(Wrote on the night before our site was hacked.)
For the longest time I’ve been holding myself back.
It’s way past midnight and I should be asleep. My alarm goes off in less than 5 hrs. But I can’t sleep, I just have to write this. I don’t know if it’s a good idea, but I have to do this.
I was watching American Idol where Phillip Phillips sang a Dave Matthews Band’s song. What set me off was Jennifer Lopez saying that maybe that song wasn’t the wisest choice. That maybe it was too artsy.
It feels like I’m Phillip Phillips picking that artsy song to sing.
I know I can’t be anything more than myself. Our business is me. It’s who I am. Who Jouni is. Who we are. It’s our vision, our taste, our hearts. Before I was trying to be interesting. Picking those popular songs that could make me go far. But I can only be myself. Pick the songs I love. I don’t know if I’m interesting. To some I am, to some I will never be. It took me a long time to see that it’s OK.
At the end of the day, we all have to do what feels right for us. We can’t make the choices we’re supposed to make if it doesn’t feel right. We can’t be something for everybody. We’re not for everybody.
When we were at Häämessut, one of the most popular lines I heard (not necessarily pointed at us) was “These photographers are so expensive!”. I understand that there’s budgets, but we haven’t decided to be “expensive”. We’re actually quite cheap in Finland.
It costs to run a business. It costs to be a professional. We have to pay VAT (23%), taxes (in our case it’s about 33% because this is not my primary job – and one of the reasons it’s not my primary job is that it’s hard to be a full time wedding photographer in Finland), YEL (16,88 %). On top of that we have to buy gear, computers for editing, software. If you start to calculate it… and start to think about photographing weddings yourself, would you do it for example 500€?
It also comes down to your priorities sometimes. Do you want to go for the perfect wedding dress? For the perfect venue? Or for the photographs and memories?
I can say for sure that the biggest mistake we made when we got married was not knowing about documentary wedding photography. The photos we have, we love. But there’s only a handful of them. I would do ANYTHING if I could go back in time. But something positive still came out of it – I wouldn’t be a wedding photographer if it weren’t for the mistake we made. The lack of wedding photos made me surf around on the internet and I stumbled upon Charlotte Geary’s beautiful work. And here I am now :)
We’re having our vow renewal in 2015 (maybe even sooner, if it’s a possibility). A few months back we decided that photography will be our priority, whatever it takes. And it’s going to be Nordica Photography. When you know it, you know it. The times I’ve cried watching their photos or raved about their photos to everyone I know… that should count for something. Heck, I don’t even know what it will cost us. Actually, I don’t even really care. Photography means so much to us that we’re willing to sacrifice a lot of things! :)
Now that our website looks like us, I’m going to be posting a lot more personal stuff too. My philosophy is that you should know your wedding photographers, your family photographers, your boudoir photographers… You’re allowing someone to capture your soul and you should like that person. I want you to know me. And Jouni too, although I’m the one writing. Jouni is busy with his school (and a summer job!!) and because I want him to graduate, I’m allowing him to do his stuff. Maybe sometime he’ll write some posts too :) But when you know me, you’ll know Jouni too.
I want to leave you with a song that’s been on my heart and mind. It pretty much summons my thoughts.
(You might want to press play, pause, open full screen and exit full screen to get the song at the highest possible quality if it sounds weird at first)
Beyonce – I Was Here
And here I am in my dream place once again.