We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Lenzi Holmes a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Lenzi , appreciate you joining us today. Have you been able to earn a full-time living from your creative work? If so, can you walk us through your journey and how you made it happen? Was it like that from day one? If not, what were some of the major steps and milestones and do you think you could have sped up the process somehow knowing what you know now?
I wish I could tell you there was a magic potion to all of it but truly, I feel like it was hard work and favor. When I started my career 8 years ago, we had the goal for me to pay my student loan and now here we are and I am a main provider for our family and because of my job we get to travel across the country because of a camera!
I feel I am one of the lucky ones and learned what I needed at the right time! So what I would encourage any new photographer is trust the process. Learn different things at different times and not all at once! Fall in love with the process and you will find yourself and your art.
Lenzi , before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
My mother was actually a rodeo photographer and I never in my wildest dreams planned for it to go as big as it has for me! I started out working as a newborn photographer for a local hospital and the company that was contracted out! My husband one day bought me a camera and said you can do this on your own! Just do it! So I did! Now he and my daughter are part of the team with photography and video!
I am most proud that my clients become my family. I get to cry, laugh, mourn and celebrate with them and they do the same for me! I have had 4 miscarriages during my time as a photographer and I cant explain the love and support by my “clients” who are really more family. There is such beauty in letting relationships mean more than just a transaction.
I work my tail end off. Im a hustler. I always have been and was raised that way being a farm kid turned city mama and the mini van! I have my sessions back in 24 hours and weddings back normally in 1 week! Thats where I feel I have my foot in my the door as something unique!
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
I had the nightmare of nightmares happen. I was traveling in Colorado for a wedding for a close friend/client. Long story short it was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever shot and I lost my card holder. Talk about a true panic attack. We were loading the plane to come back home to Texas and I pulled everything out to edit on the plane. Do keep in mind my daughter was 3 years old and there. I have never ran out of an airport quicker than I did then. I traced all my tracks. Nothing. Gone. We also drove the whole mountain ranges that day so I knew it was a slim shot. That evening I sadly had a true panic attack, remember blacking out and ending up in the hospital. Lets be real. Bad stuff happens. And I wanted to crawl in a hole and die.
I will never forget calling the bride to tell her and when I said ” I have done the worst thing you can imagine”…and her response…”Lenzi, we love you. Its ok. Its just pictures. Yes important but no life or depression is worth it”. The GRACE I saw was only what I had seen in another person in my life, Jesus.
We went world wide on a search, news stations, rewards, ect. We still haven’t found it to this day but let me say this. I learned more in that one week than I did in 8 years. You can ask why did I back it up…I had my systems full and didnt have room. I didnt travel with a mobile back up at that time. LESSONS learned. I will never forget shooting my next wedding just shaking. But wedding after wedding, year after year my confidence and new way of doing things kicked in.
SO here is the truth. Lessons are to be learned and no one is perfect. So instead of quitting, push thru. Even when its hard. YOU can do it too.
And FYI, I still to this day do the families pictures and I have never been more loved by them.
Can you tell us the story behind how you met your business partner?
Well, I married him! We actually met in a county band 10 years ago! I cant believe it! He was my drummer! After about 5 years my husband said ” I want to help make extra money on the weekends, what can I do?” I said, “Im teaching you to shoot!” NOW….venues post his pictures left and right! It is the coolest to have been able to teach my husband, get to see a different side of him and live this life with him. Weddings are now like a date for us! Its so much fun and no one knows me better or how to help me than him! Now he has fallen in love with videography and our 6 year old daughter shoots with us. It might sounds like a joke, but its not! Even venues have shared her work and she has a pro camera. It is such a beautiful thing that this is our family work and our family love.
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