Hi Misty, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My parents were in the military so I spent my childhood traveling the world and experiencing other cultures. I believed everyone was kind and that all people are equal. Upon moving back to the US after graduating HS, I realized that I seen the world with rose colored glasses. It then became very important to me, to speak out for those that are less fortunate. My business is a place where all people feel welcome no matter their race, culture, or sexuality. I have also come to realize over the years the importance of supporting women. I want them to not only look beautiful but to feel beautiful. I can remember showing someone the back of my camera during a boudoir shoot and she said “wow, I really am beautiful”. It was a moment I will never forget. Since that my focus has really shifted to women. I love empowering other women. Not just the women I photograph but other business leaders, friends and family. My childhood, while great, was also very difficult. My father was an alcohol and I can remember watching him standing over my mother, while she was crouched in a corner, yelling at her. I also remember watching him throw her through a wall. During her second marriage, I watched my stepfather physically abuse my brother to the point that he was black and blue on more than one occasion. My stepfather sexually abused me for several years. I finally found the courage to tell my mom and she kicked him out immediately. I spent the next 30 years or so allowing people to walk over me. About 5 years ago I decided that was going to change. I started putting boundaries in place and learned to say no. This not only helped me to respect other people’s boundaries but it has helped me to realize that I deserve better. That all women deserve better! Far too often we are told to act like a lady, to be respectful, etc… When I see a woman telling someone to leave her alone or to not touch her, etc… I feel so proud for them and secretly wishing that I had that strength. I see this with my youngest daughter. I have to remind myself not to “quiet her voice”. She is very outspoken about the things she does not like. For a long time I tried to squish her “feisty” personality. I am working on changing that and encouraging her to speak without feeling shut down or unheard. I want every woman (person) to be heard. I relate this to my business because again, I believe we should embrace who we are with all our imperfections. I believe we should build each other up. I believe in community over competition. And lastly I would like to talk about the importance of following your dreams. My mom grew up very poor and because of that she pinched every penny for most of her adult life. She is successful financially but she took the safe road. She was afraid to take risks. She engrained that in me. I have spent the last year trying to shed all that information. I know she wants to protect me and she means well but I believe the only way to grow is by taking risks. You might fail but what you learn during the process will push you farther ahead. I am excited to continue pushing myself into uncomfortable opportunities and to continue learning and growing. Life really is short and if 2020 taught me anything, it taught me that we never know what the future holds. So live in the moment. Take risks! Stop waiting for the “right” moment. Push yourself and more importantly love yourself!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road. I believe my biggest challenge in business was that I spent years comparing myself to others in the same industry. It would cause me to doubt myself. In fact, I took a huge step back from my business for about 5 years because of those feelings of doubt. In this last year I have learned that there is only one ME. Someone in the industry could produce better quality work than me but the one thing they will never have is ME. Now that I truly believe that, I believe I will be unstoppable.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a Certified Professional Photographer. I specialize in women and babies. I also do quite a few headshots. I am most proud of the growth I have made in the last year and becoming Certified. Common feedback that I get from clients is that I made them feel comfortable and relaxed, that the session was fun, professional, pays attention to detail and high quality work.
Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Hah, I spoke about this a bit earlier. I would say that I moved with caution for the first several years and it really held me back. I have been pushing myself this last year to take more risks. I hired a mentor with money I didn’t have. I studied and passed the Certified Professional Photographer test. I challenged myself to switch too in person sales, I also moved to in person consults, both were things I was terrified to do. I started reaching out to businesses to talk about how I could benefit them instead of waiting for them to find me. I believe the only way to truly grow in your business is by taking risks. Sure you can have a successful business if you don’t take risks, but can you have an EXCEPTIONAL business if you don’t take risks?
- Print Collections start at $1200
- Wall Art starts at $550
- Folio Boxes start at $2200
- Albums start at $1199
- Address: 813.701.9085
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.mistyjonesphotography.com
- Instagram: @mistyjonesphotography
- Facebook: @mistyjonesphotographyflorida
- Youtube: https://youtube.com/user/mywalter
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