Celebrating 1 Year of being a Full-Time Freelancer!
I’m very excited to celebrate 1 year of taking the plunge and becoming a full-time freelancer! Wooo!
So this year has been a pretty exciting, manic and a celebratory one, first being shortlisted as a finalist for the UK Wedding Awards 2018 for Best Wedding Photographer and being featured in Dorset, Wiltshire & Hampshire Bride Magazine 2018 in Jan, then moving house and getting a brand new home office in March, then celebrating turning 25 in May, then 3 years of running Nisha Haq Photography in June, then receiving an honorary degree of Master of Arts from Solent University in July and now over the moon that I’m celebrating 1 year of being a full-time freelancer! 🎉🎂🙌🏽
I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since going full-time with my business last month and it’s certainly the best thing I’ve done! (You can read my blog post about it when I announced this news last year here.) If you asked me when I just graduated from university at 21 that I’d be living the dream as a full-time freelance photographer at 24 and all the amazing opportunities and experiences along the way, I would have laughed at how preposterous that sounded!
I think being British, it’s often we don’t share our accomplishments and celebrate the milestones in our lives as much as we should do, so this blog post is both a celebration and reminder that if you feel it’s a big achievement in your life, career or family, CELEBRATE and share the great news with loved ones! For me, I remember this time last year I was so worried about taking the plunge into going full-time with my business and many self-employed folks will understand that it can be scary not having a regular monthly income and being responsible for everything, not having sick or holiday pay and also juggling all the ins and outs of running a business and feeling you’re offering the best you can for all your clients. Though this may seem like a lot of disadvantages and pressure, having successfully achieved a year of being full-time, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Pros of being a full-time freelancer
Here are a few that I’ve discovered this past year:
- Job satisfaction – I absolutely love what I do and photographing weddings, shoots and meeting lots of different people. Getting to do what I’m so passionate about full-time is amazing and I’m always buzzing for the next shoot! Being able to reap the rewards 100% is a wonderful feeling and knowing I have happy clients means the world to me.
- Independence – I love having the freedom of setting my own hours, doing what I love doing when I want to. Basically getting to choose how I want to work that suits the lifestyle I want. (I love getting to shop on a weekday when it’s not jam-packed on a Saturday!) It’s the little things that make a lot of different and love having the independence of how I live my life. I love the quote, ‘Work to Live, Don’t Live to Work‘ and try and take that ethos in everything I do.
- Location – It’s great being able to work from home and not having to get stuck in rush hour traffic anymore or get bogged down with office politics and company hierarchies. I’m currently writing this blog post in sunny South Devon for a mini-break (mainly getting to have a lovely different view out of the window!) I’m also very fortunate to be able to work in some amazing places and venues and get to see some epic views when I’m out photographing which is definitely one of the perks of the job!
- Salary – Although it was daunting having unpredictable finances and the lack of security being employed, growing my business to where it is today is something I couldn’t have dreamed of and the growth has been amazing these past few years! The sky’s the limit and I’m always working the best I can to grow my business. Being full-time has allowed me to grow both in business and personal development which is more than I could ask for.
I was thinking of ways of how to celebrate with my other half, Rob, we brainstormed with ideas like a bottle of bubbly, a giant balloon in the shape of the number 1, and then Rob suggested that he’d make a special cake for me to celebrate this milestone in the shape of a camera. Although it’s a bit kooky, I love it and it’s as homemade as they come! He tried to replicate my trusty Canon camera and I can just about see the resemblance! Tehe! Regardless, it tasted DELICIOUS and couldn’t be happier to celebrate this special occasion.
I often talk about the rollercoaster of running a business, and I’m so grateful and blessed to have such a supportive network such as IPSE, Solent University, Somerset Art Works, Solent LEP to name a few, who’ve helped me get to where I am today and of course all my amazing clients, family, friends and my other half for believing in me and encouraging me to pursue my passion full-time! Thank you so much everyone!
A few behind-the-scenes snaps of being a freelance photographer. You can find them posted on my Instastories on Instagram if you fancied a follow (@nishahaq).
Read more on being a #girlboss
Find out more on my new portrait & interview series, Fearless Females
More on my website of my latest weddings & photoshoots