Starting a small photo business, especially right when you move to a new place, can be a huge challenge. My husband and I have only been in Utah for about a year and all the successful photographers I started following on social media seemed to know each other, shoot together, and even vacation together. How's a girl supposed to get involved?!

Building a clientele with a budding business is also a quite the undertaking. What kind of couples did I want to be working with? What message did I want to send through my pictures? What skills did I need to develop to make my vision a reality? It's way too easy at the beginning stages to make exceptions and undervalue work in order to create a foundation. I was definitely guilty of that! I'd worry when I told clients my pricing that I was asking too much and offer discounts, or do some work for free when I should have been paid more in order to build my portfolio. I take these now as lessons learned and am SO grateful for the experience they provided. It's taken a lot of hard work and trial and error over the last year to get a good idea of what I want my work to be like and how I want to represent myself. I've found inspiration in a lot of amazing photographers and, slowly but surely, have developed the confidence and vision I want for my work and small business. Hooray for creativity, self-expression, and artistic self-worth! It's definitely a journey and it's not over yet!

All that being said, being a part of this collaborative shoot was a DREAM and kind of like the realization of that hard work. Nhiya Kaye Photography, better known as Rebecca Johnson or @nhiyakayephoto on Instagram, has been a big inspiration of mine for a while and when she announced she was putting together a styled shoot while she was in Utah and needed some photographers, I pushed aside all anxiety and jumped in! And then all the anxiety came rushing right back. I was nervous that I'd be the newbie, completely unprepared, or appear totally clueless next to whoever else would be there shooting too. I had never done anything like this before and I'm so glad that got the opportunity! Everyone was so laid back and low-key. We each got to take turns posing and interacting with the couple, moving around so that everyone could get their shots and express their creativity. There were so many little tips and tricks that I've already started using in my couples shoots! The best part was that I got to meet four other wonderfully talented photographers and women: Cassandra Farley (@cassandrafarleyphoto), Meg Neilson (@megnielsonphoto), Rebecca Johnson, and Chelsea Fabrizio (@chelsea_fabrizio). Women supporting women is one of the coolest things ever and I'm so glad I got to learn from such a cool group of lady friends. 

Moral of this whole post: Do something that really scares you, the outcome is so worth it!


Styling and Macrame: Renata Stone (@renatastone) (She literally whipped up that gorgeous macrame background piece hours before our shoot. HOW?!)

Florals: Magnolia Flower Co (@magnoliaflowerco)

Hair and Makeup: Alexa Kait (@alexakait)

Studio: The Charcoal Loft (@thecharcoalloft)

Host: Nhiya Kaye Photography (@nhiyakayephoto)

Models: Austin Elkins & Mahala Britt (@avelkins & @mahalabritt)