I have a weird job. I'm the first to admit it. When someone asks me "What do you do?" I honestly wish I had an easy, clear answer. I just don't fall into your run of the mill professions that can be easily defined with a one word answer.
I am an entrepreneur.
My educational background is in Commerce. I am a makeup artist; an esthetician; a event coordinator; a blogger; and most recently, a student of photography. This latest undertaking makes me money, so I suppose that makes me semi-professional and gets rolled into my Liam Neesen style "particular set of skills" (Hellooo... awesome Taken reference alert.)
I figuratively wear many hats. (Literally too, usually hobo-style toques because I don't feel like doing my hair. #truth) Nothing is ever the same one week to the next. I created this job. Its unique to only me. And the best part? Anyone can do the same thing with their own "particular set of skills" ... trust me people, life is better when you are doing what you love to do.
Recently, my weird job offered the most awesome opportunity to come along as both a makeup artist and photographer for a wedding at the beautiful Barceló Maya Beach Resort in Mexico, I was pumped... my personal Holy Grail of gigs - "The Destination Wedding"!
But hold the phone, I was also super hesitant. This would be the first wedding I had ever photographed, and I didn't want to screw that up for this couple by getting in over my head. I asked my photography teacher (the very talented and wise Shannon Brunner www.shannonbrunner.com) what to do and she simply said "Take the job, we'll make sure you're ready." (Sometimes you just need someone else to tell you can do something. Validation - its ok, we all need it.)
I first had to first condense and pack a travel sized professional makeup kit about 1/100th the size of my regular one. The heat can pose a buttload of challenges with skin irritations and makeup durability so I was well stocked with skin care solutions, long-wearing, multi-purpose products, setting sprays, and lots of disposables that wouldn't be readily available at a resort. The challenge was to pack as few products as possible, with the most multi-tasking impact, and in the most travel friendly way. This bride is a natural beauty, wears little-to-no makeup in everyday life, but needed some extra vibrancy and definition to make sure her features didn't get lost under the bright, bright sun on the beach. Easy-peasy, since Richelle is a mega-babe.
Luckily, packing my camera equipment was super easy. I made sure everything was registered with my insurance company and I had a perfect carry-on sized travel bag. I took 4 lenses, 2 camera bodies, my external flash, a modifier, 3 camera batteries, 2 chargers, about 1000 SD cards, approximately 4 million AA batteries... and a partridge in a pear tree.
The wedding itself was beautiful. Short and sweet, with just their closest family and friends on the beach. The ceremony was followed by a couple hours of free time that we used for the formal portraits of the couple... and a couple cervesas, obviously. The evening included an amazing dinner and cake cutting at an a la carte steakhouse, and an absolutely fantastic private party on the beach which I can say DID include a spectular group performance of that Whip-Nay-Nay thing that I don't know much about. (#oldballs). They even got me out on the sandy dancefloor for a couple of songs.
After the wedding, Chris and I still had a couple days to just enjoy Mexico. (Did I mention I weaselled my husband in on the action?) We spent a day at Xel-ha, an Eco-park that is essentially one big inlet off the Caribbean Sea that has a bunch of cool activities like cliff jumping, snorkelling and ziplining. We spent most of the day working on some hideous life-jacket shaped sunburns whilst floating down the giant lazy river.
We managed to make a day trip to Playa Del Carmen, take in a few a la carte restaurants, spent some time at the pool, and hit up the resort's bowling alley - which provided some seriously stylish hospital shoe covers for people without socks. Both clever and ridiculous... because who the hell brings socks to Mexico???
(Side note: Although this resort was pretty fab, the first two nights were home to the "Phish Festival" which not only could I not believe was a thing, but exposed me to legions of loud-ass, washed up 90s hispters that will haunt my nightmares. But THAT is a story for another time... #blur4eva) All in all, this trip was the best of both worlds and I felt happy and comfortable every step of the way. The point is, I may have an unconventional job, but its an awesome one. Entrepreneurship doesn't have to fit under a certain job description. My advice to anyone who feels stuck in their career, or lack thereof, is this: Find something you love to do, and then charge money for it. You will be happy and as a result, so will the people who hire you. #winwin
There are many roads to success, but having passion for what you do is the key.
Congratulations to newlyweds Richelle and Brian and thank you for the opportunity to be part of your awesome adventure and for taking a chance on a Noob! XOXO!