You may have heard the news—Ivy Lane Photography will soon be Sarah DeMaranville Photography. I’ve thought long and hard about this change—what it means for the business, for me, for my relationship with my clients.
When I began my photography journey, I was eager to tap into my husband’s already-established group of followers, so I was initially a part of Monjaro Studios. After growing and learning about business, I later realized that the “studios” name didn’t match what I was about. I wanted something classier, something more appealing to moms. I did some exploring, checked available web domains, and landed on Ivy Lane as my second business name. And, I’ve operated under Ivy Lane for fifteen months now.
Recently, I’ve been seeing signs that a third (and final!) business name is due. I can only get so many wedding inquiries and so many unhappy complaint emails intended for one of the two other “Ivy Lane” businesses in California and Texas before the benefits of being unique became clear.
Wait—I can’t. All that I just said—that was a lie. A lie that I told myself for the past four years. The truth is I was scared. I felt vulnerable. I felt like a fake and I wanted to hide behind an anonymous business moniker. Photography is such a visible occupation. Everyone raves about their recent family portraits online, sends out Christmas cards, and hangs their portraits on their walls. I wasn’t ready to accept the praise or criticism that could come from that. I wasn’t confident in my work.
I was sick to my stomach before every mini-session, family session, senior session, or wedding. The anxiety of preparing for the “what-ifs” kept me awake at night. I felt like a fraud. Who was I to be charging money to take pictures? I didn’t (and still don’t) have a degree in photography. I don’t have a business degree, either. In fact, I have two masters degrees and fifteen years of experience in the public school setting.
All of these thoughts weighed me down. Made me feel inferior. Robbed me of my confidence.
It took me four years of photography courses and business classes, not to mention thousands upon thousands of clicks for me to feel assertive and proud to stand beside my work. My style is my style. It’s bright and fresh and joyful, but it’s not for everyone. I’m okay with that, and I’m not hiding anymore.
Yes, my name is Sarah DeMaranville. I own and operate Sarah DeMaranville Photography. And I take some of the best damn pictures of any photographer around.
Tune in to next week’s blog post as I share my goals for 2019.