I had a sobering realization the other day. I have been a full-time professional photographer since December of 2013. Prior to that, I sat at a desk for eight hours a day working for someone else, running my side gig after hours and on the weekends. And for those eight hours, nearly all I could think about was getting the heck away from my desk so I could run my side gig.
I envied all the entrepreneurs who were free from nine to five to run their businesses all on their own without the interruption of having to have a traditional job. I wanted so badly to be able to attend all the daytime events that were happening in my industry that my job prevented me from showing up to. I dreamt of having the freedom and the flexibility to attend daytime networking events with other industry professionals.
Yet, after actually going full-time, I somehow lost sight of that. I got stuck in a mindset of sitting at my home office desk day in and day out and trying to build my business from there. I subconsciously deduced that if I sat at my desk long enough, I could grow my business from my keyboard. Luckily, late last year, I reminded myself that it is absolutely necessary for me to get out and shake hands, meet people, and make connections if I want my business to grow in the direction that I have planned. And that is what is in the plans for this year.
Some of the things I have planned for this year are usual staples in my annual plans, some of the things (marked by an asterisk) are brand new to me!
So what are my specific plans to get away from the desk?
What’s up for 2019?
- January Shows and Open Houses
- *The Wedding Fair: Though I have wanted to do this show in the past and even went so far as to fill out their contact form, I have never been a part of it. This will be my very first time participating in a show of this magnitude. They say this is San Antonio’s best bridal show and I am soooo excited! FYI, it’s this Sunday, January 6, at the JW Marriott from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. You can visit me in booth #232.
- Gardens of Old Town Helotes Open House-Later this month in Helotes, I’ll be at GOTH. This venue is famous for it’s beautiful lawns and outdoor wooden dance floor. I’ll be here January 19, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
- *Hill Country Wedding Show-And, your last chance to catch me in person will be January 27 at Reneau Farms during the first ever Hill Country Wedding Show. This will be a chance to attend a first-of-its-kind wedding show… a completely interactive show where you’ll be allowed access behind the scenes. We’ll be live from 1:00-5:00 p.m.
- WPPI Conference
- At the end of February, I’ll be attending the sixth consecutive largest show for professional, amateur and emerging wedding and portrait photographers and filmmakers from all over the world for conference, content and business building interaction. This is always a highlight of my educational year. I have a full two days of live image competition and four days of classes scheduled. I can’t wait for this event!
- WPPI Associate Photographer Designation
- I’m 3/5 on my way there and hoping to secure my last two points to achieve this designation this year. It’s no easy feat, but I’m optimistic I’ll be able to make it. I can’t officially mark this with an asterisk, because I don’t know if it will happen, but I hope this happens!
- *Two Mann Studio Workshop: Metanoia
- THIS workshop has been on by photography bucket list for a number years… actually ever since listening to Erica and Lanny in a platform class at WPPI four years ago. I am extremely elated that I managed to be one of 12 students to get into their Atlanta workshop! I can’t wait for September to get here to learn from this amazing wedding photographer team who are raising the bar to incredible new heights! I am so excited to discover what I’ll be learning from them and can hardly even wait. I don’t want to rush 2019, but September, please get here quickly.
- Studio Completion
- Late in 2017, I started an 800 s. f. home studio. It’s still not even 50% complete, but hoping that changes by the end of this year. Also hoping that I can mark this with an asterisk so it can be something new.
- *STEP South Texas Event Professionals-This is a new organization that I am a founding member of. We are a different kind of industry organization in that our primary reason for being is to educate brides about the intricacies about planning their wedding before they start to make bad choices and mistakes that cost them time and/or money. We plan to host multiple Wedding Academies throughout the year in the San Antonio area.
- *ILEA International Live Events Association (San Antonio Chapter)-This organization is not only one that promotes education in the events industry, but one that also promotes networking and volunteering in your local community. I’m excited to work with all the individuals who are members!
- *NBWC New Braunfels Wedding Chamber-This is the first actual chamber that I’ve ever been a member of. I’m excited to see how this organization and its members can elevate the local wedding industry and work together to help everyone’s business. It’s in the infancy stages of growing, but I’m super optimistic.
So the bottom line is, I’m getting AWAY from my desk more often. I’m meeting NEW PEOPLE more often. I’m getting out of my COMFORT ZONE more often. I’m no longer being a complacent business owner. I’m taking more control. I’m taking action.
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I am a San Antonio-based wedding photographer and I cater to outdoor-loving couples who prefer to have all the realness captured on their wedding days. I am the wedding photographer for the outdoor adventurers, the romantics, the laid back, the snugglers, and those who wish to capture all their realness.
I am absolutely in love with capturing the kinds of weddings where there are more hugs than handshakes, the dance floor rumbles all night long, and chairs are pretty much rendered useless after dinner. Whiskey bottles are passed around, most of the wedding party has been best-best friends since kindergarten, Grams is likely to lose her shoes and your partner is much more emotional than you are. These kinds of weddings are my jam!
I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journey and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.
I am a WPPI-C certified professional, full-time wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.
When I’m not behind my camera, you can find me hiking, cycling, backpacking, camping, enjoying water sports, listening to music (Elvis and Prince), hunting for arrowheads, reading audiobooks, occasionally eating a few glazed donuts (my only weakness to sweets) and then re-starting my keto diet about every 10 days. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of.
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