That word- bold- it’s one I’ve heard a lot lately. A friend recently described me as such when it comes to my faith, someone else used it to describe the way I ask questions, and just yesterday my designer used it to describe my personality as a whole. That word just keeps cropping up. I like being described that way, it makes me feel brave.

And yet somehow, that boldness never seems to make it over into my photography business. It’s like I’ve compartmentalized boldness into other areas of my life, but refuse to let it spill over to my job. Making decisions when it comes to my business has always been excruciating- I spent an entire HOUR one time debating between a particular editing style for a single photo. I put all these constraints on myself based on what I see other people doing (we all do that, I know I’m not unique in this), and I get so scared of declaring what I want because I’m worried what other people photographers will say.

New York City, Central Park anniversary photographer- Abby Grace

Newsflash, Abby: it doesn’t really matter what other photographers are saying. It matters what my CLIENTS are saying. It matters how happy my brides, grooms, and anniversary couples are. If they’re thrilled with what I’m giving them, the idle chattering of others in the industry doesn’t make a lick of difference. Also, how narcissistic of me to think that others photographers are even paying attention? They’re almost certainly so occupied with making their own businesses successful that they don’t have time to give thought to what a random photographer from Virginia is doing. Ha! That’ll knock me down a few pegs.

I’m sure anyone who reads the blog with any level of consistency has noticed an upswing in the frequency of anniversary sessions posted here, and that’s not a coincidence. My heart’s been changing over the past year from caring solely about weddings, to desiring anniversary sessions as well. But… I don’t just want to shoot them occasionally. (This is where that whole issue of “boldness” comes in- I haven’t seen anyone else state this kind of vision for their business, which makes me scared to be the first. But there’s a certain level of AWESOMENESS with being the first one that I know of, so here we go.)

My perfect vision for my business would be this: a handful of weddings each year with clients who are the perfect fit for my business, with the rest of my schedule devoted to photographing Anniversary Experience sessions.

Las Vegas anniversary photographer- Abby GraceThere, I said it! I love weddings and can’t imagine giving those up- my brides & grooms are the best and I absolutely treasure the opportunity to photograph their big days! But my heart for my couples also goes so far beyond their wedding. I want them to have, as the saying goes, a marriage more beautiful than their wedding day. I believe that the Anniversary Experience is a way to help that vision continue in the years following Day 1 of their marriage- the opportunity to document just how far they’ve come.

This isn’t the kind of change that happens overnight- I’m absolutely still accepting weddings! There’s just more intention behind the process, and the number of weddings I’m booking for next year and beyond will be a bit lower than in years past. It’s terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. I both want to pop a bottle of champagne and hyperventilate. Change is hard, and jumping into the unknown without anyone else’s past success to cling to for hope? That’s scary.

But I didn’t quit my secure, comfortable corporate job to pursue a career in “being safe.” I did it pursue something I love, something that makes my heart swell with affection, something that quickens my pace and brightens my eyes. Both weddings and anniversaries do that for me, so here we go.

Let’s do this.

New York City, Central Park anniversary photographer- Abby Grace

And in case you’ve been considering a session, feel free to click HERE to learn more about the Anniversary Experience. It’s a work in progress as we make site adjustments!

Being bold and making serious changes

July 11, 2014

  1. Yay! So happy for you lady 🙂 I can’t describe how much I treasure our anniversary photos!

  2. Deborah Zoe says:

    GET IT GIRL:)! I can’t wait to see where this takes you!!

  3. I think this is an AWESOME decision for you! And I know that one day, Erik and I will be in front of your camera for our anniversary, too!

  4. Urška Majer says:

    Congrats on the boldness 🙂

  5. Rebekah Hoyt says:

    I am SO unbelievably proud of you, Abby! Way to follow your heart and pursue your dreams! I cannot wait to see your business flourish as you focus more on what really makes your heart happy 🙂

  6. Terri Baskin says:

    Yes! I love this! Congrats on being bold and congrats on leaning on your faith to conquer any doubt that you may have been feeling about this move.

  7. dad says:

    Bold huh? I think I like it….no I think I will go out on a limb and say I know I like it, I think.

  8. Wendy Wade says:

    You SO have this, girl. I think it’s an awesome idea and know you will be immensely successful in it. This post reminds me of a favorite quote “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough” Go big baby! And one day, maybe Jason and I will participate 🙂

  9. Love this, and SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! It’s absolutely a perfect fit!!!

  10. Abby, I love that you’re doing this! You’re inspiring the rest of us to take chances and be bold and do what the Lord is calling us to do with this business. I admire you. I love this!

  11. Mandy says:

    Abby, I recently made this jump. I jumped from 27 weddings a year, to focusing my business more on families and children. Everyone told me it was stupid because “weddings are where all the money is.” but I continued with my new flight and you know what? I just landed a gig with the Women’s Healthcare Group/Lancaster General Hospital photographing billboards for them. And now we’re talking about me becoming their contracted photographer. FOLLOW YOUR HEART. He has a plan for you, and He will make it work. Just keep doing your best and staying true to yourself!

  12. Tina says:

    I am so excited for you Abby! For going after what it is you really want, putting it out there and not being afraid to change the workings of your business! It’s scary but so exciting and I know you will succeed in this 🙂 Congrats on being BOLD!!

  13. Abbeigh Blake says:

    Love, love, LOVE this!! I can’t wait to schedule our anniversary session with you!

  14. Julie says:

    I love this post. You are inspirational!

  15. Nicole Regan says:

    I love this! As a very new photographer and army wife, and not shooting weddings right now but thinking of where I would want my business to progress, I have thought a lot on the things you have shared about your passion! And I love it! Very inspiring and challenging to really choose the right fit for you and pursue what you’re passionate about! And I would LOVE to have an anniversary session with you in the future!!!

  16. Jean says:

    You are BOLD indeed! I treasure the photos you took of our 35th anniversary! You are so talented and I am so proud of you, my sweet granddaughter!

  17. Abby you are an amazing photographer and I love this post because you poured out your heart with thoughts and fears that I too have had. I’m cheering for you 100% Can’t wait to see amazing things happen for you!!

  18. paulina says:

    so excited to start seeing more of these!! =)

  19. Go Abby! I love your focus on anniversary sessions. And other photographers ARE seeing your work… and loving it. 🙂

  20. I think this is an awesome idea! You are SO good behind the lens and you really have a talent for photographing each couples love so naturally. I’m so glad you have decided to shoot more of the everyday life and not just the big days:-)

  21. […] 1. Refocusing from just weddings, to anniversaries + weddings- this is one of the biggest success stories for me. I’m still in transition, as these kind of changes don’t happen overnight, but having the chance to hone my business into a niche market I’ve created for myself has been so, SO life-giving! (read more HERE) […]

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