Nicole Blumberg Photography » San Francisco | Bay Area Wedding Photographer

How to know when you are ready to go full time in your side business. Nicole Blumberg Photography

It took a few years, a lot of conversations, deep thought and MANY words of encouragement from my family, e.g. all of my parents wondering why I was taking so long to make the leap.

I was scared. Scared It could have been a bad decision to leave a job of security, guaranteed pay checks and full health care for my husband and me. What if I didn’t book? I can’t get back what I had if I leave. Once I make the jump, that’s it. I have a mortgage, a living and my mental stress levels to keep at bay. Those were the thoughts that kept me in a job that had me coming home crying for so long. Those were the thoughts that had my anxiety high every week while waiting to to see if management would indeed keep their word of my set schedule they had promised. Most of the time, not so much.

There was one day I remember in particular, this same scenario. I had multiple weddings coming up, doctors appointments to be at with my mother who just underwent brain surgery and to top it off, some lady yelled at me for something I can’t quite recall but I’m sure it was about her groceries. (I worked at Safeway in produce and as a checker)  I walked outside, sat on the curb in front of the store, stared at my shifts that had me working on each of the days I needed off and cried. I called Adam and told him that I couldn’t do it any more. At that moment is when I knew that there was a choice that had to be made. I had to make the choice to be great at ONE thing than be good at both. I had to either give up my passion and continue in a secure job, where I would most likely stay stagnate OR take all my fear of failing, toss it aside and take that giant leap of faith to follow my dreams that had  a possibility of yes, failing or even better, growth.

The following day after phone calls to all of my parents ( It was important to me to make sure they supported me in my decision) I turned in a written  letter of resignation. Within a year in a half of being a full time photographer I have grown as a person, I have cried much much less and I have exceeded immensely in the amount of growth and profit in my business than I predicted.

You might be wondering how can a small photography boutique who specializes in only a certain area of photography make a living. Yes, it limits me in how many freelance jobs I  take BUT It makes me more valuable because people want YOU when they know YOU know your stuff. When you specialize in  one thing you are more likely to be called for the job rather then the company who is what I call the wall-mart photographer. The photographer who does it all. Like I mentioned before It’s better to be great at one thing than good at both.

Your next question might be would it be possible for me to do that? Yes, and I’ll tell you why. The biggest change I see from when I worked at Safeway and ran my business to now, only running my business is TIME. I have SO much more time. With that time I’m able to shoot more. Before I would have been working Monday – Friday at Safeway. Now I’m able to use those day’s and shoot elopements and or City Hall Weddings as well as Engagements. I am able to spend more time on marketing and blogging (like I’m doing now) Which in the long run WILL bring in more business. One of the things that matters MOST to me, is I am able to have the time to give more attention to my clients which makes them feel value as well as cared for. When your clients are happy they will share your name and that will bring in more business. Even if it’s two years later. The more amount of time you can put into something means the more profit you will eventually make. Just remember, you can’t sit and wait for it. Becoming your own boss can at times be hard. You have to actually WORK to make your dreams a reality.

So you are deciding to go full time in your own business and wondering, is it worth it? Yes, a thousand times YES. But how will you know you are ready and when should you make the leap? For me it was that point I encountered that I talked about above. I was already booking clients to the max that I could given the time I had. Then came the moment that I could no longer try to get 30 hours out of a 24 hour day. I mentally and physically could not endure the stress any longer of splitting my self in half and trying to please my employer and my clients. It just wasn’t possible. I could no longer be good at both things. I had to be great at one. I didn’t have any extra time for  business development let alone anything personal.  I also didn’t have the strength left to continue to let my body stress. It was making me physically ill. I HAD to pick ONE. I had already owned my business for 4 years. While working 40 hours a week else where. My business was growing to a point where I needed all the time I was spending at my other job to get things done. My business began to become static because I could no longer take one new projects.

I realize that some of you reading this may have very recently ventured into entrepreneurship, and you truly do not feel that you can let go of your 9-5 for your business yet but you would like to set goals to get there a few I would recommend would be: Sit down and look at your bookings or sales and make a projection of what you can make if you give it your all while still working your other job and how long it will take to make net income equal too or greater than what you are making at your current place of employment,  set a quit date near the time you projected being able to make that income. Have a savings account for backup. Once in a while you can never truly predict the amount of business you will bring in. It CAN and WILL fluctuate. Maybe by a little bit or maybe by a lot depending on multiple factors like the economy, or how much hustle are you putting into advertising marketing and relationships?  Some of these thing take a little time to build. Having a savings to use as a buffer while you are making sure all the pieces fall together is a good idea. It would be ideal to have at least 3 months income in savings to use for all living expenses to cover any transitional time or back up. 6 months is even better but 3 is a good start.

If you have owned your growing business for a while and still trying to maintain other jobs, you WILL come to a day that you yourself will have that moment. The moment you sit on the curb and cry and realize that this is it. You need to pick because you can not go forward mentally or physically.  You may not have had it yet, but IT WILL come. IF you are now where I was a year in a half ago, sitting on that curb crying from the stress of trying to be too many things and scared to let it go, my friend, I say to you, please know that the scariest moment is always right before you start.

How to start your blog. Nicole Blumberg Photography

 

When I sit and think about how to start a blog for too long, I start to become overwhelmed and over think everything. Even after being in the wedding industry for 6 years now, I still consider myself a newbie to the blogging world. You know, that giant universe of women and men who write fascinating blogs about makeup, clothes, entrepreneurship and blogging itself. The blogging about blogging have been the blogs I have been reading the most about lately. Whoa.. Should we play a game of how many times one can say blog in a sentence?

Well, there we have it. I broke the ice and started my blog.  Figuring out ways on how to begin your blog are not that hard. When it’s your blog, you have the ability to start it any way you want. I will have a few different types of blogs coming in the near future. Articles ranging from wedding guides, entrepreneurship geared towards my boss ladies as well as some that may be merely journal status. It’s my hope that I will begin to blog at least once a week or so. Which is WAY more often than I’m doing now. The Thesaurus is about to become my new best friend. When I was a child I used to love to write. I would write little books all of the time. My mom thought I would be a writer, among the other things I wanted to be such as a veterinarian and a DNA specialist. I was an interesting kid. My 5th grade teacher said once that she thought I would be a hair stylist when I grew up. Yea, me … the kid who won the award for the worst dressed during spirit week because I had on the “ugliest pair of pants that she had ever seen” I like to say my style was eccentric when I was younger. I was definitely not afraid to take risks. I mean I did have GREEN hair once. I did however, stay in the creative side of things, so they had that going for their guesses.

If you happen to be like me, you enjoy diving right into the good stuff. We don’t wait around, we get into! Like talking about pretty awesome things such as the colors Pink, White, Grey and Yellow. If you look up white on google it states that ” White is an achromatic color, A color without a hue that is a mixture of the frequencies of all the colors of the visible spectrum. It is one of the most common colors in nature, the color of sunlight, snow, milk, chalk, limestone and other common minerals”. So technically, I CAN say that White is one of my favorite colors. With those colors so became the colors of my brand. I sometimes use gold in place of yellow because it’s pretty too.

 

How to start your blog Nicole Blumberg Photography

While I read books I tend to find myself wanting to munch. Munching however is off of my itinerary right now as I have been trying to watch my macros. Well, except for last week. Last week I ate way too many Macarons. Besides Chocolate chip, Macarons are my favorite cookies. They are so incredibly cute and they are French! I’m obsessed with all things french. Once I grew out of my awkward child phase, I grew into the teenager phase. I took French in high school as my second language. It was my goal to move to France and become an interior decorator. Needless to say I forgot to move and my French speaking skills never evolved passed the second semester. Regardless, I still listen to french music and decorate my own home with a french country theme. My living area has  more neutral  colors going on. Mostly white and grey. But I LOVE color and have these two amazing yellow french cut chairs that I’ve been dying to pair up with this amazing couch and rug I found on One Kings Lane.  That couch is so adorable to me and SO above my budget. I’ll need to keep an eye out for a something similar as well as what room to make my color room. Still have love for the interior decorating. It drives my husband crazy because I constantly want new furniture! colorful roomDo you ever feel like you work so much that you do not have time to read? OR you feel guilty when you take a moment out to read because of all the work you know you have to do? I do all of the time! It’s really unfortunate to feel this way because reading is so good for you! So to make myself feel better about it, in evenings I read books and blogs that have to do with business, self help, neuroscience and physiology. Heavy stuff! You wont find your typical romance novel in my house.  Most of it is all related to business and running a successful business. During the day while I’m editing I tend to listen to audio books and podcasts.  Right now I’ve been listening to an audio book called Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport. He talks about the importance of cutting yourself off from the what we consider the world, ie: Social media and other distractions to focus solely on what you should be working on. In today’s world, that happens to be a skill one has to learn. We are consonantly checking our status likes, immediately reading and responding to new emails, aimlessly browsing Facebook or Instagram all of which is taking away from the work that we should be doing or could have finished. Everything has a time and place and when you put that into action you will notice that you actually do get more done in an efficient matter. I’ve been taking it in and putting it’s words to good use. I have noticed that my time spent aimlessly scrolling my facebook feed has been cut down.  If you find that you have a hard time concentrating on actually getting your work done and doing it without distractions, I suggest giving this book a run through.

 

 

From her bubbly personality to her amazing heart, she is one of the most beautiful souls I have ever met. She carries herself with grace and this amazingly calm demeanor. He looks at her with passion and would do anything to make her happy. A gentlemen himself adored the true meaning of their wedding and to celebrate with those they loved.  This stunning Grand Island Mansion Wedding Is one to be cherished for a lifetime. I did miss the motorcycle though!! Wink winkGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyGrand Island Mansion Wedding Nicole Blumberg PhotographyVenue, Catering, Desert, Coordination- Grand Island Mansion 
D.J- Terry Newberry, Cinematography- Eventfilming,  Beauty- I got your pretty

First look wedding images Nicole Blumberg PhotographyTo First look or not to first look? ( the couples portrait session held before the ceremony)

There is no right or wrong way to see each other on your wedding day. I think doing both a first look or not doing a first look has it’s upsides for different reasons. One upside of doing a first look means you can get your bridal party and family formals out of the way. Or maybe you are getting married in a season where the Sun sets sooner and your ceremony happens to be later.

An upside to not seeing each other prior to the ceremony is having the anticipation of seeing each other for much longer.  Being able to lock eyes with one another while your about to meet at the alter. As a photographer I have noticed that the couples who choose not to do a first look do happen to look around less while standing and approaching the alter. You also get to get some pretty emotional shots at the alter rather then elsewhere.  (That does not mean a first look will not be emotional, it just means it will be at the alter)

As far as my personal preference, I want you to decide and be happy with what you want to do on your wedding day.

First look wedding images Nicole Blumberg PhotographyFor me on my wedding day, I chose to see Adam before the ceremony. I was full of nerves and just wanted to be with him. The moment I saw him I burst into tears. I was just SO relived to have him with me during our day of anticipation, nerves and excitement. He is my absolute best friend in this entire world and I REALLY needed to have him with me during that time. If I were to do it again, I would still see him before the ceremony. I would do even more than that. We would have gotten ready together. Just the two of us and our photographers. Of course our moms would come in after we dressed but I think I would appreciate the quietness and peace of just him and I getting ready to make the biggest promises of our lives together. Again he his my best friend, we do EVERYTHING together and I feel, that for US, getting ready to get married shouldn’t have been different. But I was younger, new to weddings and was just doing what I thought I was suppose to do based on “traditions”. It’s a little unconventional but that’s OK! Weddings shouldn’t be only one certain way. They should be unique to you.

First look wedding images Nicole Blumberg Photography

NOW, for my professional opinion based on photography and aesthetic:  I HIGHLY suggest that all of my couples take their longer couples portraits of just the two of you 1 hour before sunset or near sunset, granted there will be one, EVEN if you do a first look. Especially if you are getting married in the months of May, June, July and August. While making your timeline for your wedding, look up online what time the sun will set that day and leave a 20 minute period open to sneak off for that time to take photos. (Keep in mind that if you will be surrounded by tall trees or building the sun will “set” sooner) If you have hired a coordinator ( or your Caterer or DJ is writing the time line) please give them this information before hand.  Yes, it might be during salads or possibly even during dinner time but dinner is only one night while your photos will be lasting a lifetime. I have also never been to a wedding where the events of the wedding are not flexible during the day and I promise you wont miss out on anything. Maybe a salad. But photos are more important than the salad. Don’t tell your caterer I said that =)

First looks are beneficial if you would like to get as many formals with bridal party and family done prior to the ceremony so you can enjoy more of your cocktail hour with your guests. Even in this case I will only do a short portrait session of the two of you seeing each other, while short it will it still be very intimate, and then move on to family and bridal party while waiting to do a longer couples portraits session during sun set. (Side Note, Some venues don’t really have sunsets like the Berkeley city club, So if you decide on a first look it’s probably a good idea to just get all of your couples photos done at that time. That goes for any venue that also will not have sunsets because of location or the way the building is built)

If you don’t want a first look and the sun will be setting an hour AFTER your cocktail, It’s totally fine to schedule your portrait session during cocktail, should you wish!

You are able to do your portraits when ever YOU want to do them. It’s your day. I’m just giving my professional advice on what I think would look best based on lighting. I only suggest, it is up to you to decide.First look wedding images Nicole Blumberg PhotographyFirst look wedding images Nicole Blumberg Photography

If you will be getting married in Fall or early Spring, it is most likely that your ceremony will be very close to sunset. So doing the your couples portraits during cocktail will be the best bet.

Summer weddings tend have a lot more sun in the sky and waiting for a while is much more important during that season. It’s too bright before the ceremony (unless we can find a fully shaded area to shoot in, then its all good) And right after the ceremony, if it’s a hot day you may be hot, sweaty and overwhelmed. Waiting just a little bit and sneaking off to do the portraits can be a great idea.

If Adam and I have concerns about the light on your day we will let you know and suggest when to do them, even if it’s …. “the light is fading we need to go NOW” … lol. ( It’s happened)

Winter weddings: If you will be having a late ceremony, having your portraits before the ceremony may be the way to go.

Sometimes I feel as though Adam doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He’s sincere, hard working, incredibly smart and even though he’s the quieter one with a charming sweet smile, he has amazing dedication to our couples and his art is breathtaking.  Surrounded by excitement and lots of energy, he captured this moment as our couple shared a quick kiss. His photojournalism is elegant and on point. I feel so lucky to have him by my side at home and in work. Just the first teaser of this amazingly stunning wedding from last Saturdays wedding at the Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park and the Bentley Reserve.

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Coordination: Dreamsonadime  Floral: Floral Loft Dress: Ysa Makino Venues : Ceremony- San Francisco Botanical Gardens , Reception- The Bentley Reserve