December 18, 2018

Started from the Bottom

Editorial Fashion

*After reading don’t forget to keep scrolling to see the shoot I did with Déja in Studio Elevn. One of my favorite shoots of all time.

I live in a world where I am surrounded by business owners. No, not just business owners, but SUCCESSFUL business owners. Makeup artists, videographers, photographers, designers, graphic designers, wedding planners, hair stylists, cake artists, florists, etc. But what did all of these people do to get to the top? They weren’t handed a Lego set with step by step instructions on how to build their business. They all started from nothing and built from the ground up. (started from the bottom… get it?)

Well, let’s hear from the pros.

I asked a handful of small business owners some questions.

Here’s what they said –

Alexander Lewis – Videographer

Atlanta based. Website:

 “What was the best thing you did to help your business grow?”
There are 2 main things that helped me grow my business in my first year and still continue to rain true today…always provide value and to never stop learning. When I first started in videography I did not have much to offer I had no experience and a lack luster portfolio, So I knew I had to provide some kind of value in order to learn the trade. I constantly second shot for local companies and always listened to suggestions, tips, and any advice that was given to me. I carried gear and setup tripods for a living pretty much the entire 2016 and 2017 wedding seasons, keeping it light with a good attitude. Keep in mind a good attitude will get you very far in this industry or any industry in fact. I was working a full time job at an insurance office and second shooting every single weekend, it did not leave much room for relaxation. Through the entire experience I kept my eyes and ears open, learning and applying the advice I was given…from videographers, photographers, and planners. I bought my first Canon C100 Mark II with all the money I had saved and my good friend Kevin Hursh sent me a few referrals that got me off the ground. From that point, I put all my energy into creating films, learning, and challenging myself creatively. Today, I’m able to support my family and work with my favorite clients and friends. 
“What was the hardest obstacle you had to overcome in order for your business to grow?”
The hardest obstacle to overcome for me was getting started. Making that invest of a few thousand dollars in gear and a computer…putting in hours and hours of work on weddings that I shot for free or a little beer money. It was tough…staying up late and pouring all my energy into something that could possibly not work. Getting started was by far my hardest obstacle and most rewarding at the same time. 

Marisa Rose – Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist

SLC Based. Website:

 “What was the best thing you did to help your business grow?”

My business started as a dream, then a goal. In order to have it become a reality and thrive, I had to put all my time, love, energy, determination, creativity and hard work into it. Realizing in order to do that, I needed to quit my two jobs that required a lot of my extra time and attention. Talk about nerve-racking! I created a deadline… if after 6 months nothing has improved and I wasn’t making money, I would go to plan B (which was something I didn’t want to do) After quitting my jobs, it just fell into place! 

Of course it didn’t fall in place because of chance, but because of unlimited free days to dedicate everything I had in me. 

“What was the hardest obstacle you had to overcome in order for your business to grow?”

MYSELF. I’m naturally an anxious person full of worry and self doubt. I kept thinking, “Why should I even start taking clients?! What makes me think I’m talented enough, that anyone would want to hire me?!”. I pushed through my fears and doubts and just DID. IT. I still, after 4 1/2 years, have those thoughts when I’m going to do something new and scary with my business. 


Lindsey Stewart –  Photographer

SLC Based. Website:

“What was the best thing you did to help your business grow?”
I’ve had several iterations of business, and each version looked a little different, with difference scenery. I was a wedding photographer for 10 years under my business name, Green Apple Photography. Last year I started to make the change into commercial work. I would say the best thing I did to help grow my business was to invest in myself this year in workshops. In the 10 years of business under Green Apple Photography, I did one workshop, Jonathan Canlas Film is Not Dead. I invested my money into equipment, and clients, and family, but not back into myself, and entered a long stage of burnout. This year I paid for a business mentor, I did LOOM with Ginny Au, and Lizzyography’s workshop. Each helped me see in a new way, but the LOOM really changed how I was approaching my business. It was such a rush of creativity that it opened up my world in a bigger way. Once I started investing in myself, it gave me so much new confidence for my worth, and what I charge, and who I am. I’m like, I’m paying to educate myself and learn as much as I can, and I’m worth the services I offer and the experience I give. I think this can be a lonely business, and connecting with other creatives (not even photographers) and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is such a powerful experience. 




Related Posts
Lately I have felt stuck inside a box that has a huge sign on the front of it saying "No Creativity Allowed." I love photography and it is my passion, but it can be so difficult to stay creative. One minute I'm on a creative high, and the next I don't even have a single creative bone in my body. I kept trying to step outside my box and do something that wasn't me. But, I realized that I didn't need to get outside of my box, I just needed to take off the sign. One day I was scrolling through Amazon (always saving lives, am I right?) and I found this diamond and the rest is history. Thanks to Makenna (@makenna_alyse on instagram) for helping ...
With Halloween around the corner, we did not plan something scary and creepy to shoot. But decided to go with more of a 'Dreamy, Whimsical' feel. These two incredibly beautiful humans KILLED it. Alexa happens to be an amazing makeup artist and did the makeup for this shoot. She exceeded my expectations. And Tessa has the voice of an angel. Please go stalk both of them. Alexa's Instagram: Tessa's Instagram: No butterfly's were harmed in the making of this shoot.    I did a questions and answer on my instagram story last week and I got this same question ...
Stars & Stereotypes
  Photographer: Jordy B Photo ( Model: Lara Wilson (@lara.lee.wilson) Makeup Artist: Marisa Rose (@marisarosemph) Studio: Be More Creative Studios As I was scrolling through my instagram feed last night, (you know the typical nightly routine of getting completely sucked into a black hole of stalking your high school friend’s boyfriend’s brother who recently got engaged to a girl that has the cutest dog) I noticed I was following some accounts that I didn’t love. They weren’t bad accounts or anything, but they didn’t reflect who I was and I didn’t really love the content they were posting. I remember following them ...