I set up David A Hicks Photography on 1st October 2014. It was always going to be a tough industry to break into, I didn't know at the time where it would take me. I was determined to make it a success and working 7 days a week and most days until midnight in the first few months was hard work. I wasn't too popular with my wife as I was always sat at the pc, either studying, processing images or trying to establish the business.
I'm not sure if it was easier because I was working full time as an estate agent, because the pressure wasn't as intense if it didn't work out, as I had an income (a very poor one which is why I knew I needed to make this work) or harder because I didn't get much time with the family as a full time job and trying to start a business at the same time is very hard work and a big commitment.
However I was determined and with various ups and downs during the following months I am proud to say I have made it and am now a photographer. A full time, self employed photographer. The paid job is gone and I can now devote as much time as is required to both work on the photo shoots I'm commissioned to and to build my business further.
I am somewhat surprised and yet immensely happy that it only took 26 months from the very first thoughts of the business including coming up with the business name to taking the huge gamble of quitting my day job. I proved to myself that it can be done if you work at it and don't always listen when you don't get the encouragement that maybe you should.
I'm under no illusions, and by no means am I guaranteed success just because I'm now a full time photographer. Far from it, I know I have to continue to move forward and try to stay ahead of the competition and constantly improve otherwise it will fail and I'll be back behind a desk as an employee.
However, at this moment in time I've never been happier and more proud of myself. The primary goal was always to be more of a breadwinner for my family and support them as they deserve. I really hope I can continue to do so as I love this work so much.
Anybody else that is considering taking a risk and a big leap forward into the unknown should give it a go. I could be asking myself right now, "what if I had tried 2 years ago when I was thinking about it" you'll regret it more if you don't ever try than if you try and fail.
That reminded me of a few quotes I had seen during the past few months that encouraged me:
"In the end we only regret the chances we didn't take" - Lewis Carrol
"And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more" -Erica Jong 1942
"Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations" - Jelly Wong
This was intended to be a short piece about how much time I now have to offer to clients as I am self employed with no barriers in the way. 7 days a week if necessary. Hence the title 'complete devotion', meaning I can devote all my time to this profession without being stuck behind a desk. However it took a different turn and started writing about my move from nothing to becoming a photographer. (I was going to write successful photographer there but time will tell I guess) and it would seem as though the title was for my devotion to the work over these months. Well, I suppose it could mean both.