Today we’d like to introduce you to Pajtawgtshiab Drawbaugh.
Hi Pajtawgtshiab, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Hi! My name is Pajtawgtshiab but everyone calls me Paj. My story isn’t very long. It’s actually pretty dull! I picked up my first professional camera in 2018 right after I left active duty in the Army. I never imagined that I would start a business or even put this much effort into photography. My goal has always been to finish college, and get a regular 9 to 5 job just like everyone else. So that’s exactly what I did! I graduated with my bachelor’s in 2020, and realized I still didn’t know “what I wanted to be when I grew up”. Mind you, I’m 27 now. As cliche as it sounds, I’ve always known that I liked photography. If you’re on my personal Facebook page, you can see all my previous albums dating back to when I was in grade school, from pictures of friends, school, families, and even sporting events.
I’ve spent the past 3 years being a stay-at-home mom, student, and wife. It can get very “blue” sometimes. I needed an identity and something for myself. We relocated from Washington State to Clarksville, TN this year due to my husband’s job. I was excited for a new beginning, especially to get away from the gloomy-ness of the pacific northwest. I impulsively created my Facebook photography business account, which I kept private and unpublished for months because I was SO nervous about everyone seeing it. I was nervous about calling myself a photographer in a very saturated industry with so many AMAZING creatives already, but my main fear was putting myself out there and failing.
We started our road trip from WA to TN on April 5th, 2021. That morning right before we left, I published my business page, made an introduction post, and invited all my personal Facebook friends to “like” my page. Oh boy, I was a nervous wreck! But this is exactly how I got to where I am today, by stepping out of my comfort zone.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The first 2 to 3 months of business were very disheartening. I didn’t know anyone in Tennessee besides my husband and two little girls (If I can even count them! Ha.). Being an introvert, I knew I had to put myself out there. Just like every new photographer, I was giving away free shoots left and right to build my portfolio, and reaching out to other small businesses in the area to collaborate. I was giving away so much of my time. I doubted myself and started going to school for my Master’s degree so I could have a backup plan just in case I failed.
Then I got my first paid booking! Danielle K., If you’re reading this, YOU”RE. THE. BEST. It was a kick in my direction that I needed for motivation. After that everything just kind of fell into place. Sometimes there are hard and long days, but that comes with any job in the world and I am grateful to be doing something that I look forward to every day.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in family and couples photography. I also shoot branding and headshots and dabble in boudoir on the side! If you’ve had a session with me, you know I’m known for being a whole mess and clumsy. I’ve my lost shoes, twisted my ankle, fell into the water, slid down hills, etc. during almost all of my sessions. I also think that’s what sets me apart, as crazy as that sounds! What I’m most proud of are the relationships that I’ve made along the way. I have clients and collaborations that have turned into lifelong friendships.
Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Message me. That’s it! If you want to work or collaborate, my dm’s are always open.
- Collection 1 (15 Images) – $150
- Collection 2 (25 Images) – $200
- Email: Photosbypaj@gmail.com
- Website: Photosbypaj.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/photosbypaj
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photosbypaj