We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Natalie Popplewell a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Natalie, appreciate you joining us today. Do you have a hero? What have you learned from them?
My hero in the industry is definitely Katelyn James. I found her at a time where I felt like I was at a crossroads in my business. I had grown to a point where I had capped out with my own knowledge and ability to research and didn’t know where to go. I somehow stumbled upon Katelyn James and reluctantly (purely because I was frugal) purchased my first course, hoping desperately it would help me. Wow! Did it ever! This began my newfound obsessed with courses and photography education. The ways that this education helped me far outweighed the cost of the course itself. I will say, I have purchased other courses, and not all had this same affect on my career. What I really appreciate about Katelyn and her courses is that she clearly cares about putting out a fantastic product. Whether it’s Wedding Photography itself or her courses. It inspired me to continue to learn, grow, be open to changes, and put out a fantastic product. I ultimately hope, along with providing amazing photography and videography to couples, to also help the future generation of photographers on their business journey just as she has.
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 have loved cameras and photography all my life. Even as a child I’d line up my stuffed animals for “photoshoots” and kept photo albums with hundreds of photos. I saved up and purchased my first DSLR Camera, a Nikon D40, when I was a teenager and the rest was history. I took it everywhere and photographed everything. Soon I had friends asking me to take their senior pictures and even weddings! I couldn’t believe people wanted to pay me to do something I loved.
Flash forward to 2021 and I have a full fledged Wedding Photography and Videography business. It was no easy task to get here. I’ve had plenty of ups and downs and I even quit for a while when I purchased a historic building in Downtown Denison. However, photography always called out to me and I returned to the business in late 2016. After several amazing years, Covid-19 really threatened this livelihood but I held strong and made it through for a truly amazing 2021 wedding season. Most days I still want to pinch myself that this is what I get to do for a living. When I’m not capturing love stories, I’m at my historic building in Downtown Denison at my Coffee Shop and Boutique, 410 Collective + Coffee. I just celebrated my 10 year anniversary of owning my building and am so thankful I get to do TWO things I love for a living.
My goal is to tell the complete, beautiful story of my couples wedding day through fun and stress free-wedding photography and videography. Having shot 100+ weddings I know all too well how fast the day goes by and I want to help couples relive every moment they saw and didn’t see. We all know weddings can be stressful and I want to help reduce that stress as much as possible. I go beyond just photography and videography by providing constant communication, guides, timeline creation, and more through the entire planning process.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
Gingersnap Studios actually started with 2! We had several great years and grew so much together, however in late 2020 my business partner decided it was time to go a different direction in business.
This was Incredibly scary for me as the bulk of my career in Wedding Photography was with another person. Sure, photographers work alone all the time. I had just had the pleasure of having someone to rely on and a friend to work with. Ultimately, I knew I couldn’t give up on my dream. Wedding photography was truly my passion and I couldn’t dream of doing anything else. So, I invested in myself and bought the company from my partner.
That was almost exactly a year ago and I am truly SO thankful I chose to continue on Gingersnap Studios. I have grown so much and have had the pleasure of serving so many amazing couples.
Can you talk to us about how your funded your business?
I started photography as a teenager, so initially I saved up for a camera and started shooting! For the first few years I saved every penny I could so I could continue to upgrade my equipment. I am actually proud to say that I did not take out a loan (though I fully believe in the importance of small business loans) until I had been in business for many years. I slowly but surely build up my equipment.
As photographers know, equipment isn’t cheap, and this method isn’t always feasible. When It came time to upgrade again, I absolutely opted fund my new equipment with 0% interest financing options.
- Website: gsnapstudios.com
- Instagram: @gingersnapstudios
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GsnapStudios
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9OsqUYKRMv4UEHEUD8K8OQ