Going Full Time // all or nothing with our photography business

We must’ve been feeling nostalgic recently, scrolling back through our instagram archives and reminiscing on where we’ve been and how far we’ve come.

We went camping at Cotton Tree at the Sunshine Coast last weekend and were remembering that the last time we camped here almost 5 years ago, it was actually a really pivotal time in our business journey. Trent remembers sitting in a cafe with a notebook and pen and writing out all the pros and cons of going full time with our business or keeping our other jobs.

At the time Trent was working for our church heading up the media and tech department and doing freelance film work and I (Jessie) was working part time doing admin for a photo booth company. We both didn’t mind our current jobs, I wasn’t particularly gifted at admin but I enjoyed working for a small family business and Trent was good at what he did, although it did mean he was working every Sunday. What we had realised was that if we wanted to see our photography business grow we needed to give it more time and invest more of ourselves in it.

We would work all week, photograph a wedding on a Saturday, wake up exhausted on a Sunday, Trent would have to get up early and often be working all day then it would be Monday again and I would head to work then come home and edit weddings in the afternoon while Trent juggled his work with church, freelance jobs and our business. We were time poor and stretched thin. This was also all in our first 6 months of marriage.

We’d had the business for a full year and a half, word was spreading and we were booking weddings, we knew we had to make the call, do we keep the business as a side hustle and be weekend warriors or do we pour all our time into it and see where it takes us.

It was April, 2014, my cousin, Rach had just married the love of her life who happened to be Norwegian, they officially married in Australia but planned a second wedding in Norway in July and we quickly jumped at the chance to travel to Europe and photograph their Norwegian celebration. We decided that just before our overseas adventure would be a good time for both of us to finish at our other jobs. Since I was working for a family business we thought maybe we should give them plenty of notice, two or so months we thought was quite generous and we wanted to do the right thing by them. We sent an email to my employer and took comfort thinking we would still have our regular income for a couple more months.

I still remember finishing up at wedding in late April, the wedding location was just outside of Brisbane in an area with zero phone coverage, Trent was driving us back into the city and as we gained coverage again I checked my phone to find an email from my employer stating that actually I could finish up next week! Wow. We took some deep breaths and simultaneously realised that we just had to make this thing work.

So, a little earlier than expected, I now worked full time in our business and Trent would be joining me really soon. Our household would be surviving off one income stream, it was scary but exciting and we were certainly determined to make it work.

We cut expenses wherever we could and moved out of our rental and moved in with family for a few weeks before setting off on our one month European adventure. The month away gave us plenty of time to think and dream, while not having to jump straight into the daily hustle of working for ourselves.

We arrived home in August, roadtripped around for a couple of weeks then headed into a busy spring wedding season. It was great to be busy as it meant we were putting out new wedding work regularly. We quickly realised we needed our own space again and in November moved into a unit at the Sunshine Coast, so excited that we had been approved for a rental given that we had only been working for ourselves full time for a few months. It was such a cool feeling, realising that we could support ourselves with the business.

Working for ourselves certainly has it’s highs and lows, the busy seasons and the dry spells but it sure is rewarding. We’re so grateful for that initial jump or push into the deep end. We honestly could never have anticipated the amount of hard work, steep learning curve and incredible joy that has come from going full time in our business. We have discovered that we’re not only passionate about photography but also business and all the new challenges it brings.

It’s because of our journey and our passion for business that we wanted to start offering mentoring. We honestly love sitting down with other creatives and talking about the challenges of business and working on solutions. What we’re offering with our mentoring sessions is our undivided attention for 4 hours and all the brain power we can muster to think creatively on how we can help you refine your business in whatever area it needs it. We love the community over competition way of thinking and really enjoy sharing what we’ve learnt to see others succeed.

If you’re interested we would love to hear from you, you can sign up to our mailing list below or send us an email - hello@trentandjessie.com for more information.

Love,
T&J

 Photobooth “testing”

Photobooth “testing”

 European Adventure Time, July 2014

European Adventure Time, July 2014

 Kisses atop the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Kisses atop the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

 Camping at Cotton Tree, Feb 2014

Camping at Cotton Tree, Feb 2014

 Grass roofs in Norway

Grass roofs in Norway

 Roadtrippin’ through NSW & VIC

Roadtrippin’ through NSW & VIC

 Writing those Pros & Cons

Writing those Pros & Cons

 Jonas & Rach’s Norwegian Wedding

Jonas & Rach’s Norwegian Wedding

 First look at our new branding

First look at our new branding