August 8, 2017
When I started this business over six years ago, I couldn’t fathom the growth I would experience or the changes I would make. I can’t even tell you that I had this burning desire to run my own business. I was a broke graduate with a love of photography, stories, and people; trying to figure out what to do with this new photography degree. Because let’s face it, being a barista at our local coffeeshop wasn’t going to pay my bills.
So I started Shaunae Teske Photography at this makeshift desk that I had stationed at the bottom of the stairs in the family room of my parents’ house. I had just moved back in after college and at 20 years old, I was completely unsure of what was next on my journey. I was embarrassed to be living back home when most of my friends were starting new jobs in big cities while I felt lost. The least I could do though was get legit, just in case I went into business (that’s what I told myself,) so I filed my LLC. At that tiny desk, at the bottom of the stairs, clueless as to what I would do next.
Little did I know, that passion for entrepreneurship was buried deep inside me. I should have known it was in there. I’m a natural leader (I get it from my mom who has owned three businesses!) Even as a child I led school clubs and took control of group projects (kids used to call me “bossy” and not invite me to their birthday parties.) That “bossiness” and natural desire to lead made me realize that for me to find true contentment in my work life, I would most likely have to work for myself. Excited but mostly terrified, I joined the world of small business owners and I haven’t looked back.
I launched myself into wedding photography by accident (shooting a wedding for a friend who was double booked,) oblivious that this direction would change my life. I instantly fell in love with the beautiful stories, the hustle of the day, and the importance of the memories I was documenting. I slowly started building up my brand and my business and soon went full-time as a wedding photographer (“soon” is too easy of word since it took me three long years to make the leap to full-time, but that’s a story for another day.)
I also fell in love with being a creative business owner. My little 5 ft “office area” felt like freedom. Thankfully over the years it’s grown into a mini-office in my one-bedroom apartment to now being it’s own separate and fully decorated room in my beautiful historic home. My office and my business felt like an entire world of possibilities. A catalyst to open new doors in my life, help me experience things I always wanted to, and a way to live the life I always imagined. I loved it so much that I wanted to start helping others experience that love of entrepreneurship too through teaching, workshops, and online education – all the wonderful things I am now currently working on!
Deep within my soul, I believe I was meant to do this. To share the stories of love deep within us. Love between two people, love of a dream or goal, love within a family. From that tiny office to now, that feeling has never changed. What started as “let’s see where this goes” turned into a calling. A realization that this is what I was always meant to do. Instead of ignoring it, I leaned into it – fearless and ready for whatever would come next.
If you would have told me six years ago that I would be out from the family room of my parents’ house and not only making it as a full-time wedding photographer, educator, and professional encourager, but THRIVING; I would have told you that you were loco! It’s been a long journey and it’s still constantly changing each year. Even this year, I’m working on some BIG, NEW things I’ve never tried before. I don’t know what the future holds but I know I’m still working and pushing and dreaming everyday and that will never change.
I’m thankful for this journey and I cannot wait to see what this year will bring. Thank you all for joining me on this ride!
I wanted to extend a huge thank you to Kinetic Bear for my new promo video! You’re awesome!
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