This month will have been 10 years since I began my full time journey as a professional photographer in Tamika Lee Photography!!! CRAZY!! 10 years is a massive achievement and it’s been my great joy.
I remember the first years how blown away I was that people liked my work and wanted me to photograph their weddings or portrait sessions. I was so humbled how accepted I was and all my fears of not being old enough were thrown out the window. To this day I’m still so humbled that I still get to do this amazing job I love so much, and people still love my work!
I travelled the world quite early on in my career to see what life was like as a freelance travel photographer. After a short 7-day visit to Fiji while doing a freelance journalism course I managed to score a gig to the Solomon Islands with a travel writer to photograph for his article. In 2012 I went on my first big solo adventure around South East Asia thinking I’ll go full forth with travel photography, until I got gored by a water buffalo! This resulted in emergency surgery and threw a few of my ideas up in the air…. but being front page of the Sunday mail actually saw my best year in business. I have since been lucky enough to photograph destination weddings in Bali, Fiji and Europe and I jumped back onto the travel ban wagon again and started photographing a world people project (which I am still working on in the background). This took me across Europe, South East Asia, China, Canada, and most of South America.
I’ve done well with my travel/documentary work being awarded 2nd and 3rd in international competitions and also my portrait work hung in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra for their portrait prize. My work has been featured in travel and photography magazines and awarded through the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.
As much as I LOVE to travel, I also LOVE Adelaide. It’s my home and I love all the work I do here photographing weddings and portraits. I’ve normally travelled over the winter months and come home for summer (which is wedding season) and this life balance has been so fulfilling over the last 10 years.
Now I’m a little bit older and a home owner, I find myself hanging around Adelaide a lot more (especially over winter time – though I still like to take small breaks) which my goal now is to put together these travel projects I’ve been working on and doing something more with my images.
I have to admit over these 10 years I’ve seen the industry change a lot and these last few, have probably been my toughest in business. Being a small business owner – solely working by myself can be tough. Photography is my passion and I’ve only managed to make a living from it by being in business and that can be very competitive. With the explosion of the online world and social media it can be hard these days to get in front of your audience. I am truly thankful for the clients I have and their repeat business, which keeps me going through the difficult times.
I don’t have any plans of leaving my baby (my business) as I enjoy what I do too much and I hope I’m still able to work in my business for the next 10 years and the 10 years that follow that and so on…
It’s been my greatest joy starting this business 10 years ago, it’s been so rewarding and fulfilling and I intend to keep on keeping on and exploring my passion, following my curiosity and photographing/documenting our lives/your lives.