We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Christina Humphries a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina, thanks for joining us today. We’d love to hear the backstory behind a risk you’ve taken – whether big or small, walk us through what it was like and how it ultimately turned out.
After taking a spontaneous road trip to Breckenridge, Colorado in October of 2018 from where we were living near Cincinnati, we decided to make Colorado our home. I’m not sure why, but we never thoroughly questioned our decision, even though we had every reason to be terrified and unsure. At the time, we had two toddlers in tow and had just reached a great place with our photography business in the midwest.
To prepare for the big move, we did as much marketing and advertising that we possibly could for Colorado including taking special trips to capture sessions so that we could begin the tough transition ahead of us.
In March of 2019, we packed up and headed West, driving straight through the night to land in our new mountain home an hour west of Colorado Springs. We weren’t really prepared in the way that most people would have liked to be but we were willing to do everything it took to make it work.
The first year that we were here, I (Christina) took 35 roundtrip flights back to Cincinnati to serve the clients who had already booked while also serving new clients in Colorado. That year was …A YEAR, to say the least. But, I knew it was for just a season and now we are certainly seeing the fruit of all of that labor!
We now serve about 40 weddings and elopement mainly in Colorado while also traveling for clients frequently to California and Arizona – we used the same methods to build bases in those warmer states because there’s only so much snow we can take. We also started up a retreat and workshop company for other wedding photographers and have the biggest heart to help them transition into adventure weddings and elopements from our firsthand experience.
We often look back at all the hard work and literally think “I can’t believe we did that!” but hey – high risk, high reward, right?
Anything that is worth attaining takes getting out of your comfort zone and we are just getting started.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Function And Flourish Photography is a luxury wedding and adventure elopement company that exists to serve down to earth clients with not only timeless imagery but also an experience of being fully taken care of from beginning to end. We provide our clients with a full timeline as well as custom style guides, location scouting, and an exclusive vendors list.
We are a husband and wife team that works to the fullest of our individual potentials which looks differently than most; Christina stays behind the camera and works closely with each client couple while Michael sticks to behind the scenes, focusing on our systems and making sure that every sacred image is backed up in multiple locations.
We really enjoy hiking around Colorado and scouting out new locations for our couples and travel all around the state to do so.
We also own West Arrow Retreat which is an educational retreat designed for adventure wedding and elopement photographers that include a custom curriculum and styled shoots to full equip photographers to pursue new destinations and really work with the best couples!
Can you talk to us about how your funded your business?
Function And Flourish and West Arrow Retreat are companies that began and have always remained debt-free. Our outlook from the beginning was that we build on what we can afford. We never wanted to get too ahead of ourselves. So to get started, Michael sold his lawn tractor to buy me a used camera body and from there, I have upgraded as I scaled and my prices raised along with the amount of clients that I booked. We are now six figure earners and it’s great to know that we don’t owe on our gear or the trips we’ve taken.
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
I’m definitely most in my zone when it’s late at night and I have the music turned on with a glass of wine and some dark chocolate while editing and perfecting my clients images and I just think “this is the life”. Sure, being a business owner comes with its own set of overwhelming responsibilities but the reward of creative freedom and freedom of time that I have is worth every second of working all the time. There is something so incredible about knowing that I get to be the one to help people see how beautiful they are. I will never forget the time that I sent photos to a bride and she sent me a message back that read: “Christina, I have never felt beautiful but these photos make me feel beautiful. I was made fun of my whole life but I don’t feel that way when I see these.” If I didn’t have creative freedom to direct and pose and capture those genuine and candid moments that can be transformed into magic, there’s no way I would be here. I’m so thankful for clients who trust me and trust my vision and perspective.
- Website: www.functionandflourish.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/functionandflourish
- Facebook: facebook.com/functionandflourish
- Other: www.westarrowretreat.com
Chelsea Lusk Photography