Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Emma McClendon. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Emma, appreciate you joining us today. Owning a business isn’t always glamorous and so most business owners we’ve connected with have shared that on tough days they sometimes wonder what it would have been like to have just had a regular job instead of all the responsibility of running a business. Have you ever felt that way?
I do think about what it would be like to have a regular job often. Being a business owner is hard (especially when you have 4), harder than I think people realize it is. Having a regular job can be just as difficult but there’s somethings that people will never know or experience unless they’re a business owner. When you have a list of things that need to be done and there’s no end in sight and it’s 3am and you’re still working on the same list. That’s when I wonder if any of it is worth it. I love what I do, and when I see my couples on their big day just soaking in all the moments, when they text me how much they love their photos and they can’t stop looking at them, when I capture the moments they didn’t even know were happening. Looking at the photos I took and at all the florals I designed and thinking “Wow, I made that”. All of those things make my job worth it. Being your own boss is great don’t get me wrong but it’s so much more than that, a big company has each department, accounting, marketing, social media, etc. then there’s me, I am one person who does all of it. It can be stressful and sometimes overwhelming but it’s also such a rewarding and fulfilling job. There’s nothing like it, and maybe one day I’ll have a “regular” job but maybe not!
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
I’m Emma, owner of Photos by Emma & The Bloom Room. I’m Southern California born & raised, but San Diego has my heart. I spend most of my time there and in Joshua Tree. I started photography for fun in 2014 and I only started my floral business a little over a year ago but it has really bloomed into something I never expected! I think both businesses go hand in hand, if you’re planning a wedding you need both services so I really enjoy being able to do both. I consider myself pretty outgoing and I consider my clients also my friends. I try to make them feel as comfortable as possible which I feel helps people relax and able to enjoy getting their photos taken. I am really proud of how far I’ve come this year, it’s been a big year for me. I do own two other businesses but these two have been my priority, between florals and photography I have 20 weddings this year. Which is so crazy to me, that so many people have picked me to be apart of such a special day! I can’t wait for all the weddings to come!
How did you build your audience on social media?
I will say social media is so important but I honestly don’t have many followers. A lot of my clients are referrals, and mainly from instagram. Hashtags are soooo important. I have clients tell me all the time they looked up a random hashtag and found me. It’s so simple just to put whatever city your in or around and add #photographer. These days social media has so many tools to help your business. It’s important to take advantage of everything that can help you get exposure and get your name out there! It’s also important to remember to not get discouraged, sometimes I find myself upset that I’m not getting a lot of likes or I don’t have a lot of followers but it really doesn’t matter because I’m almost fully booked for the year!
What else should we know about how you took your side hustle and scaled it up into what it is today?
My side hustle has quickly turned into my main hustle. I also own and run a small car dealership and vehicle registration business which has been my focus for the last 6 years. My photography and florals have taken over, especially my weekends. This year just really took off for me, I started to market more and put more effort into it. Before I was more focused on my other businesses which just shows when you put effort into something you can make it anything you want it to be! I never really had any set goals for myself until I realized how many shoots & weddings I do have this year. I’m really happy with what my business has become!
- Website: photosbyemmaj.com thebloomroomfloral.com
- Instagram: @photosbyemmaj @thebloomroomevents
- Facebook: Photos by Emma, The Bloom Room
Image Credits: @ravenberlinphoto