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Inspiring Conversations with Abigail Saalfrank of Abigail Saalfrank Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Abigail Saalfrank.

Hi Abigail, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
When I was in high school, I bought a camera. I really don’t even remember why I bought it, as it sat on a shelf for two years before I even ever used it. At that point, I had graduated high school and was a freshman in college. I was nannying two little boys and thought it might be fun to snap a few pictures of them, nothing crazy. I posted them to my Facebook really thinking nothing of it. A few family friends asked if I would be willing to do family photos for them, and I said sure. I thought taking photos was fun, and it was something to do in my free time, nothing really more than a hobby. However, people started offering to pay me, and within a few weeks, I had shot and shared over a dozen sessions. I really didn’t plan on making much of it, maybe just a little side money here and there, then I got asked to shoot a wedding. It is really all just a blur from there. 

Here we are 8 years later, nearly 200 weddings later, and a whole lot of sessions. After my fourth year of business, I was able to go full-time once I graduated college and never really looked back. Now I shoot 20-25 weddings a year and usually over 100 other sessions. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Honestly, for the most part, it has been a smooth road. I really think the biggest challenge though has been navigating being self-employed and dealing with what people think being a photographer really means. Most people think photography is just all wonderful, you take pictures, it’s so easy, you barely work, when in reality there are times of the year I am pulling 100-hour work weeks, and it is still not enough. That has been hard to adjust to especially when your friends or spouse work a 40-hour week and want to spend time with you! 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Abigail Saalfrank Photography?
My name is Abigail, Obviously, but feel free to call me Abbey. I am a Midwest-based wedding photographer and have been a part of the wedding industry for nearly a decade. I have photographed nearly 200 amazing couples across multiple states. 

I only take 20-25 weddings a year, so I can give each couple the time and focus you deserve. You are not just 1 or 50 couples to me, which is why I pride myself on truly taking the time to get to know you, so I can create that unique experience for each couple who hires me. 

This causes every wedding experience to look a little different, but some things are standard with every experience. This includes two photographers with every package. I know you want every little detail photographed, and you should not have to pay extra for that. This also includes that my gallery delivery time is 2-3 weeks, which is half the industry standard because I don’t want you to be waiting on your gorgeous photos. The final thing that will always be standard is the Abigail Saalfrank bridal guide. A 100-page planning resource that I deliver to all of my couples after booking because let’s be honest, I know the ins and outs of the industry, so any help I can offer you, I want to! 

Just know, you are not only getting a photographer, but you are also getting a dress fluffer, boutonniere pinner, a personal cheerleader and so much more. 

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
Set your work-life boundaries early on! I was so focused on getting my business to what it is today that I often neglected myself and my life outside of work! 

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