IT’S LAUNCH DAY. Wow, that feels surreal. I have been working on this new website and brand for MONTHS, trying not to let the cat out of the bag (although I did cave and tease you guys with a few sneak peeks, because I was just that excited.); but today there are no more secrets and I get to share everything with you guys!
(Actually, that’s not entirely true… I have another big surprise coming at the beginning of next week…)
2020 was HARD. The beginning of the year was full of some low lows… low to the point that I seriously considered quitting photography, going to college for a degree, and then working a 9-5 in a windowless cubicle for the rest of my life; but just like in 2016, when I first started pursuing photography, God laid it on my heart that that wasn’t His plan for me.
I’ve never spoken much about this publicly, but my life fell apart in 2014 when I was a junior in high school. I went from being confident of the path before me- to lost with no clue what I was supposed to be doing. When I graduated in 2016 (Nope. Not a typo, I elected to take an extra year of high school for medical reasons.) I still had no clue what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I didn’t want to waste money going to college when I had no clue what I wanted to get a degree in or what I wanted to do career-wise.
So I prayed and asked God to show me what He wanted me to be doing. That summer I reached out on a whim and asked a friend of a friend if I could be an unpaid assistant at a wedding.
All of a sudden the path before me didn’t seem so murky.
I’ve made lots of missteps in the last 5 years. I’ve questioned the path, the timing, what this business was supposed to look like, why things happened to me, and whether I was even cut out to do this job; but I’ve always come back to the place of believing that this is what God has set before me to do. Even if I didn’t think I could do it or other people were waiting to see me fail- God wanted me to succeed and He will make sure I do.
I have never felt that more strongly than I have in the past 3-4 months. So I screwed my courage to the sticking place. I gave myself a good pep talk (“Jacqueline. You need to CHILL OUT.”). Took a social media break. Decided that once and for all – I was just going to be who God created me to be and then I got a dump truck worth of clarity…
…and that clarity gave birth to all this.
I definitely didn’t do it all alone though! (Thank goodness!!!)
I reached out to Davey and Krista first and they created my beautiful new branding!! When Krista first emailed me the mood board and logo mockup, I literally started screaming! I couldn’t believe how perfectly they had captured my personality and everyone I showed it to said the same thing! The cherry on top was that the new headshots Kelli did for me (before I ever decided to reach out to Davey and Krista) went PERFECTLY with the colors they chose for me. You just gotta love it when everything comes together like that!
I found the website template of my dreams from Tonic Site Shop (Fun Fact: My friend Julie just launched her new website using one of their templates – It’s GORGEOUS and if their templates are good enough for Julie Paisley– they’re definitely good enough for me.) I’m decent with technology so up until now, I’ve always designed my own website. But this new website blew everything I’ve ever done before completely out of the water!! It goes so perfectly with my new logo and everything that it’s like it was designed just for me!!
And of course Kelli. I already shared about my mentor in my last blog post, but I have to share about her again. If there was one piece of advice I could give to a fellow photographer, it would be to find the person who is doing what you want to do and ask them to teach you. Kelli was only supposed to mentor me for 3 months, but she stuck with me for most of the year. I can count on one hand the number of people who’ve invested in me the way Kelli has. She was obviously there for me with photography/business stuff, but she was also just there for me as a person.
She listened with no judgment as I shared some of the personal struggles I was going through with tears in my eyes. She shared her own struggles to help me feel less alone and went above and beyond in every way for me. I admired her for her beautiful colorful work before I ever asked her to mentor me, but I walked away admiring her for her even more beautiful heart. If you are looking for a mentor and you think Kelli would be a good fit for you RUN, DONT WALK. (here I double-linked to her. You’re welcome)
More than anyone else though, I have to thank my parents. I don’t even have the words to describe how much they’ve done for me this past year, especially my Mom. I shared in my 2020 recap that I started going to therapy this past year and I don’t think I would have had the courage to make that first appointment; if it wasn’t for her encouraging me that it was time to get help. (cough-cough informing me I was going to find someone to talk to cough-cough #tigermom). Therapy was a huge part of what has helped me gain clarity as to what needed to change both in my life and business – as well as the courage to actually start making those changes.
They’ve also encouraged me to invest in a mentor, proofread all the copy on the new website, brought me enough iced coffee and Chick-fil-a to fuel an army, celebrated every single win, and pushed me to prioritize myself and my healing this past year. I don’t know where I’d be without them and I’m so grateful they’re mine.
Okay, I think this is the longest blog post I’ve ever written and if you’re still here- THANK YOU!!! Honestly, thank you so much for even reading this blog at all! I’m so grateful for your support and your kind words. If you haven’t already, please go explore the new website! I absolutely love it and I hope you will too!
ONE LAST THING! I’m celebrating over on Instagram for the rest of the week (maybe longer…) with a giveaway, iced coffee on me, and on Friday I’m going to offer something publicly that I’ve never done before! (hint: It’ll last until the end of February)
Headshots by the AMAZING Kelli Lynn Photography (I LOVE YOU KELLI!)