Author: Amy G Photography
When I was five my parents gave me a small Canon PowerShot point-and-shoot camera for Christmas and I’ve had a camera in my hands ever since. About five years later, since I still showed an interest in taking photos, my parents upgraded me to a larger point-and-shoot and then to my first DSLR in middle school. I started my business officially 6 years ago in my junior year of high school when I started charging for high school senior sessions and set up my website! I did senior sessions for about 3 years, then started branching out by working with a couple of businesses and a few family sessions. Last year, after my husband and I got married and moved to South Korea, I started offering family sessions and event coverage to serve the community better!
My favorite thing about being a photographer is the opportunity to serve others and provide my clients with a positive, upbeat experience. That may sound a little abstract, but that is the center of what I value and love. At my core, I am an entrepreneur. I have always loved dreaming up business ideas and “side hustles” that coincide with my hobbies, combining them with my knowledge of running a business that I have learned through my own research and college and, as a result, provide value to other people. That goal wouldn’t necessarily have to be satisfied by photography if that weren’t what the community needed or if I decided to pursue another business idea of mine one day! You never know what someone is going through, especially being in a foreign country, which is one reason I believe businesses should always do whatever they can to bring happiness and positivity to their clients through everything they do. I am so glad that many businesses understand the value of doing so in recent years!
I could say so many things about military life, living in Korea, and having a home-based business! One of the most important things I would say to another military spouse is that if you have the opportunity to live in or visit South Korea, take it! This country is an absolute hidden gem that no one talks about, and there is something for everyone here! Korea has expanded my view of the world in so many ways that it is impossible to sum up in a few sentences!
Another important thing is that I think military spouse home-based businesses are amazing. I would encourage anyone who loves a hobby and would like to share with others to research how to turn your hobby into a side hustle or business. There is so much fulfillment in owning and operating a business that you create out of nothing, and there are so many resources online that can help you from day one! Running a home-based business overseas is unlike running a business anywhere else and is even more exciting because of how captive your audience is likely to be. Overseas military communities, at least in my experience, tend to be very close-knit, so we, as small business owners, get to work alongside the community to learn what they want and need. Overseas small businesses get the privilege of being a light in the community. I can provide military families in my area with beautiful photographs they can remember their time overseas. Sessions from cherry blossom sessions to celebratory 1-year-old hanbok sessions that honor the culture of our host country and have fun doing it! (Hanboks are traditional Korean attire) I love telling mothers not to worry, to put their trust in me, and I will make sure they have the beautiful photos they can take back with them to the US to remember their time in Korea!
A great example of how incredible it is to serve a small community is the story of a fellow business owner here. She started a business just this past spring making custom gourmet cookies. Her quality and customer service were so wonderful that she quickly started booking an entire month out! Even in our small community! Her cookies bring an extra bit of joy to the families here. Spouses are constantly posting how much they enjoy her cookies, and they have been a part of almost every event that I have photographed here!