Wednesday, January 29, 2014


You never know how much you need a friend until you start your own business and realize how scary it is doing it alone. Sure, you have friends that you hang out with, gossip with, party with...but having someone who is in the same boat as you when it comes to starting your business is essential.

Today I met with a lovely young woman, Erynn Dostaler {} whom I have not spoken with since college. We took the same photography courses, and while we saw each other almost every day, we were never really "friends". Almost 3 years later, I see she is in the process of starting her own photography business as well, and there went the *lightbulb* in my brain. Maybe I should contact her and we could discuss our journey into this new and frightening realm. So we did just that.

There is a cute little coffee shop called Lilies in Atlantic Beach, and we couldn't have chosen a better place to meet. We were nice and cozy, drinking our hot coffee on this 39 degree, rainy day {we native Floridians are not fans of any weather that is colder than 65 degrees}. Catching up was really nice, of course reminiscing about college and our wonderful professors, and how much we actually miss it all. We were warned back then, but never really realized how difficult it would be to continue pursuing photography after graduation when you don't have that classroom full of your peers and professors, pushing you and motivating you. Obviously, 3 years later and I am just now taking that leap. It takes more self-motivation than you'd think, and that is never easy.

While Erynn has had more experience shooting weddings and events, we are both at the starting line when it comes to the business aspect of it all: getting our websites up and running smoothly, learning the ins and outs of pricing, packages, taxes, and networking. It's intimidating! But I'll be honest, knowing I wasn't alone in this, and that I had someone who could relate and with whom I could work with in the future, was relieving.

Networking is SO important. Even for those who feel they can dive right in and do it all on their own without support. It's crucial to meet people in your field, reach out to those who are starting off as well, and especially to the veterans who have years of experience. Learn as much as you can in the beginning. Of course you will learn more as you go, but starting off with some knowledge will help exponentially.

And I cannot emphasize enough how important social media is. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Flickr, etc. are your best friends when it comes to networking and getting your name out there! Even putting your business cards out at different places like bridal stores {if you're a wedding photographer} is helpful. Not to mention word-of-mouth by your friends and family.

Bottom line is, don't get discouraged! Learn to motivate and inspire yourself, and with hard work and persistance {and sometimes sacrifices}, you will do fine. Never give up on your dreams.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

step one

On this day of January, I received my EIN (employer identification number). Truly official! Excited doesn't exactly describe how I am feeling. It's a mixture of thrilled, proud, motivated, inspired, driven, determined, nervous, and scared out of my mind. But this is the day I've waited for. I just had to give my butt a little kick to get started. I only have a few more things to cross off my checklist, like create my website (which should be completely up and running in the next few days), order my business cards, open a business account, and finally, start booking clients! I've had a couple of inquiries already, which is great, so if you think you may be interested in booking a session with me any time this year, feel free to email me and I'll give you the rundown of my prices and packages :-)

Don't forget to follow me on instagram and twitter also! @trueeraphoto

Thank you my lovelies, be on the lookout for my next blog, where my website link will be officially posted for the first time!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

welcome 2014!

Number One

Well, I've finally done it. After years of contemplation, anxiety, just fear of the whole thing, I've decided to start my own photography business. It's always scary to try something new, especially when it's something you are completely responsible for despite it's success rate, BUT sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and go for it. For all of my friends and family, I appreciate the support and motivation you've given me throughout the years. For those of you who don't know me as well, I'll tell you a little about myself.

My name is Paige (Roberts) Schicker. I was born in the cultural city of New Orleans, but have lived here in Jacksonville, Fl my whole life. My passion has always been art, ever since I can remember. From drawing, to painting, to photography, I've learned and loved it all. I attended the magnet middle school of LaVilla (the very first year it opened, too) and went on to attend high school at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. For Jacksonville natives who did not go to this school, the imagery they have conjured up in their mind of the people who went there is just funny. They just picture this school ridden with goths, gays, and dorks. The "weird" artists. I won't deny it, those groups of people did exist, but they exist at every school. The people I went to high school with were awesome, and I learned so much. I do miss those days.

From there I went on to the University of North Florida, where I entered freshman year as a graphic design major. After one semester, I realized that it wasn't for me. A little lost on which major I should switch to, I nervously chose Photography. Nervously, because I took photography in high school, and apparently my photo teacher thought I was terrible (which I heard from my drawing/painting teacher. They liked to gossip about their students and clearly didn't mind spilling the beans about what the other said). But I figured Photography was the road to go down if I didn't want to "starve" once I graduated. So I took the chance of possibly being awful, and went with it.

It was one of the best decisions of my life. I absolutely fell in love with every aspect of it, from the brainstorming, to the technicalities, to developing your own film, and finally to developing your own images. The first time I watched one of my images come to life on that blank white paper as it lay submerged in the developer, just appearing out of nowhere like magic, I was amazed. It was so rewarding being able to create an image all the way from the camera to the darkroom. Not to mention, I had some of the most talented professors in the world, who helped mold and shape me into the photographer I am today. Especially Dominick Martorelli. He was rough around the edges, but he was a great teacher and mentor. He took me under his wing and put his faith in me and pushed me to try new things, and I am so so grateful. I'll never forget him.

After college I had a couple of lame jobs, just to pay the bills. And thank God for one of those lame jobs, because that is where I met my husband, and I am so lucky and blessed to have him in my life. He has supported me, motivated me, and inspired me to become whatever I want be, and I wouldn't have had the courage to pursue this dream if it wasn't for him.

So here I am, starting this new chapter of my life with an open heart and strong will. 2014 is going to bring a lot of changes to my life and I couldn't be more excited. So a big thank you to all of you who are standing behind me, to those I will have the pleasure of working with in the future, and to all of the new friends I hope to make.

Also, a BIG thanks to Krystal Blase Halvorsen of West House Photography, for all of your help and advice! You've been an inspiration.