Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Meghan Blanton, Founder of Meghan Blanton Photography, located in Fort Collins, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm an elopement and wedding photographer, working with couples from every walk of life. Inclusivity, intention, authenticity, and adventure are at the core of why I do what I do and the wonderful people I work with.
I firmly believe that each couple should celebrate their love in a way that truly represents them--whether that's them and their dogs in the mountains or in the city with all of their friends and family (and everywhere in between). Whether they want to climb a mountain in the dark and say their vows at sunrise or profess their love in their hometown church. The way a couple celebrates their love is theirs to decide, and I'm here to honor that story with documentary-style photography that captures the emotions felt that day.
My services also expand beyond the wedding day and include pre-wedding/elopement consultations, engagement sessions, boudoir sessions, honeymoon photography, and more. For every step along the journey, I'm honored to be there.
Tell us about yourself
I like long walks on the beach, petting other people's pets, and unabashedly speaking my mind. My love of photography was passed down to me by my father and my grandfather before him. As I grew older, I began to struggle with depression and anxiety, and short-term memory issues began to arise. Photography was a way for me to capture moments so that I could look back and remember the day's events and how they truly were instead of how they looked through my foggy brain.
This is why it's so important to me that when I photograph clients, I capture them as they truly are. You never know when that photo is going to need to be their proof that a moment happened — their first married kiss, their baby's laugh, the smile on their mother's face, their haircut when they graduated college.
And on a slightly morbid--but beautiful in its own way--note, in photography, there's this burden of knowing that this photo you're taking might be the last photo ever taken of that person. I've had it happen before where after a wedding, a couple reaches out and says, "Thank you so much for these photos. My grandmother/dad/aunt/cousin passed away, and this was the last good photo they ever took." That knowledge drives me every moment of a session, wedding, or elopement to make sure I'm capturing everything I can and doing so in an authentic way. I want people to look back on the photos I give them and feel that moment come to life. Sometimes it's all we have left to hold on to.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been doubling my business in two years. I never expected the rate of growth that I'm seeing, and sometimes that scares me a little bit. "Am I ready to scale this much? Can I actually handle this growth?" It can be intimidating but, at the same time, exhilarating. I'm proud of the growth I've had. It's damn hard work at times, but seeing my vision for a business come to life in my own hands is absolutely worth it.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing is finding work-life balance and avoiding burnout. When you're working a regular 9-5 job and working for someone else, I think it's easier to say, "Yep, it's time to clock out. I'll respond to your email tomorrow." When you're working for yourself, sometimes your business life and personal life melt into one because all of it is just you. Something that used to be a fun hobby is now mainstream of income, and the weight of needing to get everything right starts to outweigh the joy it used to bring. It can be a challenge sometimes to find that joy again and bring the excitement back.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, don't compare yourself to others. People in your industry are at a wide range of stages in their journey, and everyone gets to where they're meant to be at different times. There are a million factors at play. Comparing yourself to others will only bring you down and distract you from your goals. Run your own race.
Second, invest and set up systems from the get-go. CRMs, task/project management, financing, workflows... Having these in place will set you up for success and keep you organized when things start getting busy.
Third, community over competition. I'm an introvert. I hate networking. But it's essential to connect with your industry community and form relationships with those around you. No one rises to greatness on their own, even if they claim to. I would not be where I am today if it weren't for the other photographers and vendors in the wedding industry that I've connected with and worked with over the years.
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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