That Was The Before and This is The After

Whew!  All the prep that was needed for the Canwell Show and now its all over.  Brilliant day.  Biggest, majorest (work with me here, English is a living language) outcome is that yes, I now consider myself a professional photographer (i.e. I sold stuff to non-friends and non-relations, what is the definition anyway?).
So what happened and was all the fuss worth it?
My first stall 🙂
I’ve been excited/stressed for the last few weeks, pretty much since I decided to go forth and see how this new venture would work out.  I’ve been self employed for three years so know some of the ropes but this photography lark was new.  Talk about steep learning curve!  And talk about the nerves of steel required to show people pictures I had taken.  The trauma of possible rejection – The Horror the Horror!
Soaking up the Sun
The culmination of the last few weeks was on Saturday when I went public.  I drove 60 miles from my house – way out of my comfort zone to the wilds of Staffordshire (um not that Staffs is uncomfortable, very nice, friendly people,  but that I was assured that I wouldn’t meet people I know, I wanted uncharted territory for me).  I did a county show with WiRE (Women in Rural Enterprises) and Canwell became my first  because they had a space available on a timeline I could work towards.
Go in then!
I dragged a good friend along for support, comfort and someone to boss me about a bit. Contrary to popular belief I don’t feel comfortable with the throwing oneself around part of self-employment, so when I started lagging a bit, my friend would push me back out there.  She’s a Head Teacher and mostly deals with 8 year olds (and their parents) so is very good with motivating and being a bit strict.
Canwell was a great launch pad.  When I started at 10am I was still doing Market Research and by 11am, I  was well on my way to Yes this is my actual business and Yes I know what I’m doing.  
Canwell Winner Looking Good
Giving Me a Big Wink for the Camera!
Lots of chat, lots of schmoozing, lots of learning.  My primary goal at this show, wasn’t to sell a ton of stuff (but I did sell some) but to find out/confirm in my own mind if this is really really what I want to do.  And Yes it is.  I’m enthusiastic and passionate about my photography, I was comfortable, knowledgeable and waxing away very lyrically.  Oddly, my first business – The Truly Useful Company came up a lot too.  Double the fun 🙂
At this point I feel I should thanks many family friends and colleagues for their support and kind words:
Lucy – for support on the day and on going
Marie Percival – for her belief in me and not saying: “I told you so” too often
Katherine, Clive and Vicky – for putting up with me and my camera
Jill Ming – for the initial push to do a show
Oh list could get too long so I’ll just cover it with a blanket – Thank you Everyone I know!
There will be another show.  Not sure where yet. I have the kit, the confidence, a great product and after the butterflies left, it was kinda fun.
Now back to work.  I must contact my new contacts and track down my next event.
Later
J
Michaelmas Daisy – 2009

2 thoughts on “That Was The Before and This is The After

  1. How could I read this wonderful blog and news and not leave a comment. A thousand congratulations on your first show and many more on your sales. It is nice to feel wanted. However your great photos speak for themselves and I am not surprised you sold some to the general public, hence not friends and family. Looking forward to hearing about the next show.

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