How a Threat started my photography business

Ever hear people say things like “why me?”, or “why is everything bad happening to me?”

Well today, I have a story for you about how a terrible, aggressive and threatening situation led me to start a super successful photography business.

Sometimes, when you’re so submerged in a stressful situation, it’s difficult to see it from a different point of view. You just have too much emotion involved.

But it could be nudging you to do something different.

About 11 years ago my husband bought me a semi professional DSL camera, so I could take gorgeous photos of my baby daughter! I was pretty pumped!

The only problem was, I didn’t really know how to use my new camera.

I knew a lot about photo editing from my years of working in advertising. But how to get my camera to take awesome photos was something I wanted to learn more about.

So, I enrolled in an evening course at my local community college that taught the fundamentals of how to operate a camera.

It was very technical, but our final project was to use our new skills and photograph 5 creative “wow” images that would be critiqued.

Here’s where the story gets messy….

That weekend, my husband, daughter and I, attended a wedding where my husband stood as a groomsman. From the church pew, daughter in tow, I took photos.

Later that weekend, I posted the photos on my personal Facebook page.

Fast forward 6 months, I get a frantic call from the bride and groom. In horror, they exclaim, that their wedding photographer was threatening to sue them if I didn’t remove the photos taken at their wedding from my Facebook page.

At first I couldn’t understand what was going on. Afterall, several of the guests at the wedding took photos and posted them on social media.

Then, I personally received an email from their wedding photographer.

He exclaimed (in a not so nice manner) that the contract the bride and groom signed for wedding photography coverage strictly indicated that only ONE professional photographer could be hired for their event. 

And because they signed this with him, I must immediately remove my photos online.

(He also had some other choice words for me... and suggested I never pick up a camera again. You get the idea of the tone.)

I wrote him back clarifying that I was not a professional photographer. I was a guest.

(Being a professional photographer actually never even crossed my mind at this point.)

Long story short, he insisted he would sue my friends if I didn’t remove the photos. 

I ended up taking down the photos to spare my friends any further headaches or threats.

But, I add write their photographer back to THANK HIM. I thanked him for letting me know that I have a real talent for photography. And for letting me know that professional photography might be a great fit for my skill set.

Well, needless to say, I never received an email response from him.

The next week, I set up my website and purchased my domain name!

And here we are today - I’m photographing what I love and helping others build multiple 6-figure photography businesses too!

How did you start your photography journey? Was there a life event that made you say ah-ha’ this is what I want to do?