The first few months of the year, Kylee Ann Studios was booming. It was our best year. We had booked 20 weddings in the first month. I was shooting 15 shoots a week in my studio. It was the best January that we’d ever seen, and we were on track to being the biggest Kylee Ann Studios could have ever imagined. I’m not saying that goal is gone, but then quarantine hit and now everything is different. Literally everything.
We’ve lost an associate on our team and we gained two new associates. We rebranded our business and simplified what our offers are to wedding, family and brand photography with a specialist in each category. I niched down my mentoring audience to moms in business. Quarantine changed a lot for us. But it took a lot to get to where I am now during this quarantine.
2020 started out amazing, and now everything is different. Dare I say better than before.
I was paralyzed.
At the beginning of quarantine, I spent weeks reading every news article, Googling statistics, making sure corona wasn’t in my city, which it obviously is now. Then I waited for my business to basically just crash and burn because of economic shutdowns. Because if I am a brand photographer, serving brands and all those brands die…it’s bad news. I was in this negative place of like, “Okay, it’s over, it’s done.” I was paralyzed. I felt like a fraud being a leader in the photography world because I was applying for the SBA loans and relying on the PPP to pay my bills. Turns out everyone was and I am not a fraud for needing help.
As an industry leader and the breadwinner, I felt like there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders.. Not to mention I was also in charge of the livelihood of multiple women beyond myself. Instead of moving forward, I just stopped. I think it was okay that I stopped for a minute.
It’s important to feel all the feels.
I don’t regret the time I took off because it’s important to feel and work through every emotion. Allow yourself time to feel and heal. If you are still feeling paralyzed right now, don’t just turn that off and start working. Dig deeper, get help, get professional help to deal with those emotions.
I realized I could sit here let myself shut down my business even further. or I could take control of my business and adapt. I needed to change my message, switch up my wording, pick up the pieces, take baby steps and get back to work.
Trauma changes people and we’ve all experienced trauma over the last few months in one way or another. It’s been a scary world to live in and we are different for it, but people still need what we offer, and maybe they need it more than ever before. Maybe they need it different than they needed it before, but people still need what we offer.
I did five silly things that got me back on track.
I started doing a few things daily to get my head back in the game. 1. Stop watching Netflix and started listening to podcasts and classes. 2. Made my bed. 3. Real bra or real jeans second week. 4. I began my daily gratitude practice again and morning routine 5. Think, What do people need from you? And change everything.
Listen to these five things that pulled me out of quarantine here:
Kylee started Kylee Ann Photography 9 years ago, and has since grown from a one woman amateur show to a full associate team. We shoot 50-75 weddings a year, and thrive on kindness and service. After a year of teaching Intro to Photography at the local technical college, she discovered that helping other entrepreneurs create thriving businesses is what fires her up! She hosts semi-annual Kylee Ann Sleepovers all over the US, speak at conferences and teach online courses about running a small business and marketing.