There are many photographers in the world and there are many where we live, but usually you know the photographer by the photography, not the PERSON behind the camera.
I personally think that photographers aren’t treated as ‘people’, but rather ‘objects’. Let’s think about it- if you hire a photographer for your wedding, someone will ask you, “who did your photos?” and 99% of the time, you will reply “Victoria Lynn Photography & Wisor Editing” (or another photographer) NOT “Victoria & Andrew Wisor”.
We are very used to this type of mindset because it’s just what happens when you become a photographer.
In this blog post, I want to introduce you to Andrew and myself. Who we are as people, not business owners, not the ‘people who take your money’.
I need to start with where I began (I didn’t meet Andrew until later). (and of course I will give you the short version)
I grew up on a large apple farm in a small rural area of La Jose as an only child. My dad is a truck driver and my mom is a stay at home mom/wife with odd jobs on the side. I never had the newest things that came out, and had a lot of hand-me-downs for toys and clothes. I always had to work hard for what I wanted and always fight for what I believe in.
My parents homeschooled me from the time I could pick up a crayon until I graduated high school in 2012. I was introduced to the social world by being involved in 4-H, Fair Queen Court, county and local government, Relay for Life, and many more community activities.
My senior year of high school, I started talking to a guy friend of my current boyfriend (fast forward through all the high school, teenage dating drama)- and that following fall I started dating Andrew.
Andrew grew up in Clearfield with his parents like an only child, but with adult brothers who live states away. His dad has worked many jobs, one being a computer repairman for Clearfield Computers and a maintenance worker at the Clearfield Hospital. His mom was a secretary in a law office, but later returned to school to become a nurse and now works at Mt. Nittany Medical.
Andrew attended Clearfield Alliance Christian School from Kindergarten through graduation, where he was Valedictorian of his class (of 2014).
Upon my graduation, I purchased my first DSLR camera with my gift money from my graduation party. I didn’t have any high hopes of becoming a photography business owner because I knew it was a hard job and had a lot of competition. But I did know that I loved it and wanted to learn more about it.
When Andrew graduated, he also asked for his first DSLR as a graduation present.
I continued my education at DuBois Business College (2013-2015), obtaining an Associate Degree in Entertainment Production Business, an all-around degree for photography, videography, graphic design, marketing, etc. Andrew took to self-learning with online courses and book courses, as well as helping me study for my exams.
In late 2013, Andrew proposed to me, and we set our wedding date to be right after I graduated college so that we could work on our careers together and build our life foundation together.
In 2014 we attended a wedding for a classmate of mine (DBC) and we ended up shooting our very first wedding. And I LOVED it. That’s when our business started to develop.
For the remainder of 2014, Andrew and I would schedule about 2-3 photo sessions a month and maybe a wedding here and there.
The remainder of 2014 and half of 2015, I balanced school, occasional shoots and weddings and wedding planning- saving up to fund 90% of our own wedding. Our parents helped where they could, but it wasn’t fully funded by either of our parents, so we sympathize when brides talk to us about ‘saving money where they can’.
I moved into a small DuBois apartment that was just the right size that I needed while I was a student, and we then chose that we would stay there once I graduated.
I finally graduated from DBC June of 2015. My last term at college, I knew I wanted to be a photographer and videographer and nothing could stop me- not even the negativity I was receiving from everyone I told.
Literally TWO DAYS after my college graduation ceremony, I walked down the aisle to marry my best friend. For better or for worse, for richer or poorer. (and definitely more toward the “poor-er, but sufficient and happy” end).
The time between then (July 18, 2015) and now has been a complete blur. Once I stepped out of my cap/gown and my wedding dress, I accepted a new life. A life of compromise, low income, and extreme exhaustion to do what we absolutely LOVE doing.
When I talk about compromise, Andrew and I no longer have weekends to ourselves as “days off” like many can enjoy. Instead, Saturdays we spend 6-10 hours at someone’s wedding that we just met months ago or an event that we just learned about. When family and friends ask to hang out on weekends, we absolutely cannot. During the week, our time is spent editing photos and videos- and a lot of the time we eat our meals while we edit sessions. We have to schedule our own days off so that we can enjoy ONE relaxing day off a month, then go right back at it.
When I talk about low income, I don’t mean that we are poor- we get by. Our weddings pay our rent, our regular sessions pay our bills. We keep our prices low and affordable for those around us, because we know how hard it is to make ends meet, but we also cannot compromise too much because we have to make ends meet too. In most cases, we make $4 an hour.
Along with this, many see us as ‘young kids’ who can just charge a few bucks and get by, but really, we are just as adult as many older couples are. We pay rent, car/renter insurance, water bills, gas bills, internet bills, groceries and gas.
Andrew teaches piano on the side and I do odd jobs for my parents and others to afford the hobbies and past-times that we enjoy.
We even give an offering at church, donate to Relay for Life, St. Jude’s and other charitable organizations and charities. We purchase locally, spending more, but supporting those who are also like us.
When I talk about exhaustion, we spend Sundays chasing around little kids and wiping droll from little faces, pulling all-nighters editing when our computers decide to update at the wrong times to get discs out on time, balancing friends, family and work (sometimes doing all three at once) and like right now- it’s 4am and I’m introducing myself to you instead of going to bed with my husband.
Andrew and I are the only people who work in this business. From time to time we will have a friend come to see what we do, or help with a project, but none of them help us with day to day tasks of calls, emails, texts, messages, advertising, uploads, editing photos, editing videos, sessions, weddings, events, burning discs, signing papers, keeping contracts and agreements straight and filing them, keeping a record of business, filing a quarterly sales tax, taking shipments to the post office, purchasing new supplies (discs, paper, etc.) and keeping in contact with our wonderful clients, as well as corresponding with the ‘not so happy’ clients.
Photography is our passion and our love and we are so incredibly honored, appreciative and fortunate that our business has grown so much that it’s a full time job for us. Even through it can become tough with negativity and being run down from constantly going, sometimes we want to just stop and shut down the business- but we continue to power through it with the support of our wonderful clients that keep us going strong.
We thank each and every one of you for reading our story and we hope that it gives you a little more insight to who we are- a story to the face- and not just another photographer in the crowd.