Why did you become a photographer?
Like many, photography was always a personal hobby of mine growing up. In fact, I was lucky enough to take a photography art elective in high school- spending hours in the darkroom- and I remember it was the only class I ever truly loved in all four years. I actually went on to earn a degree in Biblical Theology & Christian Education for Children. A few years after that, I was a semester away from my Masters in Pastoral Counseling when I just couldn't seem to get this idea of being a professional photographer out of my head. Facebook was the primary social media channel at the time, and I just remember pouring over every single post about lifestyle family photography that I could find. I was completely obsessed with it. Fast forward a few years and here I am, running a full-time portrait photography business, photographing mothers all over the world. I get to use my education and experience in the most unexpected of ways, and it is the most fulfilling, incredible work. I am so grateful to have pursued it!
What do you photograph and why?
I specialize in photographing motherhood and family. It's my desire to honor the art of being a mother through my work, photographing their most cherished relationships. It is truly one of the greatest privileges of my life to create such meaningful portraits for each family I work with.
What's the biggest factor in your long-term business success?
I have only been full time with my business for 2 years, so I don't consider myself long-term just yet. Every day I want to be a better photographer. A better artist. A better visionary. A better business owner. I never want to stop learning or growing in my craft, and my desire to do so is definitely what I would consider a key factor- to actually love what is that you do and always strive to grow. I also want to build a profitable, sustainable business that lasts. I believe that kind of success takes a willingness to learn new things, knowing your numbers (confidence in your pricing and costs), and actually doing the work that it takes. Commitment and Consistency!
Why do you use the MUSEA Lab?
I have tried many different labs and sampled many different products since I started my business. In the beginning I built my business as an all-inclusive model and didn't offer much for printed products outside of a loose gift print or two. I started to become not only unfulfilled as an artist who was passionate for the tangible experience, but I began to understand that, I was not building a sustainable business doing things the way I was. I don't think that you have to sell prints & products to be a successful photographer and have a lasting business. I just know that it was the game changer for me. When I started offering prints and products and being really intentional with my client education and ordering process, I not only saw the numbers I had only dreamed about that allowed me to go full time, but it made my work so much more fulfilling to know that I wasn't just giving families new profile photos- but that I was giving them art for their home. I was giving them memories framed above their bed, and tucked inside hand crafted albums. I knew that I was giving them something that would LAST. It's really important to me to offer my clients professional products that they can't just go buy elsewhere, and past companies I used were doing just that. If I am telling my clients that they can trust me as a professional artist, than I want to know that I am giving them the very best art quality I can find. I use Musea lab for their unmatched quality, unmatched customer service, and unmatched shared passion for seeing photographs printed in a digital age
Can you share a story from your business that illustrates why prints are important?
I think an absolute favorite moment that I could share happened recently, with a family I had photographed a number of different times in years past. As I walked through her home for the very first time to get ready for our first in-home session, I counted more than 12 framed portraits of our previous sessions adorning their walls, most of which I had professionally matted & framed for her over the past few years. (using Musea for the majority of them!) I paused and smiled with such a grateful heart as I caught a glimpse of each and every one. As she was rocking her newest tiny addition to sleep in her arms, she told me these words: "There's no art I would rather hang on my walls, to look at every day, than beautiful pictures of my family." I was overwhelmed in the best way, hearing firsthand that there was no art they could ever buy that would be more meaningful to her than her family photographs I had taken. What an absolute dream to photograph mothers and families who deeply value every part of their client experience with me, and who greatly cherish what I have the honor of doing for a living. They teach me so much about what is truly worth fighting for in this life. And honestly, I just couldn't be more thankful to work with a lab like Musea, founded and run by a person who believes in all of that just as much as I do.