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I'm Dolly — a Nashville based family and branding photographer & a business systems educator for small biz owners who want to be more streamlined. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about business systems!
December 29, 2020
Thank you all so much I wish I could virtually hug each and every person in these photos (and I will even do an elbow high-five to honor social distancing) because I appreciate all the couples and families who have reached out to me this year to be a part of their stories for a brief moment.
So without further ado, here is a recap of my 2020 family photography, couples photography, and even some intimate weddings! (Note: this doesn’t even cover the mini sessions or branding sessions I also hosted this year, so to the clients, families and couples who I worked with for those sessions: THANK YOU so much!)
Scroll down to read my thoughts and reflections on all things 2020 (I promise you, there are some positive notes!)
Like the rest of the world, I did NOT see the dumpster fire that happened to 2020 coming to be completely honest. I had a packed schedule for most of the year, and I was THRILLED to get to dive into year 2 of my full-time business. Yet when March came with its multi-faceted events (from the Nashville Tornadoes to Covid to a nation-wide shut down) I, like the rest of the world, really freaked out because I was coasting into my busy season and I had no intentions of slowing down until December of 2020.
Thankfully, I found out something about myself: I am actually tougher than I assume I am (and I’m pretty resilient on my feet). Yes, I am willing to admit that I cried once or twice because I assumed my business was going to be negatively impacted, but something very interesting happened between March to May: I started getting multiple opportunities to TEACH other business owners not only how to better automate their small business (using Pinterest and Dubsado) BUT…I also still had consistent photography clients AND I found so much ZEAL again in digging into pivoting into my role as an educator to other newer photographers.
Please Note: I did NOT go to school as an educator. Actually, I got my master’s in mental health counseling, so I am pretty equipped with all the “right tools” to logically know how to navigate the waters of mental health, but I honestly have learned everything I know about running a successful family photography business from other mentors and since 2006 (when I first picked up my camera and when I started doing photography as a “side hobby”). So to take on the role of an “educator” in 2020, that was both terrifying and exciting to me! It is a role I am still pushing myself to grow in as I mentor other family photographers.
In a way, I am so happy that I now understand myself better and I know that if I put my mind to things, I can accomplish anything (like pivoting my business to model both photography, business systems education, and family photography education). But I would NEVER have dug into all of that if I had not been forced into a corner by the pandemic. I honestly think I would be in the same place I was in January or February of 2020, with absolutely no intentions of diving into photography education and teaching other small business owners.
Now, I know that there will be someone reading this rolling their eyes at me (and jumping to the conclusion that I’m thanking God for The Pandemic) But I’m not…I’m still very sad that Covid happened, and it is negatively affecting so many people, nations, and events. I’m actually quite disappointed that I wasn’t able to expose my son to a lot of summer and fall activities because of Covid…but I’m not going to go down that rabbit hole. No, what I’m trying to communicate is this: I am thankful I figured out how to push myself and pivot myself in the midst of a crisis and I was still able to have zeal and passion for my business (and not give up on myself because I watched a lot of other business owners throw in the towel, and I could not do that).
I am an even “stronger” (I say stronger in quotes because I have only experienced a slice of life-not the full spectrum) woman now at the end of 2020 than I was at the beginning, and I already knew I had a lot of SPICE in me (not only because I’m half-indian #masalajokes) but this year has also taught me to come to the throne of God more and more (so not only be courageous but be courageous enough ask him for help).
What a year it has been. But, you know what? I’m thankful I still have God, I still have my husband + son, and I am also very grateful for my business because I have gotten to serve so many amazing humans this year.
Thank you for reading this far…I hope that I can continue to learn and grow alongside many people in the days to come!
Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & personal branding photographer, and also serves as a business systems educator to new creative entrepreneurs (which is a fancy way of saying, she enjoys teaching how to best lay a good foundation for automating your new business). Dolly loves serving families, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography. She loves capturing the joy and emotion in both digital and film photos.
She also has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Pinterest, email marketing, automation processes, and time management with fellow creative business owners in an encouraging and supportive way through her T.A.S.K.* method (an example of this can be seen in her Pinterest Foundations Mini-Course), through helpful blog posts, and other resources.
Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.
Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor and maybe a little too many Unsolved Mysteries reruns from the 90s because she’s cool like that), has a major sweet tooth, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography, please email her at email@example.com or fill out her contact form here.