Featuring! Sierra

Hey folks!  Today I'm thrilled to introduce you to Sierra of Photographs by Sierra.  I just recently stumbled across her blog and decided to ask her to participate in this series.  I'm so glad I did!  Just in our few emails back and forth, Sierra has proven to be an encouragement to me.  I asked her to write from her heart to ya'll and here's what she said!

First off, I just wanted to thank Moriah so much for asking me to be featured on her blog. I feel completely inadequate since my business is still small, but maybe I'll be able to encourage those of you who are looking into starting your own personal business. And even if you're not! We're all here because we love good photos and we love hearing other people's stories.

Ever since I can remember, I've always been fascinated with photography. My love began when our family took a Summer trip to Ely Minnesota where we rented a cabin that was surrounded with woods, lakes, and delicate wildflowers. At that point I didn't have a camera to claim my own, so one day I decided to borrow my brother's little point + shoot and spent the *entire day* taking photos of and around the lake. I'd even drag my family members into being my personal models! It was that day that I believe my love for photography was born. 

I was 11 years old then, and by the time I turned 16 my parents surprised me with a brand new Nikon digital camera kit. In my high school years photography was more of a hobby than anything, but once I graduated I had so many people who asked if I wanted to pursue photography as a business. At that point I had never really thought of it, but once that seed was planted in my mind, I couldn't shake it. 

"Take photos for a living?" "Wait, I could actually do something I love to make money?" "Is that legal??" ;) I was excited for the chance to own something. And to not only own it, but to share it with others. I also loved the idea of creating a business where clients could turn into lasting friendships. I love people...I always have. And honestly that was one of the biggest motivators for me to pursue portrait and wedding photography.

However, my journey as a small business owner has had it's rough days. Weeks, even. If I were to tell my younger self one thing about owning a photography business, it'd be this: Do. Not. Compare. 

Oh, how I wish I had someone to remind me every single day (even now!) how dangerous it is to compare your work, life, and decisions to other people. Especially if those people are those you know only from social media. 

Someone once told me to 
never let the outside of someone define the inside of you.

I'm so passionate about this point because it's something even I have to fight every day, and it's something I wished I had learned 2 years ago when I started. I know this message is everywhere, but it stands true...even for a business. You need to do you, I need to do me, and we need to keep encouraging and inspiring others to do the same. :) All photographers are different. Each of us will look at art a different way, and each of us will create something completely different because we are all unique.

Another thing would be to never give up. I believe one of God's most precious gifts to us are found in the passions and dreams He's placed in our hearts. If you're a photographer who's just starting out and staring into all the "unknowns" of owning a business, I'd encourage you to not get so overwhelmed with the intricate details that you let your passion and energy for creating beautiful images fizzle out. Go back the basics. :) Ask your friends to model for you, take photos of things you love, share your images, and get comfortable and confident in who you are as a photographer. And don't ever pass up an opportunity to learn more.   

Much love, 


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