Why I Became a Private Photo Editor & Quit Wedding Photography
All of the photos on this site and in this blog post are shot and edited by Katie Rivera - Boutique Private Photo Editor & Film Photographer.
There I was, stuck in a Houston airport at 4:00am after spending almost 20 hours in terminals and planes trying to make my way back home after an extremely trying wedding weekend out of the country. It was one of those moments where I realized that I needed to make a huge change to my career.
How did I get to that point? Let’s rewind it back. Before I became a private photo editor and opened up my boutique photo editing services, I used to be a full-time wedding photographer. I would shoot 26+ weddings and over 80 session per year with no one else on my team other the occasional second shooter the day of weddings. So, why would I quit my six figure wedding photography business that I worked really hard to build? Read on.
“A couple of years into my photography business I knew I needed a challenge, so I starting incorporating film into my work.”
I was used to challenged growth and learning from studying Fine Studio Art & Photography in college, so naturally, I jumped into film photography and hybrid shooting for my biz. To cover my costs, I had to raise my pricing of course. My wedding photography business was based in Lubbock, TX — a smaller city in Texas that is 5+ hours away from Dallas, 7 hours from Austin, and 10+ hours from Houston. The average amount spent on wedding photography in my city is about $3,500 — so, I began booking more out of town weddings at a higher cost. Great! It was really awesome and I loved being able to shoot in new-to-me places.
From there my business grew at a faster rate. My work during this these two years was featured on Belle Lumiere, Wedding Sparrow, Trendy Bride, Fount Collective, Inspired by This, Adorn, Brides of North Texas, Dear Gray Magazine, and five print issues of the The Knot - Texas. I’m sharing those features to just show you just how hard I was hustling in a short amount of time. Let me tell you, it was non-stop.
When your home base and business locations don’t often overlap, that’s when major sacrifices have to be made. Traveling and shooting weddings out of town and out of the country alone has it’s costs. When I wasn’t shooting out of town I was shooting 3+ sessions per week at home. My fiance, then boyfriend at the time, was employed with normal office hours, causing me miss the majority of my week nights and weekends at home.
Returning back to the story of my overnight airport terminal stay — I had to stop in four different major cities before returning home back in the U.S. due to bad weather and missed connections. In that terminal at 4:00am, I had a moment where I really felt all of the missed weekends and weeknights at home — I felt them all at once. In that moment, I decided I needed to quit wedding photography to make room for something else. My passion and drive in my business had gone too far. I was trying to fit life around my photography business rather than the way it should be.
A really nice colleague came to the rescue. She gave me advice on how to become a private photo editor and use my skills that I already had to help serve other photographers. Me creating a business that helps other photographers cultivate time to more present in their work and their life is as if everything came full circle. That is why I started and closed a successful wedding photography business, so that my path could take me into private photo editing. Every day as a private photo editor, I get to help photographers avoid the burnout trap that I went down, and in return I get to live life on the weekends and weeknights. Becoming a private photo editor has completely changed my life and career. Serving other photographers by helping them cultivate time to more present in their life & business is a dream.
“Becoming a private photo editor has changed my life & Career.”
Helping weddings photographers gain more clarity and ease in their life and business with outsourcing is my passion, and I’m so glad I found it.
The photographers I have built a relationship with are awesome! I serve amazing photographers all around the world. I have edited weddings from photographers based in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, NYC, UK, Hawai’i, just to name a few. To me, this is one of the coolest jobs ever. If you want to know more about outsourcing your wedding photography editing, please reach out - I’d love to chat with you!
All of the photos on this site and in this blog post are shot and edited by Katie Rivera | Boutique Private Photo Editor.