Some may have already heard the exciting ‘news’ I’m about to share, but for those that have not here it is… I am excited to announce that I am now venturing into photography ‘FULL TIME’. Some may wonder, “How were you not already ‘full time’?” and others may wonder, Shoot how is she doing this?”
Well…things happen for a reason, right? Lucky for me I am fortunate to have the overwhelming support of my family and friends to make this big leap. I have always been a ‘business’ woman with a full-time job but never considered my photography passion ‘enough’ of a source of income to make it a career. This past week I was given a big push to leave my previous employer and simply follow my dreams. I am passionate, driven, and determined. I will make this dream job my reality and master it to the fullest. This will be a fun, life-changing, and exciting ride. So join me on the adventure!
My success this far in the photography world has not been simply due to talent, camera gear, or connections. It’s an accumulation of these all rolled into one big ball. My previous experiences all play a hand in my present, and hopefully future, success. There are a few traits that I feel are important factors-
- Passion –It might sound strange, but I don’t believe that talent is enough; I believe that passion is the fuel and I am deeply and madly in love with photography.
- Determination & willingness to learn –I spend hours, days, nights, and months practicing.
- Ambition + vision – I knew I wanted to help women in photography (in front of the lens + behind the lens) to believe in themselves.
- A creative mind – In the past I’ve worked with fashion design, interior decoration, styling and art in many forms.
- Business know-how – This was due to many previous positions I held while working for others, learning first hand about business tasks and daily dos-don’ts. If you want to be a success, you’ll want to love learning more than just how to take photos—it’s an entire business and lifestyle to embrace and enjoy. One of the keys to success in the photography industry is to choose a niche, a passion that you combine with photography.
Additionally, I want to highlight the importance of building relationships with clients and like-minded photographers. When I first started out, I didn’t know many photographers. So I started networking on Facebook groups. By being very active—liking, commenting and sharing tips—I gained a whole new group of friends. With the support and the inspiration I felt from these relationships, I started to grow really fast. I mentored with some amazing photographers and met like-minded individuals who have blossomed into lifetime friends. I suggest that if you truly want to grow your business, take time to connect with people. Show your support, write comments, cheer, be positive, and say “THANK YOU” when people care about you and take their time to like your work. Be nice and give people a reason to care.
So… with my exciting announcement I want to CELEBRATE by stating that my relationships build thus far are rewarding to YOU as they are helping me celebrate by a BIG GIVE-A-WAY! Some wonderful small businesses with like-minded passion have joined my team for this give-a-way. You can enter by commenting below and then enter again by following my Instagram account and commenting for a second chance to win. 14 wonderful businesses are highlighted below; I encourage you to click each link to learn more about their unique businesses.
- Tink & Key (https://instagram.com/tinkandkey) has generously offered denim pants and one of their amazing screen print shirts. Talk about adorable!!! This is a small business with a humbling mission to help babies and families.
- Julie Rollins Photography (https://instagram.com/julierollinsphotography/) has generously offered a “newborn action set”. Perfect for the upcoming newborn photographer. I love these simple detailed actions.
- Aspen Willow Props (https://instagram.com/aspenwillowshop) is going to be giving away one of her amazing scarf camera straps. I own 2 and love them!
- Colorvale Actions (https://instagram.com/colorvaleactions/) is going to be giving away $50 credit to their shop, featuring amazing actions and organization tools for new or seasoned photographers (credit for download items only).
- Leighton Heritage (https://instagram.com/LeightonHeritage) is going to be giving away credit to their prop shop, perfect for the photographer on the hunt for new props!
- Strawberry Revolution (https://instagram.com/strawberryrevolution) is going to be giving away ONE Studio Tie-back . Perfect for a mama or photographer!
- Tassel Love (https://instagram.com/shoptassellove/) is one of my favorite tassel vendors. They will be giving away one of their amazing banners. These are also perfect for a mama or photographer!
- Blossom Marketing (https://instagram.com/blossomguides/) is going to be giving away ONE marketing guide to the power of Instagram. Perfect for a business entrepreneur or photographer wishing to gain more business off Instagram!
- Soul Made Goods (https://instagram.com/soulmadegoods) -will be giving away a watercolor print to one lucky winner!
- Photoflashdrive (https://instagram.com/photoflashdrive) will be giving away TWO yes TWO gift cards for personalized USB sticks. These are the great personalized USB that I use for my clients!
- Heart of Gold Apparel (https://instagram.com/heartofgoldapparel) is going to be giving away a gift card to their shop. Perfect for a mama with style!
- Surfer Girl (https://instagram.com/lovesurfergirl) is going to be giving away a travel kit with lotion, facestick and lip balm. Just in time for summer, this kit is the perfect mom necessity for your purse!
- Squijoo will be giving away a one-year membership to one lucky photographer! I love, love, love their templates and style.
- Chica Chica Creations (https://instagram.com/chicachicacreations) will be giving away a beautiful white lace bonnet to one lucky photographer! I use Chica Chica Creations headbands on many of my newborn sessions. They are simple and classic. Perfect style.
Now I need to walk through my fears. The truth is: you can never actually be completely fear-free. So that’s not really the goal here. The true goal is to act, despite the fear you are feeling. Ninety-percent of the time, fear is a just thought running through your mind and has nothing to do with reality. The best thing you can do, in order to propel forward, is to IGNORE your fearful thoughts and start putting one leg in front of the other. As NIKE so clearly puts it: Just Do It! When you act despite your fears, the fears will slowly die and leave you alone. New fears will pop up as you move forward, but with time, you become much better at dealing with them. Never let your fears stop you from creating the life you truly want for yourself!
So as I am about to forge ahead, I ask you to support me and stand by me. Say it with me- Go for it, girl!
Hugs & Kisses, Stevie Cruz
On March 8, 2015 at 11:59pm My ‘Big Announcement’ giveaway closed.
So without further ado…Randomly selected winners are as follows-
Winner of the Tink & Key denim pants and one of their amazing screen print shirts is… Whatthegraham (Instagram handle)
Winner of the Julie Rollins Photography “newborn action set” is… Orangeucool (Instagram handle)
Winner of the Aspen Willow Props camera straps is… KellyCiceroPhotography (Instagram handle)
Winner of Colorvale Actions $50 credit to their shop, featuring amazing actions and organization tools for new or seasoned photographers is… mandi heisterkamp (Blog Comment)
Winner of Leighton Heritage $20 store credit to their prop shop is… kristineandrewsphotography (Blog Comment)
Winner of Strawberry Revolution Studio Tie-back is… Madalyn_joe_ (Instagram handle)
Winner of Tassel Love banners is… julia – juliafrancescaphotography (Blog Comment)
Winner of Blossom Marketing “marketing guide “to the power of Instagram is… sarah harrigan (Blog Comment)
Winner of Soul Made Goods watercolor print is… nicole – nicolenjoliphotography (Blog Comment)
Winner of Photoflashdrive gift cards for personalized USB sticks is is… reneeshieldsphotography (Instagram handle) and sktriggerhappy (Instagram handle) (*Yes they graciously donated 2 gift cards!)
Winner of Heart of Gold Apparel gift card to their shop is… brianne musso (Blog Comment)
Winner of Surfer Girl travel kit with lotion, facestick and lip balm is… mbeeimages (Blog Comment)
Winner of Squijoo one-year membership is… neelysphotography (Blog Comment)
Winner of Chica Chica Creations beautiful white lace bonnet is… Kelseygene_photos (Instagram handle)
Please email me to confirm your winnings by March 19th, 2015. Congratulations to all the winners and thank you for all the support and encouraging words from all. I hope to continue to inspire and encourage each of you on your own journeys. I strive to grow and build so follow me as I proceed. Much love!