I have a pretty big milestone to announce... Tera Photography was officially born 10 years ago this month! TEN YEARS! That's the longest I've worked anywhere! :) LOL Obviously I like my job.
It's been quite the evolution too. Much like the subjects of my photos, it has grown from a newborn baby business into something a little more grown up each day. I thought it would be fun to take a look back on my journey.
I started very innocently. I got a Canon Digital Rebel for Christmas and decided I'd best learn to use all the buttons. So I took a class. I was hooked. This was the first photo I ever took that I submitted for critique. It's my oldest son Drew when he was 5. Isn't he adorable? I had cute subjects to practice on. I was excited because I used my new 50mm 1.8 lens. It actually won the class contest that time. (Hmmm, maybe I have an eye for this...)
I loved loved loved photography and especially photographing children. I had photographed a couple of friend's children and they loved what I had done so I thought "Maybe I could make this into a business..." I researched and decided to give it a go. I started with a portfolio building period. Oddly enough, I did this while I was pregnant with my third child. NOT an ideal time to launch. But it worked ok, because I tested the waters and then put myself on "maternity leave."
It was a good idea because I was SWAMPED with requests. (Side note, what was I thinking with that name?! Wow it's a little embarrassing to look at my early stuff!) And guess what? Much of what I still do is on-locaiton sessions. Both kids in my sample above are my own. In fact they were often early subjects for me. I love this one of my older two and they STILL act this way. I have this photo in canvas hanging on my wall. It's a treasure.
Baby Alex came along and I got lots of practice in on him. This photo actually got some recognition from a large online community back in the day. When that email arrived, I was really stoked! Feedback and recognition from peers! I CAN do this! Time to make it real.
Putting myself on maternity leave was a great time to retool and rethink how to make this a viable, professional, business. I needed a brand, I needed a pricing structure, I needed policies and a framework of how to operate. Not to mention setting up as a legal operating business. I took baby steps each day. Thus my business was born in April 2005.
Yes, that is my youngest son on the cover. He saw that recently and told me he doesn't remember being and angel. :) As I pulled these old marketing materials out, something struck me... much of what I was doing then, I'm still doing and valuing now. My focus has always been children and that is still my first love. I still use natural light. I still strive to capture a child's true spirit.
I didn't mention that this early stages of my business was while our family was living in Little Rock, Arkansas. We moved a year after I started up. Which could have been disheartening but I actually took as an opportunity to rebrand and retool and learn from a year's worth of business. So when we landed in Minnesota, I created a new look.
I loved this blue and brown combo and I had this for several years. It was a great way to carry my branding throughout my marketing and packaging materials. It was becoming recognizable. And I grew my business and expanded in many ways.
I learned a lot! And in 2011 I experienced a big life change that made it clear it was time to make a business change as well. I became divorced and changed my last name. Couldn't really continue on with Tera Windfeldt Photography any more and frankly that was always a bit clunky and long for a business name. I dropped the last name entirely and went with what my business is called today: Tera Photography.
This seemed like a good time to have my brand evolve as well. Even though I loved the brown and blue and the script font, it wasn't really reflective of the style of photography I was shooting. My style had evolved. I wanted something that reflected my brand that is whimsical, authentic, clean, fresh, fun, editorial, storytelling, memorable, timeless. I wanted to keep the blue but needed to ad a bit of pop to catch your eye. And so...
My logo as you see it now. And I love it. It's everything I wanted it to be and I feel it represents my entire business so well. Bright and fresh and fun. It works so well for me.
And that's where I am today! Still photographing children, on-location in a fresh authentic way. I simply cannot believe it's been 10 years. I'm so grateful to all the families that have been a part of my journey. It's a amazing to me how many children I've photographed and to be able to watch them grow up through my lens is an honor.