What's Up Everyone!!!
We are so incredibly excited to announce the official launch of RBFocus!!! RBFocus has been a personal project we have been pondering about in our minds for some time now. We could not be any happier to share it with all of you. Before we begin we wanted to share our story about how we got started, our mission, and our goal with RBFocus.
What IS RBFocus?
RBFocus IS an Educational website with information on Business & Entrepreneurship. We are going to teach General Business tips & ideas, the Business of Photography, General Photography Tips from Lighting, Editing, Workflow, Gear, and more. Everything and anything we have learned or failed at we're going to share with you. We want to share what we have done that has allowed us to build our business. We are not professional writers or speakers. In fact we are somewhat reserved and quiet at times so I have a feeling these articles are not going to be easy but then again what is. Our goal is to be ourselves and connect with you so that we can help you grow and inspire you to pursue your dreams!!
What RBFocus is NOT?
RBFocus IS NOT going to be for everyone. We have been running our business since 2010 and have experienced a lot in these past years. We have had really bad moments and great moments all of which we are forever grateful for. But NOT everything worked. So, we want to share our stories. Our ultimate goal is to at least resonate with one of you. If we are able to help one single person thru our experiences then we'll consider this project an accomplishment!!
My wife Andrea and I are both International Wedding & Portrait Photographers. Andrea is also a Professional Make-up Artist who specializes in Bridal Makeup and more. We started our business in 2010 while both working full-time jobs. I graduated with a degree in Information Systems (IS) while Andrea attended MUD (Makeup Designory School) in NYC. After working 6+ years in the IS field for a Tech / Software Company I finally came to the conclusion that IS was not for me. After photographing my very first wedding I fell in love with everything about it. The energy of the wedding day, the couples, the relationship we were able to build with them and above all; how important our role as a wedding photographer really was. We really capture moments that are cherished forever!!! While working together, Andrea graduated from MUD and began working at MAC Cosmetics. Her dedication to her company, job and passion for makeup really pushed her to new heights within the company all while photographing weddings by my side. Eventually we both decided we wanted to build our own business and she too was able to take the leap to join me in RichardBFlores Photography.
How It Started
After slowly building our business and brand, I decided to quit my job. It wasn't an easy decision as I had made amazing friends and I was taking the biggest risk of my life. A huge pay cut, a mortgage to pay, a non-steady income, and the infamous phrase "who makes money from photography...?" So on September 28th, 2012; I remember walking out of the office door with my sweater, a confidentiality agreement and my resignation letter. It was the last time I was going to drive that route home, the route I had been driving for the past 6+ years every day at 6am and 5pm. I was scared and excited along with a mix of other emotions I couldn't even describe.
A few months after leaving my job everything was incredible. We had a few weddings & jobs booked and some past work. Everything felt great however we started seeing things slow down. Inquiries slowed down, jobs slowed down, and finances were coming to a halt. Things got so scary, I started rethinking if this was the right decision. Our mortgage and car payment were put first than anything and squeezing that one lime extra hard for dinner to get each drop out of it was not uncommon. I had always tried to be a very positive person and I always tried to keep motivated but when you are on your own, it's scary. Having Andrea by my side was probably one of the biggest and most important factors. She grew up in Argentina with little to nothing and deep down inside she knew things could be worse so that alone made me realize the importance of what we already had; but above all, I felt that parents raised me to be as humble as possible as they too grew up with nothing!!
And so the Downward Spiral began...
I saw it coming and didn't know what to do. I always thought I could overcome these things with positive thinking but when there were no inquiries, no work to edit, and payments not coming in; I thought the s**t really hit the fan. Thankfully while all of this was happening Andrea was working her job at MAC making ends meet but at the end of it all we had to cut MORE Corners than you can imagine...
It wasn't until one day
I sat at my desk at home and began to re-evaluate why I had made this decision to leave my job. It wasn't because of money, it wasn't to compete with other photographers, and it wasn't to prove anyone wrong. IT WAS because we loved building relationships with our couples and truly creating something special for them and their families. So we began working; working on our branding and our website to showcase what we loved doing most. Photographing Weddings!! We began practicing more and more, becoming better at understanding our gear, editing, lighting, workflow and most importantly how to run an effective business. All of this took up so much of our time we couldn't focus on anything else and YES although money and financials are important, that day of the month always came to have to sit down and figure out how things were going to get paid. Regardless I somehow allowed myself to just trust that things were going to get better thru faith and hard work. There were nights we would stay up until 4am learning & working not only to get things done but also because we thought if we'd work this hard, something good had to come from it right?? So we worked, we hustled we continued to push thru.
A lot has happened
From 2012 when I quit my job till now. We went from 1 wedding to 30+ a year. Andrea finally quit her job too and partnered up with me and we own what is our dream photography studio until now. We have more than tripled our work and income, But NONE of this has happened over night. It's happened with sweat, tears, arguments, doubts and failures. And we are forever grateful for every single moment we have gone through. This is exactly why we want to share our story. So that we can help whoever needs it, to motivate those who are in a position we were in and most importantly to help build up this industry as well as other small businesses.
Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to start a business or you are a photographer looking to learn just photography. Whether you are a designer thinking of quitting your job or interested in opening a studio, we are confident we can help at least a little and if we don't have the answer then our goal is to learn together with you!!
Remember, nothing we say or do can be held against us. Some of the thing's may work and some may not so it's up to you to see what works best and apply it to your business. We are NOT professional writers or speakers "yet..." We are just a husband and wife team who are eager to motivate others. Our writing probably isn't perfect and we may break some writing rules but at the end of the day our goal it to get the message across. And if we're able to do that then we'll celebrate together!!
Before we conclude our very first article we wanted to acknowledge those friends who've inspired us to get RBFocus going. You know exactly who you are. To those photographers, colleagues and business owners who have trusted our advice and have made changes to their businesses thru our experiences. We're so honored that we have been able to help you. And most importantly to our couples and clients who are the reason we continue to do what we absolutely love!!