After three long years of wishing I was running my own photography business I finally took a huge leap of faith and left the corporate world of public relations and started my company last November 2011. My initial goal was to build a successful wedding/editorial photography business I could be proud of, but it has evolved into so much more in the last eight months. I not only want to take amazing photographs, I want to make a difference in the lives of people I meet and work with along the way. I want them to remember me as a positive light.
In addition to my passion for wedding photography, I am currently working on a side project, the “I See You” project. This is about wanting to see the best in people no matter their exterior and every day I strive to do just that in the people I exchange glances with, handshakes, their smiles. I want to find beauty in their faces, in their strange outfits, their sad, mad and happy stares. I want to see the positive in them first rather than the negative. There is beauty in everyone and I want to see it all. With that said, I plan on paying close attention to people on the street as I pass them by and documenting them the way I see them.
What are your big dreams in life?
Oh boy, let me narrow these down to my top five. Travel the world, publish a book filled with my photographs, inspire women everywhere to share their wedding days with me and of course, try every single ice cream flavor that exists in the world!
When will you feel like you’ve succeeded?
Leaving my 9-5 life was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I gave myself the freedom to let go of the fear that had been holding me back for so long. Although I have a long way to go, I am happy with where I am in my journey. Every day I feel successful in the little things that make up my day. When I write a blog post I am proud of, when I get an inquiry for a wedding, when a client or a friend tells me I made them feel so comfortable. All of those things embody success to me and make me want to keep reaching further.
Wellness to me is all about balance. Eating right, taking pictures and making the time for friends and family are what make me the happiest. Oh, and dancing every chance I get!
How do you take care of you?
Besides what I mentioned above, coming out of my cave of editing, emails, etc., keeps me sane. I love going to the movies, cooking, reading and a huge one is thrift store shopping. Not only am I huge fashion lover, but it also helps me stay inspired for photo shoot ideas. I’ll see a cool shirt and suddenly know what I want to do.
How do you structure your day?
I have to admit, I’m still working on my time management skills, but I feel the most productive in the morning. I usually start with breakfast and coffee followed by a long walk, yoga or dance class (I must get better at exercising more). After a shower I begin my to-do list, which consists of editing photos, marketing and follow up emails. By 6 or 7pm I am ready for dinner with my boyfriend and friends. Bad tv (or my favorite book) ends the evening and a cup of chai tea latte is always involved as well.
Give us a sense of your environment.
Right now my office is my desk in my bedroom! I am proud to say that I am a really tidy girl so I don’t usually have clutter or paperwork scattered everywhere. However, it’s not the prettiest or coolest workspace. Below is my idea of a great office space that best expresses my style. One day!
Tell us about your perfect day – start to finish.
My perfect day…sigh. It would begin with waking up in Italy by the smell of a cappuccino. Next, a facial and massage followed by brunch on a patio somewhere fabulous with my girlfriends. Afterwards, thrift store shopping while documenting every awesome trinket I find (for Casual Fridays of course). The day would end with a lot of dancing! Yes, I like that idea.
Who would leave you star-struck?
Well, there is of course a long list of photographers I would want to meet including Jose Villa, Elizabeth Messina, Anjuli Paschall, Tim Walker, Brooke Shaden, etc. However, those that know me well know that I would DIE to meet Conan O’ Brien. I am convinced we would become great friends over lunch and a glass of wine…maybe two. He would say “Hello, it’s nice to meet you Liz.”. He would then flip his red pompadour and give me a little rope dance. The beginning to a beautiful friendship.
A quote that best describes your outlook on life:
“If fear is stifling you from moving forward, stepping out, or taking a risk, then you don’t understand fear. Fear can drive you into your deepest darkest closets, relentless and paralyzing or fear can be a gift, an invitation. An invitation to experience you, as you really are.” – Anjuli Paschall.
There it is; the one phrase that changed my life. It made me question why I was holding back so much from trying to live the life I want rather than the life I was supposed to live. Fear. I was afraid for so long to be confident and accept rejection and the what ifs that comes with being a photographer. What if no one hires me? What if I take pictures and turn out terrible? What if I don’t succeed? These words encouraged me to take a leap of faith, to be a risk taker, to dive into my fears head on and come out on the other side, not matter the outcome. So, here I am, six months later, trying, and I couldn’t be happier.
Share a secret with us!
I often dream about running away to Paris and selling photographs out of my very own little flower shop.
Where to find Elizabeth online:
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