Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Elizabeth Golden, Founder of E. Golden Moments Photo + Film, located in Lenexa, KS, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own a Kansas City wedding photo and video company that specializes in easygoing couples who desire to have a relaxed wedding day filled with laughter and so much love.
Tell us about yourself
I've been a professional Kansas City wedding photographer since 2014 but fell into the profession by accident. I went to college for journalism and planned on working at a newspaper following graduation. After landing my first journalism job, I found myself working for a small paper without a photographer on staff, so naturally, I also adopted the role of photographer. It was only six months into my professional career when my newspaper went through several different layoffs.
I managed to keep my job, but the thought of staying in the industry terrified me, so I decided to move home and figure out my next move. I had a nice camera, so I thought, why not. I'll start a photography business. I had no idea what the business entailed, but I decided to start by photographing a few free sessions for friends. After a couple of sessions, a friend of a friend saw my images and asked if I would be interested in photographing her wedding.
I still had no idea what went into wedding photography but jumped on the opportunity. That one wedding led to a few other weddings, and I accidentally became a wedding photographer. It wasn't until 2017 that I realized I could actually make a career out of this and decided to go full-time. I've photographed more than 200 weddings and couldn't imagine doing anything else.
I am motivated by my desire to bring that journalistic style into the wedding world.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment would have to be successfully adding video to my photography business. I saw a need for more videographers in the Kansas City area, so I was able to adjust my business to fit the growing need in the area.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest part would have to be navigating the post-COVID trends. Before COVID, the business world was fairly consistent. I knew exactly how many weddings I should have by a certain point in the year. After COVID, there is absolutely no consistency anymore. I have to continuously remind myself that it will be okay and bookings will happen when they happen.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Figure out how to get legal.
- Learn from others in the industry. Don't be afraid to ask to shadow successful business owners. You might not get paid, but the experience will be worth it.
- Build relationships with your competitors. They'll be your biggest referral sources someday.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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