Girl Boss: Sarah Ching
For those of you that don't know Sarah Ching, she is an amazing photographer based in the Bay Area. T and I were so lucky to find her and her boyfriend Jordan last year, and we're so thankful that a business transaction turned into a friendship. Sarah puts 110% into her passions, and we thought that there was no one better to start off our girl boss series than her! Let's talk about day jobs, daydreams and how to balance them all!
Hi Sarah! I can't believe it's been a year since you did my wedding. I've been obsessed with your photography ever since! Thank you so much for taking time out of your hectic schedule to answer some questions for Where She Wandered, we're so excited that you're here. Ok, can you tell us a bit about yourself? How you got started in your graphic design career, and why you do photography on the side?
I’ve been interested in the arts for as long as I can remember. It started with just coloring, soon caring a little too much about how my projects for school looked, and eventually perfecting and coding my Myspace profile (tbt RIP). I also went through numerous disposable and polaroid-type cameras as a kid never realizing that it was the beginning of an interest in photography. High school was a time when I got really involved in yearbook and ASB which were both opportunities for me to design and photograph. With photography, it started as a just a hobby and eventually developed into both a business and an outlet for creativity.
Is it hard to juggle your day job with your daydream? How many hours roughly do you devote to both within a week. Do you find it hard to balance everything that you do along with your personal life?
Definitely, there are never enough hours in a day or days in a week. It’s been a little slower for me this summer. But on average, I work my day job in design for 40-45 hours. After hours or during my daily three-hour commute I am usually editing. Because I work during the weekday, that only leaves me two days open to book shoots. By the end of a full work week, with dance rehearsals, and also trying to go to the gym once in a while, it leaves me pretty tired by the end of the week. So I look forward to a weekend of doing nothing, catching up on sleep, or just sitting in front of the TV. But usually, this isn’t the case because I am busy trying to book shoots, have a social life, make sure my pile of laundry doesn’t grow too much and running errands I can’t get to during the week. So yes, definitely very tough trying to balance a personal life, but thankfully, Jordan is super supportive. While he loves a weekend where I am completely free, he is just as happy to come along on a shoot, see new places, and meet great people, especially if the shoot ends with cake.
What are your favorite and least favorite things about owning your own photography business?
My favorite thing would definitely have to be getting to work from basically anywhere in the world aka shooting everywhere! One day the beach with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background will be my office, and the next I am witnessing the sunrise over Half Dome in Yosemite. Not to mention all the friends I get to make along the way, like you and Thai! (; My least favorite thing about owning my own business is finding the work and marketing myself. If only the shoots could just come to me. I feel a constant pressure to promote myself and push for more, I would much rather focus on my art and working on learning more. But if I don’t spend the time trying to push my work out there, then I will never be able to go full time with photography.
What are your favorite and least favorite things about working with a larger corporate company?
I’m not sure this is related to the size of a company but my least favorite thing about working within a corporate company (or at least with the job I am currently at) is probably the slowness in growth. While I am aware that growth is all dependent on how hard I work, or what opportunities I fight for, when you are at an associate level, it takes a lot more to have people trust in you and allow for these opportunities to show your worth. For my personality, it’s a lot scarier, being on a large, team to speak up and fight for opportunities. Especially with design, you are constantly putting out your work for others to critique, praise and tare down. And doing so in front of such a large team can be intimidating.
Do you have any advice for someone that is looking to turn their hobby into a business?
If it’s your side hustle, make sure you love it. Everyone will tell you that, but that’s where it all starts, and that’s the only way it’ll grow. Other than that, stay organized, and keep track of everything, stay on top of your emails haha, and just go for it! The advice I probably need to follow myself, considering I have yet to just go for it myself and go full time with photography, but I’ll keep working towards the day that happens!
If you're based in the Bay Area and are looking for an incredible person to hire as your photographer, please consider Sarah Ching! Whether you're a blogger, bride, or a family I could not recommend her enough. On top of getting an amazingly skilled photographer, you're getting someone that is passionate about their art, and you will not regret it! I promise.
*Photography featured in this blog post belong to @Waylankhuu & Jordan Sanchez