In An Instant, Everything Changed: How My Wedding Photographer Career Began

It was this one specific moment that changed everything and kick-started my wedding photographer career …

I remember the moment vividly. I wanted to share this story with you because you’ve been supporting me and I like to get REAL with people who have shown support to EMP.

The moment when I decided to take a leap of faith and become wedding photographer in Vancouver was a very significant time for me and my life was changed forever (for the better).

I was fresh out of high school and in every social situation I encountered, I had someone asking what career I will be pursuing. I cannot express how frustrated I got about this question because I truly had no idea who I was or what my passions were. 

I worked at Starbucks and got paid $12.25/hour and every single shift I worked, I was thinking to myself this is NOT where I want to be long term. 

I took endless amounts of career quizzes and hated every career result that I received. 

Then life threw me a lifeline …

What Prompted Me To Consider Starting A Photography Business

In 2015, I was a bridesmaid for my cousin’s wedding the summer after I graduated high school. We were doing bridal party portraits and her photographer was dead quiet while taking photos and she kept looking down at her camera timidly. 

I remember thinking how extremely awkward this is, no one is saying anything and she isn’t taking charge! Being the extrovert I am, I started cracking jokes to get some candid shots happening. I could see a look of relief on my cousin’s face when the awkward moment turned into laughter from my jokes. 

I felt so frustrated for my cousin who had shelled out thousands of dollars and received such an underwhelming experience. During the reception, I continued to observe the photographer and the whole time, I was thinking to myself how I could do a better job. 

Self Taught Photography

I went home with a nugget of an idea and I started researching what it takes to launch a wedding photographer career, watching YouTube videos about starting a photography business and researching how much a professional camera costs. 

I remember being so surprised at the LACK of support I got from family and friends when I was sharing this exciting idea. I told everyone “I’m going to become a wedding photographer.” I expected support and excitement from everyone, but instead, I got laughs and lectures about how this is such a terrible idea. I got told to find a safe job and keep photography as a side gig. 

I had never felt this level of frustration, but I remember telling my big brother David. David was the only one who was PUMPED about this idea! He said I’d be the perfect fit, and said it will take a lot of hard work to start up this business. But, he said that he believed I had what it takes.

Have Someone Who Believes In You And Your Wedding Photographer Career Will Flourish

The words and encouragement from my brother David made such a huge impact on me because I needed that ONE person who actually believed in my success. I am forever grateful that he showed that kind of support to me because it led me to where I am today. Since then, he’s always checking in with me, cheering me on and asking how he can help.

David was the first client to pay me for my services, by hiring me to do a business photo shoot for his power washing company.

He was the one to lend me $6000 after I got scammed by a scumbag and took $6000 of my hard-earned money. I automatically phoned David crying, and without me asking, he e-transferred me $6000 and said there is absolutely no rush and no interest. It’s a love loan and he said take as long as I need to pay him back.

David made such an impact on me, and he celebrated with me when I shot my first wedding, and every wedding after that. Every “win” in my business — he’s just as excited as me!

I wasn’t wedding photographer “material.” I was told to get a safe job. I didn’t go to school for photography, nor did I didn’t go to school for business.

I am self-taught and had the inspiration from my big brother during the journey.

The Video I’m Most Proud Of…

When I initially had a vision for a branding video, I had so many things come to mind. I freaked out when I saw this vision come to life through this video!

Let me know your thoughts 🙂

Esther Moerman How My Wedding Photographer Career Began

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