RUNNING A BUSINESS AT 23! THE BEST OF 2017 ~ BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS CRAZY JOURNEY!


I am sure by the title you are expecting me to give tips on how to be successful in what you love, but truthfully there is no “one way” to success. Photography is a very tricky business to be apart of; similar to many other forms of artistry. I know I don’t only speak for myself when I say that being a photographer comes with many ups and downs personally. To be 100% honest, it wasn’t until recently that I actually had some for of confidence in my work. I used to be physically sick to my stomach before a session, especially a wedding! I was so worried about what could go wrong or how I could screw it up. I don't think that feeling will every go away however it is trumped by the confidence I try and instil in my mind.

When I was first starting out, which by the way was only a few years ago that I started becoming busy, I received a lot of criticism from people! I will never forget the day another photographer in the same industry as me had come up to me at an event and tell me that I am the reason the market was so “saturated” and that I was not worthy of calling myself a wedding photographer and that I was too young to know anything. That night, I almost quit, I almost said no and found something else to focus on. Today I am so grateful that the lowlife person said that to me, it has since driven me, pushed me and it gave me the want to succeed just so one day I could write a blog like this and that maybe they see it. IN YOUR FACE!

Just like anything in life, it takes a lot of work and a lot of determination to do anything and be successful at it. I love to use the word “sucessful” when I talk about where I have gotten to in my business; not to be cocky or to brag but to be proud. Successful doesn’t refer to the money, it doesn’t refer to the amount of weddings or sessions I book. The words successful, to me, means that what I have strived for has come true! I have made a business out of something that I love to do. From the day I graduated high school I told myself that whatever it was I ended up doing in life I wanted to enjoy it. I consider successful to be the fact that clients return to me, whether its every year, every few years or even a past client recommending me to everyone they know! I build relationships with my clients, I capture moments for them that may be as big as their wedding day or as small as a fall family session, either way I am capturing a moment in their lives that they can look back on forever.

Now I know some of you may be reading this thinking “what the hell does a 22 year old know about running a business?” to answer your question, I don’t. I may know some of the things I have done to help improve my business but if you asked, what are the steps to being a successful business owner, I would tell you to ask someone else; then I would ask to know what they said to you because I could still use some tips. Then again, does anyone really know the exact right way to do things? Every day is a constant struggle, I struggle to find enough time in the day to not only run my business but also find time for myself and my family. Sometimes it is hard to balance when to say yes to going out for drinks with friends and when to say no and drink alone in your office. (this never happens 😉)

I am sure that most people have finished reading this by now and clicked out because we all have busy lives, for those of you still around, I appreciate you! You are apart of the reason that I am successful, I have so many people like you in my corner pushing me and cheering me on in this business! My last piece of advise I have for anyone still reading this is to push through it. It doesn't have to be business related, whatever it is you struggle with don’t let it over come you. I actually learned a helpful tactic to concur struggles. If you take a piece of paper and white down exactly what you are struggling with, then below it write all the things you could do that could make it better in point form. If any of you are like me and love lists and organization, you’ll love this! At least once every day, look at your list and do whatever you can to accomplish your point forms, even if you don't actually achieve it fully, it is one step closer then you were the day your wrote the list!

In summary, go out and kick ass, conquer the stuff people said you couldn’t, beat to your own drum, be the person you want to be, walk around with your head held high, and never say no to a drink! Cheers to being the best dam person you know!

Now to follow up all that seriousness of this blog post, here are some not so serious Behind the Scenes images from all point of my photography journey this year!!

One of the First Wedding of the 2017 season were these two and I can't believe they are ALMOST parents! Looooove seeing my couples lives build!

If I could rate sunsets from 1-10 this would have landed at like 5 million <3 Thank You Estate 248 Wedding Venue for the beautiful golden hour!!

Also spent Matt & Lisa's wedding with the one and Only Robyn Strong Photography as my second shooter, always a good time!

One of the best part of doing this job is being able to photograph friends, I went to high school with these two and they are freaking adorable, also had a blast catching up with some old friends and celebrating!

Another wedding to add to the books were these two, man I love them! I grew up in my hometown hanging out with these two forever and they FINALLY tied the knot this summer and I couldn't have been more thrilled to shoot the wedding and dance and celebrate with them both & many old friends!! PS: I always bring champagne ;)

One of best friends and fellow wedding photographers, Im sure you've seen her in probably every instastory from weddings this year.... Stacie Lynn Photography!! It is so fun to build a connection with our clients and by the end of the night say goodbye to them as friends, and we can't forget a good selfie or 2... or 9346!

Speaking of Stacie..... when we were shooting my cousins wedding in Squamish, the day COULD NOT have been better, we laughed, captured some amazing memories and we danced our hearts out at the reception! The day started like this....

and then in ended like this..... She danced just a little too hard... god damn Gangnam Style!

As you can see by this blog post I don't get in front of the camera often.... LOL kay but it was so much fun to get in front of it with my wife! Just before the wedding Stacie took us out to a gorgeous location on a gorgeous sunset evening and captured some freaking amazing photos for us!!

AND THEN IT WAS THE WEDDING DAY!! On August 26th 2017 I married the LOVE of my life and it was a perfect day!!

Shout out to my AMAZING photographer - Brooklyn D Photography (you may spot her in the photo of my groomsmen on the left) Also major thank you to Ryan Stushnoff Photography for capturing our wedding video that was TO DIE FOR!!

Some of the best memories from wedding days come from working with a big rowdy bunch in the wedding party!

Also getting the chance to work with amazing vendors in the wedding industry is a great way to come together and create magic for our couples! Kelsey from Rayneography in the bottom right shooting video for Chelsea & Patrick!

These are legit the 2 things in my life I can't live without... my camera & basically every piece of Apple product I own... which is a lot.. I have a problem!

How could I forget ANYTHING about this wedding day... I was second shooting for Stacie Lynn Photography... and I think it was about 500 degrees and I was sweating in places I didn't even know I could sweat, this is me, being my selfless self and airing out the brides dress because, well it was only kind of warm!

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes it rains on wedding days... and sometimes it POURS on a wedding day, so much so that you need like 4 umbrellas just to stay somewhat dry.... or you just say screw it and buy ponchos and just look like absolute morons... totally fine with me!

Also a MAJOR highlight for me was traveling over the Island for these two to tie the know, we captured some AMAZING memories and one photo in particular got A LOT of attention on Facebook and reached my most liked photo!!

Probably one of the biggest announcements I made this year was the "WORKSHOPS FOR KICK ASS PHOTOGRAPHERS" Along side the one and only.. Stacie! We worked on this project for months and month with a lot of wine and we finally announced is this fall! We are expanding our circle and offering workshops all about working with couples and also about kicking ass on social media! Learn more here> www.jordandoak.com/workshops

The announcement of the workshops led to collaging only like a quarter of the selfies we have together!

ALSO... probably the best caricature ever drawn of anyone.... could this be more accurate though! LOL

This year was EASILY one for the books and it included a lot of self reflection, determination and just overcoming my own mind, but I couldn't be more happy!

These two women I have SO much to thank for... my mama and my sister taught me so much growing up and I LOVE them to bits and they have never stopped supporting me from day one I decided to go on this crazy journey!

As most people know... I am a LOOOOOVER of Christmas, yes I may not be the biggest fan of the snow (mainly because it rains) but dam when it snows... it is SO freaking gorgeous and just gets you in the holiday mood... full of chocolate and candy at 9am!

I have SO much love for all my siblings, no matter how old or how young they are.. I will always be their protector, and always be the one to tickle them till they pee!

This time of year is always my Favourite, I get to look back on how amazing the year was, I get to relax and enjoy some down time! I couldn't have done any of this without all of you people supporting my dreams, giving out my name and recommending me! I looooooove you all, especially the ones who stayed till the end of this post, you da real MVP!

THANK YOU ALL FOR AN AMAZING YEAR AND I CANNOT WAIT FOR 2018 TO BEGIN!!


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Jordan Doak is a Wedding & lifestyle photographer based in the Fraser Valley & Maple Ridge, BC

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