We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Amanda Hemstreet a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, thanks for joining us today. What do you think it takes to be successful?
Success can mean something different to everyone therefore it makes it difficult to state exactly what it means to be successful. What do I think it takes to be successful? Persistence, balance and heart are at the top of my list.
You have to be persistent and willing to put in the extra hours, go that extra mile, continue to drive to reach your overall goals and be willing to make some sacrifices to help you hit that end reward. I started my photography business when I was working 40+ hour weeks at a corporate marketing job and let me just say it was not easy. I pulled multiple late nights and sometimes all nighters to meet tight deadlines I had given myself so I could better serve my clients and give them an amazing photography experience with little wait time for their images. I’ve had a few moments where I think I am not good enough to be in this industry compared to the other photographers in my area. Being in a creative field you are always pushing to make beautiful art for your clients while also doing work that sets your soul on fire. Persistence and drive are a huge factor for my success so far with my business.
Another key component to being successful in my eyes is balance. I strive to have balance with my work and personal life. There was a time when I would say yes to any and all clients even when it was not what I wanted to photograph or it was not the most convenient time for my business. I thought, “If I ever want to take this business full time I need to serve everyone and book as many sessions as possible.” I have learned that is not the case. I recently became a new mom and my whole view on work life balance has shifted. It is important to book the clients and grow my business but it is more important to be present with my family. This in turn helps me serve my clients best as I am fully rejuvenated and ready to provide them with top of the line service.
Lastly, I think a huge key to success is pouring your heart into your work. When I say this I don’t mean giving everything you have and only focusing on your work because as I stated above, I love balance. I am referring to when you are in business mode you are pouring everything you have into it. I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to do what I love every day and run my photography business full time. When you are doing something you love that is a success in my book!
Don’t let the hustle culture fool you. Success isn’t about being fully booked or always being on that grind. Success is when you accomplish something you are working towards whether that is creating a flyer, booking a session or being booked solid for the year!
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your background and context?
Hi there! I’m Amanda! A midwest wedding, portrait and lifestyle photographer based in Cleveland, Ohio. Specializing in light and natural style of photography that is truly timeless. I love to work with laid back couples and individuals who enjoy being a little silly and having a whole lot of fun. Being in front of the camera can often be intimidating but I create an atmosphere that puts my clients at ease and has them feeling like a natural in no time.
For those of you who do not know me, I am from Zanesville, Ohio and settled in Cleveland, Ohio after college. I am a midwest girl for life!
I feel like I have the cliche story about how I got started in photography but here is it. Growing up I always had a camera in my hand, whether it was a throw away, point and shoot digital camera or a DSLR once I was in high school. I loved photographing people and nature that helped to tell stories. After high school I went to college and got a degree in marketing and international business and I worked in the industry for 7 years before taking my business full time. Simultaneously juggling corporate marketing jobs where I was working 40+ hours a week I wasn’t being fulfilled in my career. As a creative outlet I decided to pick up my camera again in 2017. I began dabbling in photography and shot alongside some of my friends to gain experience in portrait photography. In 2018 I officially launched Amanda Hemstreet Photography and took it full time in the Fall of 2021!
Where do you think you get most of your clients from?
Nine times out of ten my clients have found me through Instagram. I contribute a lot of my business growth from this free platform. It is amazing how many people search for vendors on social media platforms which is why it is so important to have a social presence.
Any resources you can share with us that might be helpful to other creatives?
Workshops and styled shoots. As a new creative I struggled with gaining relevant photography experience in the niche that I wanted to break into; couple and weddings. I had asked friends and family to model for me but I needed more work to showcase on my website and social platforms. About a year after starting my part time business I attended my first photography workshop where I learned from other experts in the field everything from exposure to the backend of business that only a business owner sees. These avenues also helped to expand my portfolio with beautiful work and I began to feel the movement of ‘community over competition’ that you hear so many entrepreneurs talk about.
- Website: https://www.amandahemstreetphotography.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandahemstreetphotography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amandahemstreetphotography
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/amanda-hemstreet-photography
Individual Image of me with Camera is Kayla Ivey Photography and All other photos are Amanda Hemstreet Photography.