In these spotlight stories, we always ask our creatives about the most rewarding parts of their businesses, so - fair is fair. For me, the most rewarding part of running Social House is seeing and being a part of our members' small business journeys at all different stages: from the beginning "I need support to make the leap", through the part-time hustle and full-time startup phase, on through into that really tough first and second years when they're trying to build their client base, and finally when they reap the rewards of a stable, successful venture. We are lucky to have creatives in all phases, and (as I love telling all our prospective members) it's one of the best benefits a space like ours offers.
With Becky, we've gotten the privilege of seeing her sailing through the start of those initial stages, and see the value that a beautiful space can bring to her business, Completely Captivating Photography. She's utilized our meeting room to present to clients in a way no one else here has, while working those late nights to get stuff done, which gives me kinds of gratitude and respect for the process. Becky is also just one of those people that you love being around, so I can selfishly say that her success makes us excited to see her more and more as she expands her photography business. We recently grabbed a moment from her busy schedule to chat and learn more about what drives her, and how she's set herself up for making the leap.
What are you drinking?
Water and tea, what I drink all the time.
Current mood in less than 3 words:
How did you discover that photography was what you wanted to do?
I've always had an interest, the first time I can remember was in second grade when our town newspaper was having a photography contest and I entered taking photos of birds and trash cans, thinking I was being super artsy. It wasn't until college when I started photographing friends, so when I was shooting portraits it felt really natural.
How'd you take the leap from passion to full time job?
That's tricky since I'm not full-time just yet - but working as a full-time teacher with what felt like a full-time photography job was pulling me in two directions. I've been balancing both for 7 years so my husband helped me decide that I deserved the chance to give it a real shot.
What's your favorite part about your industry?
Definitely documenting the milestones and being a part of such intimate family moments. Whether it's being with mom and dad at the hospital when they see their new baby, even before other family members arrive, or I'm photographing first time parents and they've only had that baby for 4 days and it's all so new; it is nice to be there to give them reassurance that they are doing the right thing and it's all totally normal.
How has Social House helped you with the way you do business?
Social House has been really wonderful because it's given me a place I can bring my clients that's not a coffee shop or my house. Being able to have the meeting space has been huge for my business, giving a personal presentation that I can experience with them as they see their images for the first time - lots of tears and laughter.
Any productivity tips or secrets?
When I was working from my home office it was really easy to get distracted and do anything other than what I was supposed to be doing. One day I walked into Anthropologie and saw this beautiful hourglass and had to buy it. It used to take four times longer than usual to edit, so ever since I got the hourglass I know I can get things done in an hour.
Any tips for other creatives looking to start their own business?
What I wish I had known at the beginning is that it's okay to try things out and experiment in order to find your own way. Don't feel like you have to do what other people are doing. It's easy to fall into that trap to keep up with trends, rather than finding your own niche or what makes you unique and stand out in the crowd.
Your ah-ha moment:
The very first portrait session I ever did in college was an engagement shoot for two close friends of mine. That's when it clicked and when I realized that portrait photography was something that I really enjoyed.
Something that has happened while owning your own business that you never could have planned for or expected:
Coming to work at Social House. I always thought that since I had my own home office I wouldn't need a space to work; I didn't even know places like Social House existed before I became a member. I don't think I could have imagined gaining such freedom without being a part of Social House.
Most challenging part and rewarding part of owning your own biz:
Challenging: For me, the most challenging part is the business aspect of it. I've been lucky enough to have friends who run successful businesses so when I first started out it was good to have a mentor available to help guide the "business" stuff.
Rewarding: Being your own boss, in the sense that you can move at your own pace. You can work as hard as you want, just knowing that if you need to work in the afternoon or work one day instead of the entire week is really refreshing. Being able to have total creative freedom and not have anyone above you to criticize the process or the work.
Most rewarding part of your week:
Coming home after working here at Social House, and just having the freedom to be with my husband and my dogs. Since I can now separate myself from home and work space, it's so nice to come home and just be with my family.
What do you wish more people knew about you?
Even though I have a really super shy exterior and it takes me a long time to warm up to new situations, I'm actually very outgoing. I'm a closet extrovert, I guess!
Your dream job:
I think I'm doing it. I have the best of all worlds right now - at least I'm on the right path!
Your favorite piece of work:
Hands down a sunrise maternity session I did 3 years ago. Everything about it was perfect. The couple, the clouds, the wind, birds flying into frame at the perfect moment. Although, this morning's maternity session may be a close second!