Pam Rochholz was once a busy high school teacher with a big dilemma: she was not happy in her job. Although she had been carrying a camera with her since middle school—photographing friends, family, and street musicians in downtown Omaha—she majored in secondary education in college, just as her parents had. Fueled by the hope that a stable teaching job would allow her the time one day to be a devoted mother to her future children, Pam placed her passion for capturing beauty with one click of the shutter into the background and focused on educating young people. But during her second year of teaching, Pam soon realized that her heart had not followed her head.
Pam, who is not known as being a risk taker, shocked everyone when, shortly after giving birth to her daughter and buying a new house with her husband, she announced she was going to resign from teaching to open a photography business. She remembers the exact date she made her decision and shares that although she felt nervous about financial insecurities, she confidently told her husband, “You know that when I do something, I put everything I have into it. We’ll be fine.” Her always supportive husband took the leap of faith with her and neither has looked back since.
Today, Pam operates Iris Images, a busy senior photography business that allows her to create her own schedule and manage her life on her own terms. She loves that her schedule changes often. Her days are full and consist of answering emails, making phone calls, placing orders, and managing shoots that last several hours. She edits photos after her daughter and husband go to bed, often staying up into the wee hours of the morning to complete projects.
Pam says she has gained much from pursuing her passion in life. “I’ve gained happiness. I no longer dread going to work every day. I absolutely love what I do and it’s such a great feeling to know I have found my calling in life.” Even better yet, Pam’s purpose and work were recently validated when she learned she was chosen as one of Senior Style Guide’s “Hot 100 Senior Photographers of 2016” as well as one of the “Top 25 Up & Coming Senior Photographers of 2016” by The Twelfth Year.
Her advice for anyone wanting to pursue their passion in life is simple. “Just go for it,” she says. “So many people advised me to teach for at least one more year before taking the plunge, but I just knew I had to do it. There was no way I could grow a business while still working as a teacher.” Pam also adds that she did not jump into her new adventure without first conducting research and meeting others working within the photography industry.
To this day, it is more than evident that Pam has kept her promise to her husband. She greets each day as an enthusiastic solo entrepreneur by continuing to put everything she has into capturing her teenage subjects as they prepare to enter a new and sometimes scary chapter in their lives. Without even realizing it, Pam is demonstrating to all her young clients that it is okay to follow your heart because as she already knows, that road leads to finding your passion in life.
To learn more about Pam and her photography business, visit www.irisimagesomaha.com.
Vicky DeCoster is a Certified Life Coach who specializes in helping her clients move past obstacles, create a plan for happiness, and cross the bridge of transition to find a new and fulfilling direction in life. To read more about her and her practice, visit her at crossthebridgecoaching.com.