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Becoming a business owner starts out as a DREAM. It’s a dream bigger than you and bigger than anything you’ve ever done. You want to go into business for yourself because you want to be your own boss, do what you love and live in your own little business paradise forever and ever amen.

But then you start, and things get a little hard. You realize that the switch from steady paycheck, health  insurance, benefits etc to now depending SOLELY on yourself as your marketer, talent, secretary and accountant creates a lot of pressure to be consistent and improve constantly and really work hard to make ends meet.

So when you grow, and your talent grows, and your business grows…your prices increase. They should..right? Of course! The first year I invested around $7-8,000 in my business and then next? Almost $15,000. It’s constant education, equipment, steady fees and costs…etc. Then you create a demand and you grow.

The emails start to change a little when the prices increase. Instead of “our budget is so and so” sometimes you get the occasional “you’re too expensive” or “can you give us a discount”, etc. I don’t take those emails as personally as I used to, and I REALLY used to. It really hurt my feelings..because I would never ask an employee of anywhere to take less of a paycheck. It directly says “even though you are worth this and charging this..I feel like you should only charge me X amount..because of whatever reason.” I haven’t called Dominion Power yet and asked for a discount because of hard times..or our water company. Never brought an item of clothing to a counter and asked if I could just “pay less” for it. So when you find people who love you and believe in you and who you’re willing to sweat and run and work really hard for on a wedding day, and they tell you they appreciate you and invest in your services as is…it changes your life. IT REALLY changes your life.

I appreciate every single client, and they all have been enormously good to me especially over the past couple years!!! They check on me, they watch my seastars grow and I watch them get puppies and get pregnant and build houses together. I watch them post about their first Christmas married and watch them having margaritas and tropical drinks on their honeymoons. I watch their cats all up in their faces being hilarious on Instagram and I watch some of my more adventurous brides shave their head as they cross the equator during world travels. I watch them work hard in law school and I watch some of them lose family members I had just met at their weddings. A couple of them have recently sent their condolences in cards for me and my brother, wow. I just love you guys.

I love them. I love them SO much. I know they know this, but I have to just say it one more time. And also– one of my favorite things is that my brides and grooms will fight for me and be on my side to tell people I really am this obnoxiously happy and energetic! Haha! But one comment over the past couple of really hard weeks for me after losing my brother has reminded me that even though I’m a little MIA with correspondence and taking longer to get back to people while we heal, etc..has really brought joy to me during all of this knowing that I am booking the kind of clients that are meant for me. THAT is my business goal you guys– quality over quantity is so important in this industry! I am so so SO much happier with 15-20 weddings of golden hearts than 30-40 of people who decided I was just in their price range. These quality bookings remind me I’m worth the investment, that I am building something bigger than a business here. That my purpose is so much more than showing up and taking pictures. This cancels out all the “can you go lower for me” emails and only strengthens the “we are SO booking you” clients!

The father of my British Virgin Islands bride, Brittany — Mr. Rick Davis, he always knows what to say. He left a comment recently on their blog post and it just was exactly what I need to see, the people that book me are incredible and loving souls who know they will get an experience and relationship past the service date. Thank you Rick for being a big ray of sunshine in the midst of some very cloudy weeks!! I KNOW we will all be back in BVI one day at the same time! Family vacay hahaha!! OXOXO

This is better than any feature. Than any award. A happy father of the bride taking time out of his day to say this? I am so, so thankful today <3

They had a daddy daughter first look and it was AMAZING– I love Rick’s reaction! You may want to see those below and definitely check out the entire wedding HERE!




bvi-british-virgin-islands-wedding-photo-amanda-hedgepeth-118Thank you Tara Liebeck for second shooting this with me!!!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. EliSabeth says:

    Amanda, he’s right! You’re so amazing and your investment is worth it and then some. I STILL have one of your images from our engagement session as my phone wallpaper! I can’t imagine what running a business with two small beautiful and fun girls is like – but you kill it and make it look flawless each day. Even when you have your flaws, which we all have, you’re so real and amazing about them – and that’s why we love you and you have clients with such genuine care for you and your business. Kyle and I are blessed to know you. I’m blessed to have met you (randomly or maybe not so randomly) all those years ago at Gators. Everything happens for a reason, Amanda. Keep up your amazing spirit – you make us all strive harder without even knowing 😘

  2. Sterling says:

    This made me cry so much <3 You really are a blessing, Amanda!

  3. Brittany Stevenson says:

    Amanda you never cease to amaze me on every level — You know I absolutely adore you && can’t wait to see you again soon <3 <3

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