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Check Out Dave Bailey IV’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dave Bailey IV.

Hi Dave, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Well, I’ve always been an artsy type of person. Before I even picked up a camera, I was a DJ for years and I would also produce music, I thought I would do it forever. Like with most people, I began to change and eventually outgrew being a DJ. Being that I had no hobby/ outlet anymore I just threw all my time and energy into work. I was working retail for years and at first, I really loved it. In the beginning when working, I felt appreciated and valued like my voice mattered to my supervisor. I would do whatever it took to get the job done. As time went on and my family grew, I felt a sense of emptiness while at work. The long hours were just not worth it anymore, things didn’t make sense and there was no definitive why behind tasks. I still felt an obligation to stick it out and provide for my family but eventually got to the point where work was hurting not helping. I was always stressed and I brought that stress home most of the time. I guess you could say work was no longer checking all of my boxes. Eventually, I took a leave from work to decompress and figure out the direction I wanted to go secularly. While on leave, I saw so many former co-workers leave their jobs for similar reasons as me.

I also started seeing so many people start businesses and that really got my wheels turning. I was always into editing photos whether it be for my social media or a friends but never thought much of it. I would book photographers for my own family photoshoots but I found that the vision I had in my head was just never achieved in some cases. I remember editing a photo of my youngest daughter and I remember my family saying, “You should get into photography!” When you have a family any new hobby or project, you just see dollar signs in your head and think “How much is this going to cost me” At first was not feeling the idea but it slowly grew on me. I remember counting the cost and I had made pretty smart decisions with money over the years working and had a decent amount saved up so I thought why not. I remember like it was yesterday I was taking a drive just to clear my head and I stopped by my favorite electronic store where I would always buy my computers. It just so happened that at the computer store, they now started selling cameras. I typically have a hard time pulling the trigger for anything and this was no different. Eventually, I just told myself Dave just do it and I bought a professional camera.

After getting a pro camera I was so excited I would just shoot everything from. I would shoot fans to doorknobs to street signs, you name it I would shoot it. I immediately enrolled myself in YouTube University and watched hours and hours of video on photography and editing and everything in between. I can honestly say that I drove my family crazy with how obsessed I became with YouTube. Once I started getting the hang of everything, it was time for me to go back to work and honestly, I wasn’t feeling it. I just remembered what it felt like when I was at work and how it made me feel and the stress is caused for me and the stress I brought home to my family. After a lot of conversations with my wife and a lot of prayers, I made the decision to leave my job to pursue photography. I told myself “If I had to work, it would need to be at a job that would allow me to do photography, not stress me out and not take away so much time from family and things that were priorities in my life. Once I felt comfortable shooting for clients, I took to social media and started jumping into people DM’s offering free shoots, I got turned down A LOT. Like with all things persistence paid off and I got a few non paid gigs and was so pumped. My thought process was just give everything your all even if your not getting paid, your hard work and professionalism will shine through. It took some time but I eventually would get messages inquiring about pricing and potential shoots for families, fashion brands, engagement sessions and more. And just like that, DBIV Photography was born.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
With anything creative, you are always learning so at first, some of my biggest hurdles was not being educated enough in photography. As a self-taught photographer, it was hard trying to get work and learn at the same time. Rejection was really hard at first I found myself underselling my work just to get bookings. As time went on and I got better, I felt more confident stating my prices and being ok if I didn’t flip every Inquiry into a booking. I had to train myself to remember that Every potential client is not the right client. Now I think the thing I struggle with most is figuring out what story to I want my brand to tell. There are SO MANY photographers out there and it’s easy to just say “This photographer has a huge following so let me just do what he/she does”. I now find it more beneficial to shut off from the rest of the world and stay in my own head and cut my own path.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a freelance photographer. I shoot for brands, engagements, maternity sessions, fashion, and the occasional wedding. I wouldn’t say that I have one particular style but I tend to gravitate more towards the editorial look (moody yet punchy with a touch of cinematic) I am most proud of the progression of my work and the feedback I get. When I deliver the final photos to a client and they begin to cry tears of happiness, that really does it for me and lets me know that I’m doing something right. I am also proud that I give everyone a chance to feel their best. It doesn’t matter what race, male, female, tall, short, skinny or plus size I will shoot with every because everyone is beautiful. I think my willingness to take care of the client is what sets me apart from others. I never want there to be any surprises especially when shooting female models. My main priority is to make sure they are in the know about the whole process and ask a ton of questions so the client will know how the shoot will go from beginning to end.

Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
I feel that taking risks is super vital to starting a business or growing your business. If I never left my job working 50+ hours a week, I would never have started my business. I do think that risks have to be calculated ahead of time. There are careless risks so a measure twice cut once approach is always best. When risks are taken, I believe they push you to make the risk worth it. If you buy a piece of gear that’s expensive there is no telling if you will make that money back. If you pay a ton for marketing there is no guarantee that business will come but it will push you to make sure your risk produces rewards. The best thing that people can do is write down what’s not worth risking (for me it’s my spiritual/ mental health, relationship with family, core client base) and go from there it will help you take more calculated risks. You can’t be scared to take them you have to see risks as potential growth.

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Image Credits:

Shai Mack Sophia Bailey Vanessa Lgato Dylan Davis Shelby fisher Savannah White Geovanny Martinez Rachael Cooks

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