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Friday, October 20, 2017
Being a business owner is no joke. It takes massive amounts of organization, forethought, courage and a ton of patience. Running Abbie Takes Pictures is the hardest thing I've ever done in my 37 years, but it's also the most rewarding.
For almost 8 years, I've been at the helm of this company, wearing all the hats. Photographer, editor, secretary, President, VP of Operations, assistant, janitor... you name it, I've done it. As ATP has grown I've slowly allowed myself to ask for help with different tasks. However, it's never been easy to let someone else be in charge of one of the most important things in my life. In recent years, my staff has really helped me learn the value of trust and teamwork. ATP wouldn't be what it is today without the hard work and dedication of everyone that's been a part of the ATP Staff.
With that being said, I have been thinking a lot about the future of my business. Someone recently asked me, "Where do you see your business in five years? Ten years? Twenty years?" That one question really got my wheels spinning.
Currently, I am single-handedly shooting over 30 weddings a year and have been for several years now. That means 30 weddings, 30 engagements and over 100,000 images to edit... not to mention all the family sessions, newborns and high school seniors I shoot every year. After analyzing our numbers (inquiries & workload), I realized just how many potential clients I'm turning away. You guys come to me because you know you can trust me to consistently capture your adorable families and your special moments and milestones... and it crushes me every time I have to hand one of you to another photography studio because I'm already booked or because I'm too busy.
When that certain someone asked me that important question, a lot began to change for the future of Abbie Takes Pictures. It has become clear that it's time to expand and change things up a bit. This announcement today marks a new phase of ATP that I'm incredibly proud of, as it's a huge step towards expanding my dreams and reaching some pretty big goals.
Without further ado, meet Heather:
I met Heather over 2 years ago at a panel discussion I was speaking on. After the event, she approached me about my Business Coaching program and the rest is history. She then spent several months with me exploring her future path as a photography business owner, while also working full-time as an ICU nurse. After she finished my Business Coaching program, I asked her if she wanted to intern for ATP. 2 months after that, I asked her to join ATP as a Staff Photographer.
It was through this journey that I learned a lot about her. Within the first few minutes of meeting her, I knew we'd be close friends for the rest of our lives. What I didn't know was just how instrumental we would become in each other's lives.
First, I learned that she is INCREDIBLY funny. Her sense of humor is second-to-none. Secondly, it was very clear that her photography skill set was very, very solid. She has been photographing people (families, kiddos, weddings, etc.) for over 15 years and is incredible with her people skills.
I say all of this because it has become clear to me that I'm ready to add another wedding photographer to the ATP Team and Heather is the perfect fit! She will begin shooting weddings in 2018 as we move towards the goal of me shooting a little less over the next few years. (I'm learning that I need to take a day off every now and then!)
Also, a lot of you already know Jen:
She's my right arm, my partner in crime, our ATP Lead Staff Photographer and ATP Office Manager. She also runs her own photography business that specializes in newborns and families. After many discussions and a lot of planning, Jen is now taking over the ATP Newborns! She's been by my side for over 10 newborn sessions the past 6 months and is, quite honestly, doing a better job then I have been with a lot of her innovative ideas with props and posing! I couldn't be more proud of her skill set, her talent and her work ethic. As many of you already know, we are SO LUCKY to have her!!
Now I know what a lot of you are thinking: Will they take photos like Abbie? Can they do Abbie's job? I can assure you, without a doubt, that these two women are completely and fully capable of producing images with the signature "Abbie Takes Pictures" style. They've both been by my side for quite some time, not only learning my signature posing and lighting techniques, but also learning the way I like to capture the essence of our clientele. Heather and Jen have consistently, time and time again, knocked my socks off with the images they are producing!!! (GAHHHH! I'm so excited about this!!)
Sooooooooooooo, yeah! That's the BIG NEWS! We've got a lot of new changes and additions ahead at ATP. I'm so excited and so proud to have an incredible team by my side as we move forward together to capture all of your special memories and milestones!
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