Wow, it's kind of crazy to actually say that I'm doing it. Moving out of Alaska. Spreading my wings, and leaving.
I grew up in Alaska, born and raised. I always dreamed of leaving some day, but it always was more of a dream than a reality. It started in High school really when I wanted the typical college experience and to move out of Alaska. Well, long story short, I decided college wasn't for me and that I wanted to just start my business and grow my business here.
I think that I made the right decision with not moving at that point. If I would have moved right away, I probably wouldn't have gotten to the point in my business where I am today. In the past four wedding seasons, I've been able to grow so much as a filmmaker and business owner, where now I can see my future outside of Alaska.
When I've told people that I'm moving, the most common thing I hear is "why?"
Well, I'll tell you.
Everyone that lives here knows, the winters are really hard. They are really long, dark, and cold. Growing up, they sucked but they never really bothered me THAT much. I was busy. I had a routine every day. There wasn't time to get wallowed up by the seasonal depression because I was just a busy kid involved in lots of extra curricular activities and a job. I feel like when you have a job you have to show up to everyday, and things keeping you busy, it's a lot easier.
Well last year, I went full time with wedding videography right when fall hit. Meaning for the first time ever, I fully worked from home. No more routines, no more daily customer service, talking to people all day, etc. I had to learn what it was like being cooped up inside all day with just me and my computer. With roommates not getting home till around 7:30 PM every day, my lack of social interaction started taking a really big toll on me.
That's when moving to Arizona really started brewing inside my thoughts. It wasn't just about the seasonal depression though.
It was also about my lack of being able to be creative in MY way for 8 months out of the year. I am a warm weather type of person. Snowy weddings are BEAUTIFUL but it took me one wedding of filming in -15 degree Fahrenheit weather to realize - I feel like I'm being held back.
In many other places, creatives are able to shoot outside the majority of the year, not just for weddings, but styled shoots, adventure sessions, etc. And even though I CAN shoot outside whenever here, weather can be pretty extreme in the winters and fall and also, I just am not a huge fan of shooting in the snow. While it's beautiful and magical, my heart just gravitates towards other environments.
I'm so excited to be able to drive to different states when I want and travel more easily. I'm excited to have good weather more often than not and to be able to shoot outside endlessly through out the year. I think this will be a really big step for my business and self development. I feel like my growth in my films will grow exponentially quicker than it does here. I will also have my best friend moving down with me, and have many friends within and surrounding Arizona meaning I'll have such a good support system for this huge life change.
It's going to be hard, and I'm not saying that I won't miss Alaska, and it's beautiful views, but I know I'll be back to visit frequently. I mean, if I can leave Alaska 3-4 times a year now, I definitely will be able to go back a couple times a year. The hardest transition for me is going to be not seeing my parents, brothers, nephews, and niece all the time, and of course my dog Teddy. But my parents travel often meaning that I can always meet up with them somewhere, and again, I'll be back and forth.
Okay so now I know you're wondering - Haley, tell us the details already! Okay, okay, I'll tell you.
Starting October 2023, I will not be requiring any travel fees within 2 hours of Phoenix. I don't have any exact dates for the move yet, but we know it'll be end of September/beginning of Octoberish. I seriously cannot wait to start doing wedding videography in Arizona.
I know many people are probably worried that now I would be charging travel fees to come back to Alaska, but that won't be the case for at least summer of 2024. I plan on coming back to Alaska to film weddings for that whole summer, mostly because that's during Arizona's hottest month and I would rather be in AK being able to film, go to my family's cabin etc, during that time.
I will also be again, traveling there a few times a year which I'll post and let people know that I won't be requiring travel fees during that time.
So it's really a win win. I get to expand my market and experience living somewhere new for the first time ever, AND still film weddings in Alaska for the time being.
I am so SO excited about this shift in my career and life and can't wait to show the journey. I am so grateful for all the support I've gotten from past clients, vendors, and peers to allow me to get to this point. I truly have the best job in the world and I will forever be so thankful.
Talk soon, friends.