Everyone thought I was crazy. Everyone really thought I wanted to stop the wedding. I pulled out my laptop and started transferring the images. I asked everyone to patiently wait for another 5 minutes before resuming.
Everyone was gaping at me. Whispers filled the room. I didn’t care – I could not miss a shot.
What would I do when the memory card was full again?
Simple – I just had to make sure there were plenty of respites throughout the wedding. I smiled smugly at myself for being so clever. And before I knew it, the camera stopped firing in the middle of formals.
Beads of sweat trickled down my face and it had nothing to do with the hot weather. I can’t stop to transfer again. I just can’t.
I just had to…improvise. My mind was racing as I thought wildly. If light bulbs really hovered above heads when ideas came up, mine would have been as bright as the sun.
I remembered I had a 128MB card in my bag. I knew it couldn’t take as many pictures, but I could extend the capacity by downgrading the quality of the images. Who needed 8MP images anyway? I mean…are they really going to print billboard-sized pictures?
From that point on, all of my worries were swept away. I actually kept this up for 10 more hours.
Chapter 2: Riding On Referrals
For the next two weeks, I managed to book four weddings based on the images produced from Nancy and Rob’s wedding. This was great! At this rate, I could quit my job at Staples as a stock boy and do this full time.
If my mathematical calculations were correct, four booked weddings in two weeks would be a rate of two weddings a week. In one year, I could book 104 weddings!
For Nancy and Rob’s wedding, I charged a whopping $300. Honestly, this was whopping to me because it was way more than the minimum wage I was getting at Staples. This was too easy! Therefore, if I could book 104 weddings at $300 each, dare I say, I would make $31,200 a year! That’s way more than I could get at Staples…this was a good thing.
This was going to be a great thing. I could quit Staples manana… and that’s what I did.
With my newfound time, I went all out to make my business work. Instead of getting up every morning to stock inventory, as I would do at my daily job, I woke up to create my client contracts and organize packages for my happy customers. This was the life.
I was riding high on the referrals I got, since they appeared to be rolling in. One after the next… on and on. First it was Nancy and Rob’s friend. Then it was a friend’s friend. Then it was the friend’s cousin’s fiancé. It seemed endless.
Then it happened…
My reservoir of endless clients was fading. Fewer and fewer inquiries were being made. For a moment, I blamed this phenomenon on what could only be a slow wedding season. However, it persisted…
I realized that my new clients were purely the result of referrals. They only came to me because they knew of me from Rob and Nancy’s wedding. And now that I’ve run out of Rob and Nancy’s people, what was a photographer to do?
I racked my brain. Surely, I knew of someone else getting married. My conclusion came to this: either no one was getting married or I didn’t know a lot of people.
Desperate and jobless, I began calling people in my address book. Days passed without any inquiries. According to my calculations, I should have booked 6 weddings by now. Since I booked zero, I already lost $1,800. Ahhhh.
This reminds me of that episode of “I Love Lucy” where Lucy and Ethel went into business for themselves by buying Mrs. Hansen’s Dress Shop. The decision was made based on the calculation that every 5 minutes they would be making $200 dollars. Every hour, they would $2,400. Everyday, they would make $19,000! How could they refuse? When the store actually opened though, reality sank in they didn’t make anything near that amount. You know the episode? Sigh.
Anyway, a month had passed in total and my business’s progress was about as wildly successful as a field of chirping crickets. This was not part of my plan…
I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t force people to get married. I even considered getting my job back at Staples. Oh…the agony of being a photographer with no one to photograph.
What do you think I did?
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