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Relive Your Best Life

Local photographer transforms side hustle to self-employment

Article by Courtney Stockton

Photography by Buddy Hallavant, Fancy Pants Photography

Originally published in Mount Juliet City Lifestyle

The pandemic was a paradigm-shifting event – so much so, that the innumerable ways in which it has changed the world are still being cataloged and understood to this day. One of the most observable effects was the way in which it changed where (and how) people work. Changing career fields was so endemic that it earned its own title in American life – that is, The Great Resignation. 

Patrick Robinson, owner of local Relive Studio, was one of those ‘job switchers.’ Photography and videography had always been a skill of Robinson’s that he had put to use as a ‘side hustle.’ But like many Americans, when the pandemic hit, he began to reevaluate his priorities. He noticed that local businesses were struggling and thought he could put his talent to good use by helping these companies market themselves to, as he puts it, “break through the noise.” 

By identifying and capitalizing on this market need, Robinson soon saw his side hustle making more than his nine-to-five. And he wasn’t a slouch at his corporate job. He had established a promising career and was climbing the ladder, with sights set on a leadership position. So, suffice it to say, when his endeavors in photography/videography began outperforming his regular job, he was achieving much success. And when one begins making more as their own boss than they can earn working for somebody else, it’s not hard to understand why they would make the leap to being a business owner.

Beyond the potential financial benefits, being self-employed can also be a liberation of one’s passion. Robinson’s passion for photography and videography is readily apparent in both his marketing and his own words. As he explains, he was always ‘curious of cameras,’ but he ascribes much of his ability to ADD. “Having ADD is like a superpower. You’re able to get really good at something, really quickly. It becomes an obsession. And then once you get good, you kind of just move on. I haven’t been able to move on from this one.” 

He attributes his inability to burn out on photography to the fact that, “it’s a never-ending loop of learning. There’s always new tech, new gear to learn, new methods. It’s providing that feeling of fulfillment that fuels my obsessive desire to get really good at something.” And while this is a powerful motivator to excel (and has proven to be a successful method for Robinson), the ability to help document family memories was also a powerful motivator. 

Fortunately, Robinson had a childhood that was well documented – unfortunately, the film was rarely developed, leaving a “treasure of forgotten memories.” This has clearly compelled him to document his own family. He reflects, “It has something to do with wanting to fulfill a dream I have for my own kids. Maybe it’s documenting their lives that can somehow fill the hole of not seeing mine documented. I’m still figuring that out.”

The skills he has honed over the years, from discovering the camera and having an ADD-level obsession with it to strengthening his skills by documenting his own growing family, served him well when he made the transition to being a business owner. And now he is a jack of all trades. He provides services for a diverse range of subjects (weddings, real estate, lifestyle, restaurant, commercial, and even trucking) because, to him, it’s simply a matter of telling stories. “Story is everywhere. It’s finding those nuggets and then showing others in a visually stunning way.”  Though he has experience and skill with each subject, Relive Studio works mainly in commercial photo and video now, specializing in increasing engagement through social media. 

One gets the sense from speaking to Robinson, that he likely named his studio ‘Relive,’ due to his desire for his family (and now his customers) to have the ability to relive their most precious memories through photos and videos. But one could also hear the story of his journey to self-employment and think perhaps, with this studio, this is Robinson’s chance to relive his own life – as his own boss, and on his own terms. 

And he would encourage you to do the same. “People don’t hate Mondays, they hate their jobs. And if that’s you, I encourage you to take that hobby you have to the next level. Start a side hustle. Someone has probably done it really well and has made free YouTube videos on it. The one person that can change your future is you.”

People don’t hate Mondays. They hate their jobs.