Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Melissa Glynn, owner of Melissa Glynn Photography, located in Austin, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a portrait photographer based in Austin, Texas. I capture headshots, lifestyle and branding sessions, family portraits, boudoir sessions (i.e., sexy lingerie photos), engagement and bridal portraits, and on rare occasions, I'll do an elopement wedding.
My customers are badass people who love quality, classic images that are void of gimmicks, props, or trendy editing techniques. They want photos that will be beautiful today, tomorrow, and forever!
I also just started offering education and coaching to other photographers who want to be versatile in their careers! I am so excited to get to be an extra support system to these photographers who are trying to expand or evolve!
Tell us about yourself
I've loved photography since I was a kid, and I turned it into a hobby when I was in college, thanks to my mother buying me my first "real" camera for my 20th birthday. It finally evolved into a career in 2007 when, after several failed attempts at working in jobs I hated, I finally decided I HAD to do something where I worked for myself. I spent the majority of my career shooting mostly weddings but finally retired from that specialty in June 2022.
Now, I focus only on portraiture, and I LOVE it! I work mostly with women and focus on empowering them, whether it's in a corporate headshot where we are creating the first image she's ever really liked of herself or in a branding session where we show off her new business and her personality that helps her clients connect to her or in a boudoir session where she is embodying her magical feminine sexual energy into an image where she gets to preserve her hotness at this moment for forever.
It's pretty awesome to see what happens when a woman sees herself through my eyes/camera. It's kind of like when the Grinch's heart grows a ton at the end of the movie, but instead of their heart, it's their confidence. It's friggin' awesome! THAT is what motivates me. Well, that and the freedom to create my own schedule and work when I want to that doesn't hurt.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being a photographer in a city that is saturated with competition and surviving as long as I have, all while doing it alone without anyone financially supporting or helping me. (Single lady, here!) To do this alone and thrive is a huge accomplishment, and I bought my first house in 2020, which was a major personal accomplishment that was funded by the success of my business. It was a very proud moment.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
It gets lonely when you're the one making all of the decisions. It's nice to be the one in charge because you don't have to compromise ever, but it can definitely feel heavier at times when things are challenging or big decisions have to be made, and the weight all falls on you. So, it's great to have advisors or mentors to bounce things off of when those times arise.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't let the fear of "not being ready" stop you.
- Ask for help if you don't know the answer. It gets you to the answer a lot faster than trying to figure it out on your own.
- Network and have mentors. A community can be one of the best assets for your business.
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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