Fourteen months ago I signed a lease at The Dils Center. I was ecstatic. I had outgrown my small basement photography studio and moved into several rooms on the second floor of a historic building in downtown Parkersburg, WV — the same building where my mother and I used to shop together when I was a child. It was an incredible feeling.
My studio has become my “happy place.” I love it. I’ve grown as a photographer and as a business woman. It’s been a lot of hard work, and it has been–absolutely–worth it.
The first six months of 2018 were financially flimsy, to say the least. When you have a job, you get paid to perform it. However, when you own a business, you pay to work. There are a lot of hidden expenses, regardless of whether I have clients or not. It’s the reality of being my own boss. And, of course, there are long stretches of months without a paycheck. All the money goes back into the business.
Now, the next six months in my studio were incredible! I added my wedding officiant division, and I didn’t realize that I would love it as much as I do. To those of you who have allowed me to join you and your loved one in marriage, thank you. I have been changed by the strength of your love for each other. Your love blesses me tenfold each time I officiate a wedding.
I know I’m rambling. You’re probably wondering, “What’s the point?”
Here it is….
My business pushed past the speed bumps and revved up the last six months of 2018. I took pictures of high school seniors, college graduates, veterans, and families. I also took boudoir photos and pin-up pictures. I did a model call for pre-tweens and tweens and had a blast shooting beauty photography with these youngsters. Then, I added maternity and newborn photography and fell in love with a new genre.
I officiated weddings in my office, on location, in wedding venues…. I have driven two to three hours on a couple occasions to marry couples. And, I’ve done my fair share of same-day elopements and Sign-and-Go weddings. I never know what each day will bring, and I love it.
With all these blessings that grew from my dream and with the assistance from those who helped me, I’ve spent the last several months fumbling with some difficult decisions. In fact, these decisions have been excruciating to make.
Even though my business has experienced substantial growth, I have decided to leave The Dils Center. Here’s why.
All along, I have had a dream of building a large studio on the empty lot beside our home. It just makes good business sense to do so–to invest in a structure that will belong to me. Now, with the pending sale of The Dils Center, this is a good time to make my move.
I’ve created another stream of income to pay for my studio. My goal is to have it finished sometime this year. However, with full transparency, I’m tired. I own Deb Lorentz Photography and Mid-Ohio Valley Wedding Officiants. I am also a freelance copywriter and an editor. In the midst of my busy Christmas photography season, I was editing a client’s book for publication. Now, I teach English to Chinese students in the wee hours of the morning.
I’ve decided to step back, pause, and whittle my work down to a manageable load. My main focus will be my wedding officiant business…for now. I will, however, still take photos. I’m not giving it up. I’m just restructuring the way I do business until my new business structure is complete.
Also, I need to take care of my health because working long hours has taken its toll. I’ll be working entirely from home for a while. I’ll shoot photos on location instead of in the studio. I will continue to officiate weddings on location. For Ohio couples, I can meet you in my home office for Sign-and-Go marriages and elopements, as well as other popular wedding locations and venues. For couples in WV, I will continue to provide the same services, but the locations will change.
I’ll vacate my photography studio at the end of the month, so now is a good time to schedule photos if you’d like them in time for Valentine’s Day. If you want studio photos for any reason, I’ll be taking them through the last week in January.
On the other hand, I may keep my wedding space open until February 14 to accommodate Valentine’s Day weddings. If you’d like to get married that day in my wedding space, reach out to me as soon as possible so that I can reserve your spot. If there’s no interest, I’ll vacate that room the same day that I close my studio.
This decision has been bittersweet; however, now that I have made it, I’ve come to peace with it. There are good things ahead. I am so blessed to be able to do work that I love. In the meanwhile, I’ll be making plans for the new Deb Lorentz Photography and Mid-Ohio Wedding Officiants brands.
Thank you, everyone, for supporting me and this dream. I look forward to the next step in this incredible journey.