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A Bittersweet Good-Bye | Quitting Wedding Photography

Hello hello!! It’s a gorgeous Sunday right now – I’m in my office looking out the window at the wind blowing the trees back and forth, listening to the birdies, seeing new buds on the hydrangeas that soon will be covering up my window (I can’t complain), and I’m trying to find the words to put this blog post together. It’s been on the back of my mind for over two months now and I’ve slowly been filtering the news to other people, but just haven’t had the courage to completely put it out there. However, as time goes on I’m feeling the push to finally let you all in on my biggest secret/change. Are you ready? Ahh!! I can’t believe I’m telling you! That means it’s absolutely 100% official!!! Alright, here goes.

I’m quitting photography.

(Ahh!!! There it is! It’s out there, no going back!!! Let’s keep steam-rolling through this post. I promise it gets better.)

Yes, Paul and I have both decided it’s time to step back from my wedding photography business of Nikki Tran Photography. The decision definitely wasn’t easy. There was a lot of thinking, a lot of discussing and weighing the pros and cons, and a lot of crying on my part (I actually shut myself inside our closet, sat on the floor, cried a bit, and did the Winne-the-Pooh “Think, think, think”…’twas not an easy decision). When you’ve started your own business and then after four years are abandoning it, you can’t help but hear a little voice in your head scream “FAILURE.” So clearly, I felt like a tad failure. Was I being a complete idiot quitting my own business? Something some people strive to build to get away from a corporate job?? Was I just having a crazy moment that could be solved by a glass of wine, good food, and a nap? Unfortunately, nope. 

When the idea of even quitting came about, Paul had told me that he was becoming drained and I should probably start thinking of hiring a co-shooter. What?!! Ahh!! But when he said those words I immediately felt the pressure, that apparently I’ve been hanging over my shoulders for the past four years, fall right off. I completely agreed with him. I was burnt out too but never wanted to say it out loud. It was like taboo to even think that owning my own business was too stressful and something I wanted to get out of. I would be a complete fool to feel that way! But, as we talked and talked (and after my little meltdown in the closet) and after I flirted a bit with different types of careers, my decision has finally been crystal clear for weeks.

I’ve been pounding the pavement applying for teaching jobs.

What?!! I know! I’ve been teaching after-school programs for the past five years so I’ve never not taught since graduation, but the desire to have my own classroom and bring magic to little kiddies has never truly left my heart. Maybe I thought it had but again, the fire is back and it’s all I can think about. So, if you’re known to bring good luck to people, send some of that luck my way!! :)

Strand of Roses

So, what will happen to the blog and to everything else that seems to be hanging by a thread with my business? Well I’ll tell you. In list fashion because I do better with lists.

1. The blog remains!! I could never get rid of this thing even though I haven’t been updating it as much as I’d like. If you’ve noticed, I’ve been slowly making changes to the blog; removing “weddings” and “engagements” from the categories and putting them into a general “photography” category, removing the “photography” from my name at the top, and even removing the link to my beautiful portfolio website that is now officially removed from the internet atmosphere. I’d like to add much more of my watercolors, recipes, gardening, home decor, etc. into this blog making it more of a cozy getaway for you friends to come visit and truly enjoy reading. :)

2. I have 7 weddings left until I officially retire! I have soooo much enjoyed gaining new relationships through this job and I can expect that I’ll be lonely for weddings and new couples once I’m officially done, but I’m super lucky and some of our best friends started as brides and grooms! What more could I have asked for in a business? And I’m sure there will be the occasional wedding of a family member or friend that I’ll be lucky enough to shoot – I can’t imagine giving it all up completely.

3. I’ll still be taking photos of random things that make me happy, including styled shoots. I can’t part with that. :)

4. I’m creating a brand new website for all my design purposes, including my Photoshop resources, editing webinars, and even some watercolor art that will all be under Nikki Tran Designs or something similar. So I’ll be getting rid of my Photoshop actions website and just have one portfolio/shop. Easy peezy. :) And lately I’ve been creating logos for photographers on the side and I am loving it. I’m hoping to open an Etsy shop in the near future and start selling watercolor logos, prints, etc. through that and also on my new website (I update my Instagram account with my watercolors if you’d like to see more. :)).

5. Speaking of all that merging and blending, eventually I’ll be merging my Photoshop actions Facebook page (called The Enchanted Collections) and my Nikki Tran Photography Facebook page into one Facebook page probably called Nikki Tran – maybe with an added description…I’m not sure yet. I might just leave it as my name so it will be a one-stop-shop to seeing photos I’ve edited with my actions, to new watercolor products, to blog posts. What do you think? I’m certain it will be a little while until all this comes into place. I don’t want to do a hurried merge and lose people along the way. When it all begins, I’ll be sure to let you all know. :)

6. I’m thinking of creating a type of newsletter to help make this transition easier…stay tuned. :)

7. I want to start doing giveaways on this blog!! I already have a few ideas and I do hope you’ll like them! The giveaways will be things I love and want to share with you if that gives you a good hint. :)

8. (Last thing, I promise.) This decision to quit Nikki Tran Photography isn’t taken lightly with either of us. It’s been a hard decision to make but in the end, we truly feel like we’re doing the right thing for both of us. We can’t thank you enough for all the continued support you’ve given us over the past 4 years – it’s because of you that I’ve found a love for blogging, designing, and photography. This business has truly opened up so many more doors for me and I can’t imagine where I’d be if I had never given this a shot a long time ago when I was in between homework assignments and student teaching. It’s been a gift and I know we’ll look back at this chapter in our life and feel so lucky we got to experience it. So to you friends, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. You are all the bee’s knees. :)

(Photo credit for the top photo: Ellebelle Photography :))

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  • Ashley BrooksApril 18, 2016 - 9:54 pm

    Hugs! So proud of you for building something so amazing and then doing the right thing for you and knowing when it’s time to walk away. :)ReplyCancel

    • NikkiApril 18, 2016 - 9:57 pm

      Thanks so much my love!! Your support is quite important to me. :) I’ll still have business chats with you because clearly, I have the entrepreneur bug. ;)ReplyCancel

  • MelanieApril 18, 2016 - 3:35 pm

    Hello, I follow you on IG and have thoroughly enjoyed seeing your posts, and although I left a comment there, I like to leave blog comments because I know how much I enjoy getting them myself!

    I went through a business upset and it was detrimental. I watched my business shut down and all involved walk away. It took me a long time to get through the fog; so when you write of quite literally ‘closeting’ yourself, I wanted to give you a big virtual hug. You also deserve a big high five for your courage! Change is scary because it’s different, but you’ll arrive in that new place and wonder what took so long to get there!

    Best wishes to you!ReplyCancel

    • NikkiApril 18, 2016 - 7:34 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by the blog, Melanie! And thank you so much for the support!! :) It’s such a hard thing, walking away from a business – it definitely makes one feel like a failure. Thanks so much for sending the hug – I definitely would have welcomed that in the closet. :) xoxoxoReplyCancel

  • NanaApril 17, 2016 - 10:42 pm

    My lovely granddaughter I am so happy for you and Paul..Gramps and nana have always enjoyed looking at all of your photos they have been awesome..We are now looking forward to your next adventure what ever it turns out to be..God has bless you with many talents..Follow your dream..Love you more..ReplyCancel

    • NikkiApril 18, 2016 - 8:37 am

      :) Thank you so much, Nana and Gramps!! You’ve have always been so supportive – I appreciate that so much!! Love you both more. :)ReplyCancel

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