Chats with Creatives: Erin Lindsey Images -

Chats with Creatives: Erin Lindsey Images

Meet Erin.

Erin is an amazing photographer who I had the pleasure of creating a custom wood logo sign for back in the day! It’s been so neat to follow her entrepreneurial journey over the past couple years, her business has grown so much and I’ve always been a HUGE fan of her style. I’ll be showcasing some of her work in a few of my Showit website templates that are available soon! When I decided to start doing these interviews with other creative women, one of the first names that came to mind was Erin’s – she’s such a sweet, passionate and driven person and I knew you guys would love getting to know her and learning about her experience as a small business owner and photographer. Alright, now let’s get on with the interview and let Erin speak for herself! I’ll share all of her social media and website info at the end, so make sure you go and give her a follow and some love!

Imagine we are meeting up at a local coffee shop one morning. Gonna chat it up like old friends. What do you order?

Probably a chai tea latte or just a bottled water and a pastry.

Describe how you and your hubs met and list three things that you admire about him.

We actually “met” on Facebook via a mutual friend, but we met in person for the first time at Chuck-E-Cheese! Haha! It was an “end of the semester” hangout with a bunch of college students over 10 years ago. We instantly connected and became best buds! We texted almost non-stop over the next month and a half before we officially started dating! We both knew we had found “the one” within a few weeks of dating and we were engaged just 10 months after we first met! I admire Will’s work ethic, his servant’s heart, and his desire to do things with excellence in everything he does.

What are three things that you think he admires about you?

Oh gosh! Ummm… I think Will admires my drive, my work ethic, and my ability to see the positive side in everything.

What is your evening or bedtime routine?

Will and I like to read in the living room before bed. We turn on our faux fireplace thanks to Netflix, we light a candle or two, and we each typically have a glass of wine/whiskey.

If you had one day to spend on anything you’d like and had no other distractions or commitments, how would you spend that day?

I would probably choose to sit outside enjoying the weather (sunshine and 78 degrees, please!) with a glass of wine and reading a good book.

Where do you go on a night out with the hubs or with friends?

Lately, Will and I have been enjoying going to any and every movie at the theatre thanks to MoviePass (best thing ever!). We also like driving around the country looking at land (it’s our dream to buy some one day!). We love having friends over to hang out on our back patio too!

What is something you struggle with as an entrepreneur?

As an entrepreneur, I struggle with perfectionism. Boy, do I struggle with it! I spend far too much time agonizing over the tiniest things because I want them to be “perfect”. This is something I have struggled with since day 1 of my business. I have learned more about myself and grown more and more as a business owner over the past few years, so I see this struggle of mine and I’m trying to let go of that need for perfection little by little every day. I definitely see growth in that area and I am so thankful!

What’s your current status in terms of work life balance? Got it going on or seriously struggling? Anything you are trying to do to help in that area or anything you can recommend to others?

Work/life balance has always been a tough one for me. I love being productive. I love serving my clients. My business is kind of my baby right now… so the thought of not working (or at least thinking about work) every spare moment has always been a foreign concept to me. But last year, I got to a place of near burnout. I realized that work isn’t everything. I’m allowed to slow down. I’m allowed to take some time off. In fact, I need to slow down and take some time off every now and then to connect with my husband, family, and friends. So I am currently in a “slowing down”/restful state in my business. I’m still working, but I’ve purposefully cut back quite a bit this year. I feel like I am finally learning what “work/life” balance means and it’s been so wonderful for my soul.

When did you first take up photography and what inspired you to choose it as a hobby and/or business path?

I first started doing photography as a complete amateur back in high school. I basically just played around with my point and shoot camera doing “photoshoots” with my sister and some friends. When I was about 19, my co-worker asked if I would photograph her small wedding because they didn’t have the budget for a photographer, so I jumped on the opportunity (though I truly didn’t know what on earth I was doing… there were guests at the wedding with better cameras and more experience than I had!) From that wedding, I got a referral, then another referral, and so on. A few years later, Erin Lindsey Images was born! I went full time with my business a year and a half later!

Tell me about your partnership with your hubs and how it works with him being your second shooter?

My husband has been my second shooter almost the entire time Erin Lindsey Images has been in existence. We have a system we use at every wedding and it’s nice knowing that he can read my thoughts before I even verbalize them. I think it’s a telepathic married couple thing 😉 He has been a great help to me and I am so thankful to have him by my side at every wedding I photograph!

You recently started offering coaching for other photographers, can you elaborate on what all is involved with that and what inspired you to start helping others in your field?

My Coaching Program was created after receiving many emails and messages from new or aspiring photographers over the past few years asking the same questions over and over again. Simple, but very real questions that I remember having when I first started my business. Getting your business started, running it in a professional way, and serving your clients well is a lot easier said than done. These photographers knew that they wanted to go in that direction, but they didn’t know how. They just wanted some practical guidance, like I wanted when I started my business. Someone to hold their hand and walk them through the process of starting their new business. Someone who they wouldn’t make them feel stupid for asking simple questions. They needed step by step instructions and the freedom to ask questions along the way. I created the program to walk new and/or aspiring photographers step-by-step through the process of starting their business, utilizing social media, conducting client consultations, the engagement session,  wedding day preparation, the wedding day itself, all the way through final image delivery. I am so honored to have coached new photographers all across the country and to continue to coach photographers through my Coaching Program! I love encouraging and teaching others, so this program has just been such a joy for me!

What is your mission statement for your business?

My mission is simply to love and to serve my clients in everything that I do. To keep their best interest at heart and to run my business with integrity. My desire is to provide life-changing encouragement to photographers and small business owners as well as to my brides and grooms. I want my business to bring joy to everyone I come in contact with.

How has your photography style and subject matter grown and changed from when you first started?

Oh my goodness, it has changed so much!  When I first started, I photographed anything and everything. Now, I specialize in just weddings and engagement sessions. Narrowing down my focus has allowed me to improve my craft so much better than when I was photographing all genres. My photography style, both shooting and editing, has changed alot over the years going from darker with bolder colors and more dramatic posing to lighter and brighter, softer colors, and more natural, joy-filled posing. It is fun to look back at my early work and see how far I’ve come!

How do you advertise and promote your business? What’s something you can recommend to aspiring mombosses and photographers?

I do all of my marketing via Instagram, Facebook, and my blog. I really don’t spend much money on marketing besides the occasional Facebook promotion/boost. Most of my referrals come from social media or directly from past clients! So, because of that, I would encourage new photographers to focus on maintaining a consistent social media presence and to focus on serving your clients well. Love on them every step of the way! I truly believe that a positive client experience will go alot further in receiving referrals than even beautiful photos will!

If you could outsource one or two things in your business, what would they be? Editing? Social media management? Email marketing?

I actually already outsource several things in my business! I currently outsource my editing and my album design and those are some of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my business!  I get hours upon hours of my workdays back every week! The wonderful thing is that the money I pay my editor and album designer, I make back (and then some) in the time I save by not doing all of my editing and design myself. I also feel a weight off of my shoulders knowing that I don’t have to worry about those aspects of my business. It’s really a win win situation!!

If you could change anything about your business or your process, what would it be?

I am pretty happy with the processes I have in place in my business as of right now… but something I wish I could change is the constant feeling of “I need to post of social media every day”. I think we live in a time where being active on social media is very important for entrepreneurs, especially wedding photographers. I wish that wasn’t the case. I wish we weren’t as dependent upon social media as we’ve become. That being said, I am very thankful for the fact that these platforms are free.
I often feel guilt over not being as active on social media as I’m “supposed to be”. I don’t post on social media every day, even though I feel like I’m should. But at the same time, I know that slowing down is the best thing for me right now, so I am learning how to give myself grace. I know that time with family and friends is more important than being active on social media all the time. It’s gotten easier to let go of that guilt/pressure over the years, but it is definitely still a struggle and something I would like to continue to improve/change!

What is one piece of advice that you were given that has been the most impactful during your entrepreneurial journey?

One of the best pieces of advice I have been given is “Don’t try to be anyone else but yourself”. It’s simple, but so profound for me. In my early years of business, I was always trying to photograph and edit like the people I admired. I was essentially trying to be them! It wasn’t until I started just owning MY style as a photographer that I saw my business and my confidence in my work skyrocket!

In turn, what is one piece of advice you’d give to other looking to start their own venture?

I’d offer the same advice that was offered to me: Don’t try be anyone else but yourself… don’t try to mimic someone else’s work. Figure out what YOU love…figure out what YOUR style is, and then OWN IT! Rock it! As cheesy as it sounds, just be yourself. And if people don’t like that, if they don’t like your style, that’s ok! It really is! Not everyone will like everything and you have to be ok with that. You can’t please everyone. It is exhausting trying to be like someone else, constantly comparing yourself and your work to someone else’s. I want everyone to experience the freedom of letting go of that comparison trap and to instead walk confidently in who they are and what their style is.

 

Takeaways from Erin

Slow down.

I think every entrepreneur faces difficulty in this arena. Like Erin says, it’s so important to allow ourselves to slow down. To take the time to connect with those we love. Our businesses are everything to us, but so are our families so we definitely need to prioritize our time with them as well. I know this is probably my biggest struggle that I’m working hard on!

Help and love on others.

Referring to both clients and fellow creatives. It goes without saying that serving up our clients and customers with amazing products and services should be our goal. But guys, like Erin is doing with her Coaching Program – share your knowledge, help others who are starting out – let’s help each other be the best we can be at what we are passionate about. There’s plenty of business for all of us out there, another’s success does not diminish your own, so let’s live the whole “community over competition” thing out.

Narrow your focus.

Hone in on your niche and become the best you can at it. It’s hard to not want to do “all the things” but as Erin found out when she narrowed her photography sessions to just weddings and engagements, her style and her business really flourished. Try to figure out what it best for you and focus on that.

Give yourself some grace.

As entrepreneurs, we are wearing about 10 hats. But we cannot do it all. Don’t demand perfectionism of yourself. Learn what you could outsource to save yourself some time and headache. I know I struggle with self doubt and constant feeling of not being enough whether as a business owner, mom or wife. I need to show myself grace and stop being so critical of myself. And my guess is, you should too!

 

Don’t try to be anyone else but yourself.

Simple as that. It’s all good to learn from others and draw inspiration to try and determine what works for you. We all start from somewhere and it’s smart business to look at successful models. But just make sure you are being true to yourself and finding your own style. YOU are just as amazing as the other successful people you follow. Find your niche and grow your tribe. Be authentic – yes, I know it’s such an overused word at this point, but it’s so true. People want to know who you are and that won’t come across if you are not being yourself or are being “sales pitchy” all the time and your customers and clients won’t feel as connected to you and your brand.

 


Now do me a favor and go follow Erin on IG at @erinlindseyimages and comment here with something you love about her whether it’s her answer to a specific question that hit home with you or her photography work!

 

chats with creatives | erin lindsey images | jessica gingrich creative

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