My Story Part 3

Originally Published October 30th, 2016

“The thing most people don’t pick up when they become an entrepreneur is that it never ends. It’s 24/7.” -Robert Kiyosaki

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Ashley and I started “To The Roof Photography” sometime between fall of 2009 and spring of 2010. We shot whatever we could. We had a blast.

Hailing from the rolling golden hills of northeast Indiana, Tim & Ashley travel the endless country roads searching for anything and everything to frame in their viewfinders. Capturing people, places, squirrels…they use high quality professional digital cameras and lenses along with retro lo-fi film cameras to shoot a world that is unique to their vision and lifestyle: Retro, colorful, adventurous:]

Ashley was the face of our business for many years. She handled all the communications and scheduling. I continued to work part time for the USPS and in the evenings we would have photo shoots. It was a great set up. In fact it was perfect for a while.

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I taught Ashley all I was learning about photography and she made sure we stayed busy. We shot everything. Bands, kids, newborns, families, high school seniors, couples, weddings, jugs and hoses…(product photography)………

Each year our business grew to the point where we were shooting nearly 20 weddings on top of the smaller shoots we had during the week. Along the way we upgraded our camera kit. Shooting with the best cameras and lenses at that time.

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We got an apartment on main street and we survived. We worked like this for several years. We began traveling for weddings. We shot a wedding in Cherry Beach, Michigan, Lafayette, Indiana, and Columbus, Ohio. 6964672515_46bd7f3a18_z6996921805_070b4303f7_z

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People from other states, places we had never been, were asking us to photograph them. Photography became a vessel. We were living a life we could have never imagined.

photo-wall-project-126We were able to pay our bills, pay off my student debt, pay off our cars. We were debt free. We got married. We bought a house. We did all that with the help of photography. photo-wall-project-11

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In 2014 we peaked. We were at full capacity and it was starting to take a toll on us. Weddings are one of the most stressful genres of photography, both physically and mentally. There were countless hours spent sorting and editing 1000’s of images. The wear and tear on our bodies was starting to become more evident as well.

We were too busy trying to keep up to learn new more efficient ways of managing our workload.

While we loved the thrill of shooting weddings, the energy that it gave us to perform, we were feeling more and more like a cog in a wheel. Our creativity was starting to suffer under the stress of 10 week long wedding bookings. I was still regularly working my part time job and running to shoot a wedding afterwards. Following a summer that was seemingly full of negative experiences culminating in one drunken mess of a wedding, we decided to take a sabbatical from wedding photography.

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That summer was the last year we shot weddings. We finished out the year and officially retired from wedding photography. It was a huge decision, and at the time we didn’t know if we would continue with any type of photography. We were burnt out in the worst way.

That fall I began working full time for the USPS after a coworker was injured. A few months later another coworker retired and I was offered a full time position. After working nearly 10 years part time, I was a career employee.

It was around this time that Ashley felt a calling to go into the nursing field. With her nurturing personality it just seemed natural for her to make the career change. She enrolled in her first year of nursing school the fall of 2014.

Winter came and our photography schedule cleared as it usually did. But would we ever pick up our cameras again? I sold off most of our kit to help pay for Ashley’s first year of nursing school.

That was it. Photography served its purpose in our lives and it was time to move on.

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