I don’t know how many times I’ve started and restarted this blog post. It’s been sitting as a “draft” in my WordPress dashboard for months. This is one of the hardest blog posts that I’ve ever written. But it’s also the most exciting blog post I’ve ever written! I’m officially taking the leap to being a full time wedding photographer!
I’ve been teaching elementary music for five years and I’ve been running the photography business for four of those five years. After shooting my very first wedding, I was hooked and I developed a new dream of becoming a wedding photographer. I’ve spent countless hours teaching myself, taking online photography and business courses, learning from other photographers who have “made it” and before I knew it, my business had grown tremendously. I spent three years of the business never giving myself a paycheck. I put everything I made back into the business and slowly built my dream line up of Canon L-series lenses and camera gear. (That’s one major benefit of working two jobs!)
Growing a business while teaching at the same time is not an easy task. Every day, I wake up, teach from 8-4, come home, grab my laptop and work on the business from 4pm – WAY too late at night. Then I get up at the crack of dawn and do it all over again. It’s the only way I can get anything done. (I’m so thankful I’m a night owl! Some of my best design work has happened around 11pm.) And then, it got to the point where I was bringing my laptop to school with me, working during my conference period, editing pictures and emailing clients during passing periods. I never stopped working. I did whatever I had to do to grow our business and stay on top of things. It was exhausting. It was draining. I knew that if Michael and I ever wanted to have a family, this could not continue.
And while we are not expecting any children yet, we have both decided that the time has come for me to resign from teaching and pursue the business full time. In fact, we’ve known for a while. We’ve been talking about this career move for quite some time now but it wasn’t until August that we were 100% sure this would be my last year teaching.
When I sat down with my principal back in early March, it was one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had. It took me a solid minute before I could even begin to tell her why I was there. (Time that….it’s a long time.) In fact, my tears told her before my words did. She knew. She even said she knew this day was coming but didn’t know when. I told her that my dreams had changed. My dream is to pursue this business to its fullest and be more present in my life. Actually, make that having a life. I want to be able to enjoy life and be more present for Michael instead of being a wife who’s constantly working. I want to one day have kids and not miss out on their childhood because I’m always working. I want to be published in a magazine or featured on a major wedding blog. I want to spend my time creating things and designing things and not worrying about the possibility of vocal damage when I’m older because I’m singing and talking all day long.
By being a full- time wedding photographer, I am able to work from home. (That’s been the driving force behind our home office makeover.) I’m able to one day, raise a family and stay home with them. And while we may not have everything figured out just yet, we know this is the best course of action for us and our future family.
The hardest part still lies ahead of me- telling my students. Since I’m the only music teacher, I have about 600 students. And they have no idea that I’m leaving. I’ve been their music teacher for four years and I’ve been praying to figure out the best and most gentle way of telling them. The only thing I do know is that I want to wait until the end of the year so we can keep on learning and growing their minds with music. And as much as I love elephants, I don’t want one in my music room.
I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us! My dream of being a full time wedding photographer is finally coming true and I’m so excited about the future! I certainly could not have seen this amazing blessing coming five years ago. This is turning into a big year for us! I’m quitting my day job to pursue my dream and we’re going to Europe for three weeks for our 5 year anniversary. Dreams really do come true.
Hi there! I'm Joanna Krueger and my husband Michael and I are a wedding photography team in Houston, TX. We hope you enjoy viewing our latest work and getting a peek into our lives!
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