative projects but the difference is it’s a mutually beneficial project. The opposite of that would be the idea that my tag on an instagram post for hours worth of work *might* bring me actual money to pay for things like bills, groceries, insurance and my lifestyle.

WORK ETHIC // Good and cool things happen to those who hustle. (That might be my new moto). I’ve had some pretty neat things happen over the years that sometimes I still can’t believe, mostly the travel and the lasting friendships that have come by way of vendors and clients.

RELATIONSHIPS // Fostering the right relationships with the right people have been key. The wedding industry is wild, there are so many vendors and tiers in which to operate. It’s been incredibly important to find the people that I not only respect + look-up too but, also who are genuinely good human beings. I feel like I’ve found my circle and I’m so grateful to have them in my personal and professional life.

ACCOUNTABILITY // As a solopreneur every task is my responsibility, which means I had to learn accountability pretty quickly. If my website goes down, I’m the IT department. If I have a bank account issue, I’m also the finance department. There are so many things that pop-up that I end up problem solving, because if I don’t, then they don’t get done. Add in clients, and it’s making sure that I apologize for when I mess up – because I’m human and I do. So it’s showing up everyday for myself, by business and my clients.

VOICE // In a digital world and an industry that runs on perfection, it’s hard to stay consistent and true to your voice. There is a ever present pressure to build followers, make 6 figures, have the most likes on a photo, the most comments on a post or published in the most prestigious magazine. These are measurements of success, but it’s so easy to lose your voice in the hustle and just wanting to “do what everyone else is doing, because that seems to be working.” It’s taken years (you know, about 5) for me to really start to share more of myself in my business because, it’s terrifying to be vulnerable. It’s also equally as hard to admit when I’ve made a mistake (practicing accountability) and when to stand up for myself.

REPUTATION // That saying, “reputation is everything,” it’s real. My name and my business are one in the same, tied together so tightly that they can’t be separated. Showing up daily to make sure I’m serving my clients the best way I can through communication, education and product delivery motivates me as well as showing up for other vendors through open communication, meetings, etc. Reputation is your legacy and it’s your invisible business card.

I think those have been my big takeaways for year 5.
Cheers to a successful year 6!


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