KU grad and young entrepreneur says 9-5 not for everyone.
“It was unreal. The sun was behind the mountains, so it was still that twilight glow. It’s freezing. She’s in a dress. We’re on a glacier.”
Lindsey Roman steadies herself on a frozen lake, in the middle of a cold morning in Colorado. One eye locked on the happiest moment of her friends lives, both hands clasped around the key to her dreams for the past two and a half years; her camera.
“Would you march fourth in life with me?”
A March 4th pun, and nonetheless, epic engagement. But Lindsey is not just idly standing by to congratulate her friends. She is snapping every moment through her lens, used to the flow of an engagement shoot, but never tired of it.
If you were to ask the bubbly young-adult two years prior to this moment if her life would entail whimsical and surprise engagement shoots in the middle of sand dunes, glaciers, or adventures with her Canon to Bodega Bay in California, you may have had a question or two.
What started out for Lindsey as a simple goal to learn to use the aperture on her nice camera, turned into an entrepreneurial dream; her own website, growing followers, and a faithful client base willing to endure freezing conditions and even sacrifice a toe or two to potential frostbite.
“I pulled out the manual and I was like, ‘Dang it, I’m going to learn what aperture means.’ Then I started reading blogs and discovered that I loved it. The next part of that process was finding people to shoot.”
She succeeded big time. Roman, whose work has attracted the likes of websites such as HowHeAsked.com, and popular Bachelor couple Jade and Tanner Tolbert, has built herself quite a business, thanks to marketing efforts on Instagram, hard work, and passion to be her own boss.
“Early on I saw people killing it on social media, and I said, ‘I want to work to be like them.’ I want to be able to market myself for free, which you can do on social media. Right away I started taking Instagram courses and photography courses.”
A smart move. According to Instagram’s Business site, more than 500,000 advertisers and business owners are growing their businesses on the site. Likewise they state, 50% of users follow a business and 60% of people learn about a product or service on the app.
Roman’s experience echoes Instagram’s statistics, with most her inquiries coming from the social media site within the past six months.
“You have to put effort into it, you can’t just expect it to give back right away. It takes time.”
An innocent act like picking up a camera and taking online courses might be in the likes of many soon-to- be post-graduates, who do not fancy the 9-5 setting yet. Fortunately, there are more avenues now than ever, where hobbies and skills can lead into business endeavors, like Lindsey.
With the right kind of marketing and passion to build a business, many will be comforted to know that it isn’t as overwhelming as it seems.
“It was a slow production of discovering how much I loved [photography] and how much I love entrepreneurship and not having a 9-5. I really loved working for myself and growing my own business. In general, people expect you to graduate college and immediately know what you’re going to do, go get that big girl 9-5 job. That’s the norm and that’s what is expected of you.”
If the camera isn’t what is in the eyes of the beholder, Roman is still adamant that the typical 9-5 does not have to be for everyone.
“My advice would be, think about what it is that you love, and what sets your heart on fire, and how can you make money from that. Some people do love the corporate setting, and that is great. If you love that go do that. But make sure you love it.”
Lindsey opted to pick up a camera instead of a briefcase, and slowly but surely found her passion in the art of photography. She’s never looked back.
While some graduates will pick up the briefcase and pantsuit with out a look back, others are in the category of the otherwise unknowing and overwhelming abyss of what the future might hold.
But who knows… with the right work ethic and passion, two years from now could lead you to the middle of a glacier, sand dunes, or wherever you want.
Written by Sammie Schurig.
Sammie is a Communications Studies major and Journalism minor graduating this May from the University of Kansas. She's a recently retired collegiate swimmer whose passion is to speak (or write) life into others. You can find her on Instagram at @SammieSchurig and on her blog at samplushercam.com.
Lindsey Roman is an adventurous, destination wedding and elopement photographer based out of Oahu, Hawaii and available worldwide. She lives for outdoor adventures, intimate moments, and candid images. Her style is raw, passionate, and authentic. She believes in chasing sunsets, laughing too hard, and most importantly: capturing genuine moments that evoke feeling over perfectly posed photographs.