What it’s really like to own a business and work full time.
From my point of view: what it’s really like to own a business and work full time at OU.
I love being a photographer and running my business, but I actually don’t spend most of my days shooting & editing for Melanie Foster Photography! When I moved back to Norman, Oklahoma in the fall of 2016, it was because I had accepted a job working full time for the University of Oklahoma Admissions & Recruitment team! It is a DREAM job. With my background in video production & producing, I am able to combine my degree with my passions for social media & photography (and of course, OU!) and oversee all three elements for the communications department. I run the Go2OU accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, photograph for social, emails, print pieces, and the website, and oversee any video projects that come from our department. It’s the coolest job – I get to stay connected to the university, work with wonderful people and students, and use my creativity in a variety of ways. So when people ask me if I’m a full time photographer, it’s kind of a complicated answer! I would say I do photography full time, in multiple capacities 🙂
One of the best parts about working for OU is staying up-to-date on everything happening at the university and with current students. Since I work primarily with college seniors through MFP, it’s nice to know what the latest news and updates are on campus and have OU as an immediate area of common ground. It also means that I am almost always on campus! If there’s a new building going up, an exciting event, or anything else happening nearby, I typically know about what’s going on. I get to photograph events and campus-happenings for OU, so I also get to connect with a variety of students like the OAR tour guides (shoutout – love you guys) and Delight Ministry girls a couple times a month on different projects and initiatives. PLUS, I photograph the OU home football games in the fall which absolutely cannot be beat!
Something I started late last year was a series I call “lunch-time blogs” – I typically spend my 1 hour lunch break working on MFP-related things, whether it’s blogging a session, answering emails, social media posts, or catching up on educational content. It’s one hour during the day where I can take my mind off of OU-related business and somewhat switch gears which I think helps both areas of my work life. In my busy seasons, my shoots are pre-scheduled with a calendar I set several months in advance so that I am able to occasionally (lol – keyword there) go home straight from work or go straight to the gym instead of staying on campus until 8PM shooting. I also take advantage of my weekends as much as I can – Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons are my favorite times to write thank-you notes, prep and order gifts, update my calendar, and brainstorm (this is also why I typically don’t book weekend photoshoots!)
Running a business and working full time is a balancing act that I often struggle with (talk to me mid-April and I will be losing my mind!) But I am grateful to have the flexibility to do both in my life and still make time for other hobbies, relationships, and passions. Outside of working full time & running MFP, you’ll often find me at OrangeTheory Moore 4-5 days a week getting my splat points, or spending a quiet night at home with a cup of tea catching up on Survivor or This is Us! This is a good, sweet season of life and I am grateful for the blessings the Lord has put in my life – including both my full time job & wonderful clients in my business!
XOXO (and Boomer Sooner)
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