If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing at the beginning of your journey, what would it be?
If I could tell myself ONE thing it would be this: Don’t get too caught up in the “rules” of photography. Be aware of them, but don’t let them define you. Let your passion and creative voice be the elements that guide you.

What is your favorite quote ever, and why?
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” It’s so simple right? and kind of lame… there are so many awesome quotes out there. why this one? I love that it’s simple. I feel like it’s the story of my life. I can’t count how many times I’ve tried something and failed, but if I could it would match the number of times I tried again. I can honestly say, if you want something, you work for it. If you fail, you try again. You’ll get it eventually… don’t give up on yourself.

What is the hardest part about being an entrepreneur?
There are a few things that stand out here… One thing that I find to be hard is managing your time properly. I work from home, so I tend to get short or a bit edgy when I’m editing, or working on the computer and daily life is going on around me. For example, when my kids yell “mom” for the 57th time in a row while you’re trying to edit, respond to emails, send out invoices or just book keep it can be frustrating…  I’m trying to remind myself that things don’t need to be done RIGHT away all the time– I can tend to my home life and work here and there as the day goes on. Time management is tough, but you have to find a flow that works for you.

Another thing that’s difficult is giving so much of your time without charging a cost. When you’re a business owner (especially something like photography) it gets difficult to separate work from pleasure and often you end up taking on sessions without charging for your time. That’s something I’m getting better with also. 😉

When you are in a rut, where are your favorite places to go for inspiration?
When I’m in a rut, which is every so often in the world of photography, I try to put my camera down and just observe. I’ll either observe things around me, my environment, light etc. or I’ll head over to instagram– because woah, the talent there blows minds. When I’m observing things around me I find beauty in things I probably wouldn’t have if I was caught up in my rut… it allows me to appreciate things a bit more and then I can get my creative juices flowing again. I think it’s completely normal to go through ruts, so I try not to get too crazy when I’m in one. I let time take its course, give myself time to refuel, and just be. One day you’re out of it and amazing things happen again 🙂

ELISE’S 5 FAVORITE THINGS

Buffalo Chicken. (that came out without even thinking)
My husband (& boys). (should that be before buffalo chicken?)
Hawaii.
Summer.
Vintage shops.

If you could say one thing to an entrepreneur who is struggling to find their way, what would it be?
I would tell them to take a minute and just reflect. Reflect on what you want to be and then give yourself some slack. Let yourself explore and make mistakes, let yourself try new things and disregard the “rules”. Once you’ve accepted the fact that it’s going to take time to find your way… keep going. I think it’s important to fall before you fly, just make sure you never forget to pick yourself back up. It WILL work out if you want it to.

ABOUT ELISE

I started this photography journey in 2012 when my husband bought me my first DSLR for Mother’s Day. I shot on auto for awhile and then took the jump into manual. Since then I’ve found myself focusing on lifestyle photography and weddings. I do believe that the imperfections of life make it beautiful, so I embrace all of it during sessions. Connection, emotion and story is everything to me.

I am a wife to an amazing man who served 10 years as a Navy SEAL. We lived in Hawaii together for 2 years before moving back to our home state of Massachusetts. We settled in a rural town and now have two amazing little boys, Grant and Dean (4.5 and 2.5). We are surrounded by our wonderful family and friends and are grateful for them.

We LOVE to travel and I am counting down the days to head back to Hawaii for a big family trip hopefully in 3 years. Aside from that, we head to Lake Winnipesaukee for the lake life and Cape Cod for the ocean in the summer.

When I first started the journey to start a business my husband told me “don’t lose sight of why you love photography… when you feel like you’ve taken on too much, take a step back.” I honestly feel like it was the greatest piece of advise. My love affair with photography started well before the business did. I’ll hold on to that forever.

*Elise’s two headshots were taken by Sarah Discoll Photography.

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