GUESS WHO’S JOINING CAMERON FAYE PHOTOGRAPHY FULL TIME?!
You can say that Cameron Faye Photography has been in quite the transition season. One that has honestly been the most exciting to date. The past three years, my AMAZING husband has been shooting with me here and there. Each year, each season, it became more and more. I will never forget the first wedding we shot together. We were 6 months married, and I brought him along to second shoot a wedding at this gorgeous mountain vineyard in Virginia. Now, other than sitting in our first little home asking, “Would you want to second shoot a wedding in Virginia with me this coming June?”let me rewind and tell you what really lead him to start second shooting with me…
I had just finished a really busy spring season while he was playing baseball, we moved into our farmhouse, he started his new job and I was heading into a packed summer. He was working weekdays and I was working weekends. That summer, only 4 of my weddings were local. I took on side sessions (engagements, bridals, families, etc) in the evenings on the weekdays right when he would get off work because that’s when my clients became available (and hello, golden light!). We honestly started to see that we were living our lives “in passing.” I remember we had this unspoken understanding that this is not how we wanted the pace of our lives or marriage to go. So when we finally sat down to discuss him starting to second shoot with me and travel with me, it not only was such a fun and exciting conversation but we were finishing each others sentences and could really just feel the Lords hand all over it. We spent the next couple month’s training, training, and more training. Here I was teaching this baseball player/accountant how to work a camera (go ahead and insert “Lord have mercy.”) But kid you not, I tell people all the time, it was so much easier working with a blank canvas, then undoing someone else’s artistic eye to match your own. Sam was not training to go start his own thing, he was not trying to build his own portfolio, he was learning and soaking up all the training solely for us and this business that he had watched me start from ground up. If anything training him took be back to the basics. Hearing his questions and looking at his excitement, going through his photos with him, took me back to all those days in college where I stayed up all night researching, playing around with my camera, looking up mentorships, you name it. His hunger to learn and help me, completely revived this sort of burnt out state I was feeling.
I remember I would turn almost all the lights off in the house and ask him, “Okay, what would you do in this situation.” I remember we would run outside in the middle of the day when there was not a cloud in the sky and say, “Okay babe, what would you be on, or where would you go if this was the lighting of someone’s first look.” It was so fun!!
So fast forward to that first wedding we did in Virginia together, and you guys, MY JAW still drops when I think of how much he killed it. Not to mention, I’ll never forget what it felt like to work with my husband for the first time. But let’s be honest, doing a good job and being a good photographer, and being a part of someone’s wedding day is so much more then camera techniques. It’s about what you carry, how you treat and serve your couples, the energy you give for those 10 hours, the moments that allow you to pray with the bride and groom, the hugs, the handing tissues, the calming down nerves. It’s more about who you are then what you do. And that is something that cannot be taught. That is something you just have. And never once did I have to train Sam to carry my mission, to carry my heart for this business on his sleeves. And I know I might be bias, but my husband is someone that everyone should have around on their day. He’s calm and steady, and serves with his whole heart.
From that June 2015 he started second shooting with me a whole lot more. Obviously he was so busy working full time as an accountant, and we were also in the very beginning stages in the massive project of restoring our barn. So weekends were precious to him. So he would only second shoot the weddings that were traveling for, or ones that my other second shooters had weddings of their own.
In 2016 we ended up shooting 16 weddings together out of the 25 I had that year. All the sudden we felt like we blinked and we were definitely more than a part time husband and wife team. I want to mention that throughout the last three years Sam has always had a huge part to play this business. Being an accountant and a numbers/organized genius, he had been handling the bookkeeping and a lot more of the behind the scenes business side of things. When he would have a super slow day at work he would always text me, “What can I do for you today?” or “Send me some emails or contracts or invoices I can take off your chest.” He was always a lot more passionate about this then what he was doing.
2017 rolled in and the Lord was definitely stirring up a lot in my husband’s heart about where he was currently at his job. He beasted through tax season, spent every Saturday from February-April in that cubicle of his while I was finally in my “off season.” Mid April came around with us celebrating tax season being over and gearing up for my busy season to just get started. I could go on and on and on in sharing all that the Lord was putting on our hearts through multiple people speaking into us, things that were going on at the firm he was at, and just really praying about the direction the Lord would have Sam go. But to sum it all up as quickly as possibly, July 22nd Sam pulled the plug, quit his job and decided to come along side of me full time. Neither one of knew that becoming a husband and wife team would happen this soon. Years ago, I would have laughed even thinking that thought at all. But when the Lord makes it known the doors he’s opening and the ones He’s closing, you just have to press into Him with your palms up and follow him. There is so much freedom in trusting Him.
So you might be asking what this all looks like for us right now? We sometimes ask ourselves that question (haha). Sam is going to be shooting the rest of my weddings with me this fall/next spring and summer. He will take on sessions, that I can’t do due to already being booked, or possibly being on call to photograph a birth. We both sit in my office and have this “You cull, I edit” type of workflow right now. He does most of the packaging and mailing out, writing up contracts, invoices, etc. He tackles a lot of emails, while I do most of the phone or coffee consults. Having him be a part of this is allowing us to take on more. More sessions, more coffee dates with my couples, faster turnarounds, more posting (hello blog and website that I neglected for 2 years. YIKES).
There is so much in my creative brain that I want to make happen. And to be honest, I feel as though I could never actually execute it due to just drowning in doing so much of the behind the scenes work on my own. And believe me, I know that there are plenty of people out there making a lot happen. But are you thriving, in doing so? Or are you just surviving? You might be thriving in numbers, in your bank account, your “following” on instagram, etc. But is your soul thriving. Are you taking care of yourself? Are new dreams that the Lord has put in you still on the back burner because you simply are just being a “photo dispenser” (truly how I felt most days). My heart dances and my head spins with ideas daily. Mentorships, workshops in our barn, highlight films for more labor and deliveries, writing, teaching, and my list goes on. Sam knows all these things. He said it best, “I am ready to help you execute these things that you have talked about for so long.” Yes, it starts with believing in yourself more, letting go of fear, becoming more of morning person (haha), setting boundaries, but it also starts with building a team and having help in the everyday tasks of running this full time business.
It is crazy for me to release so much of what I did on my own for so long, in someone else’s hands. But what better person to hand stuff over too then the person who knows me best. He truly is my other half (besides my literal twin sister haha). I’ve learned a lot about letting go, but I believe that it is in our letting go, and surrender to control everything, that we are able to fully live, to deeply discover, and to simplify in order to magnify the one who created this all!
Thank you Jesus for this calling, for this opportunity to capture love stories. We welcome this new and oh so exciting chapter of our lives with our palms up ready and fully expectant for all you are going to do.
And to my husband. Thank you for everything. You are my biggest supporter, my deepest encourager, my favorite dreamer of big and wild dreams. You are a born entrepreneur. Your voice hushes all the voices of doubt and fear in my head. You are so teachable and yet you have taught me SO much. There is no other person that has watched this from the beginning as close up as you and I just thank you for braving this wild journey with me! Let’s do this thing!