4 min read

Authentic, Powerful Imagery - Monica Justesen

I work primarily with women and femmes, as well as small business owners and entrepreneurs in wellness spaces. My mission is always to capture your magick through authentic, eye-catching imagery and video that celebrates your story.
Authentic, Powerful Imagery - Monica Justesen

Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Monica Justesen, a photographer and videographer based in New England, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My customers are humans from all walks of life, based in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, and beyond. I work primarily with women and femmes, as well as small business owners and entrepreneurs in wellness spaces. My mission is always to capture your magick through authentic, eye-catching imagery and video that celebrates your story.

Tell us about yourself

I started my professional photography journey in 2006 after a self-portrait project changed my life and helped me see myself clearly for the first time. Every day I am motivated by wanting to share the life-changing power of being seen. I am reminded every time I pick up my camera that the power of this work is about so much more than pretty pictures. This work is my chance to show you how perfect you are without changing a thing. It's an opportunity for you to be seen in all your brilliant, magickal fullness and how deeply and profoundly being seen that way can change us. That's what keeps me devoted to this work.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishments are not giving up and learning to truly let my journey be my own. There are many times throughout my career when it would have been easier to ignore my gut, give up, give in to trends, or follow the crowd. Resistance may have slowed down my 'success' at times, but it always brought me closer to myself and honoring my truth. I am so incredibly proud of the work that I've created, the clients I've worked with, and the way my artistry and business continue to grow organically every year. My journey has been a slow, steady climb, which goes against much of what we're taught to believe success looks like in our culture. But I've never felt compromised, I've never strayed from my values, and I've never quit when things got tough, and I'm incredibly proud of that.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

One of the hardest aspects of being a business owner is turning your passion into profit without sucking the fun out of it. It can feel deflating when you turn something you love into something you make a living from. Not only do you now have to handle all of the logistic and back-end details that come with being a small business owner, but you have to learn to view your hobby as a product you're selling in order to make a living. For many people, that eventually sucks some of the fun out of it.

So many entrepreneurs also fail to realize how much back-end work it requires to run a small business, especially when you're just beginning. As a one-woman operation, I have done everything behind-the-scenes in my business at one point or another. From marketing to customer service to taxes and more, I did everything until I could afford to outsource in the areas where I needed the most help.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

My biggest advice when you're starting out is to keep it simple, trust yourself, and make sure you set yourself up with good foundations. It's easy to think you need to go all out with a website, logo, fancy marketing, etc., but when you're just beginning your small business journey, do your best to keep it uncomplicated. Do as much of the back-end work yourself as you possibly can until you can afford to outsource it. This gives you the tools to create solid foundations and systems for yourself, which will ultimately help you grow and scale in the future if that's your goal.

Trust yourself to know what's best for YOU. There is a lot of external noise, and it's easy to lose your own voice in the mix. Remind yourself as often as possible that you don't need to do what anyone else is doing, you don't have to follow the trends, and you don't have to compromise yourself or your values in order to create art and good work in the world. Stay in touch with your intuition, and know that even in entrepreneurship, there's room for you to deeply trust and listen to your instincts.

Setting yourself up with good foundations, especially on the back end of your business, is crucial to your long-term stability and growth. The more you can make software and technology work for you (especially the plethora of free products available), the more you can focus on your zone of genius and less on the things that don't interest you. Dialing in details like templates, spreadsheets, valuable data points, and information, and learning how to understand and optimize your client experience, money management, and financial and creative goals will help make sure that year by year, you can spend less time on the back-end and more time making magick.

Where can people find you and your business?

Website: https://monicajustesen.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monicanjustesen
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monicajustesen/

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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