Olie’s Images has now been in business for five years. It is hard to believe that it has been this long already. It seems like I’m just getting started. Time slips by fast. It was early in July 2014 when my parents gave me my first camera. One week later I shot my first barrel race and quickly realized that I could quit my day job. At the time I was interning with Peabody Energy in Gillette, WY. I was learning tons at work but it wasn’t really diving me. After work, I would spend every possible moment learning photography. I would stay up way too late each night learning as much as I can from every source I could find.
I sought out the most experienced and successful people I could who were willing to share their information. I have three college degrees and the most valuable thing I learned was how to learn. I first learned what I didn’t know and then set out to gain an insight on how I would learn that thing. For instance, I would research sports photography and figure out how the pros were freezing action on the field then I asked my friends to go play disc golf. I put into action what I learned about freezing action and I was able to freeze my friends mid-throw!
That first week I had to learn how to shoot, edit, and print. Then put it all together and teach someone how to do it so she could help me. Ever since then I’ve been doing almost exactly the same thing but I’ve gotten better and more refined. My business model of printing on site came naturally. I had a camera package that came with a nice printer and was able to get quality prints out pretty fast for the customers who supported me that first weekend.
Step forward five years and 2.5 Million photos later, I’ve come a long ways since then. That first barrel race was at my parent’s place near Riverton, WY. As I write this now I have my 5th wheel parked where it all began. It’s kinda crazy to think about how much things have changed but also how the core plan is still almost entirely in tact. I’m still taking photos of the action and hiring someone to show, sell, and print them for customers. The scale of business has changed as has the quality of gear. The biggest change is within me though.
The last five years have taught me a lot about business, photography, work ethic, dive to succeed, and so much more. I’m getting more comfortable with every aspect of it and life is much more stable than it used to be. I appreciate everyone who has supported me and I’m excited about the future of Olie’s Images. Here’s to another five years!