Beth Rush Hill
What year did you graduate?
I graduated in December 2012! Feels like yesterday!
What was your degree in?
My degree was a BS in Marketing from the Business School!
What do you do now? (we know, it's just for the sake of the spotlight!)
I'm a wedding & portrait photographer for Elizabeth Hill Photography!
How long have you had your own business?
Almost 2 years. I've had a camera since I was 16, taking pictures for family and close friends, but two years ago, I took a huge leap and started my business!
When did you decide you wanted to pursue photography and open your business?
It actually all started with clay. Crazy right? But hear me out. I was getting something special made with my newborn son's hands and feet and the pottery maker was discussing senior year for her daughter with my mom. She mentioned her daughter needing senior photos done, I offered, shared on Facebook and the rest is history. It was shared so many times and the inquiries just started coming in rather quickly. I actually had to step back two months in and start to get a business structure so I could keep up with the pace! I had dreamed of being a professional photographer for a few years, but was afraid to leap. That moment changed it all and I jumped head first.
Most rewarding thing about having your own business?
Serving people. I think all of us use the buzzword "I want to make an impact" but what does that truly even mean? We hear this and get frustrated when we've been working on something for 6 months and don't see change. "Impact" is a long man's game. You have to have the ability to look at the passion and dream you have for your business and see what the next 20 year investment will look like. I knew I wanted to love people well and that when I look back in 20 years, know I did that with every decision I made in my business.
I want to give every client an incredible experience that they aren't getting somewhere else and I knew I could do that with my camera. I love giving a couple their final wedding gallery and them seeing it through my eyes, the little moments they think no one saw or when a client has become friends of mine and I hug their kids in the grocery store and I care about them as people. I'm creating images that I hope make it into a tiny silver frame that they will show their grandchildren one day. That's rewarding to me.
Most challenging thing about owning your own business?
Taking the business side seriously. There are a ton of people who love photography as a hobby or a "side hustle," (which I did for a year) but it's hard work when you get serious about it and decide to make it your career! Taxes, being licensed and insured, having a lawyer, contracts, etc. - that's a different beast. It's challenging to get the public to understand that professional photographer and photographer are two totally different things and to run that side of your business well, so that you can continue to do what you love. Having a creative job as my full time job has been the hardest, most rewarding thing I've ever done, but when it's yours, you sacrifice, risk, and work harder than you ever thought possible!
Any additional thoughts, notes, or words of wisdom?
Know your strengths and surround yourself with an army of people smarter than you. The greatest thing I've ever done is invest in other creatives to come alongside me to use their gifts and talents that blow me out of the water. When you try to run something by yourself, you get to the top of the mountain and have no one to celebrate with. That's not me. I'm bringing the best of the best with me and celebrating our successes and failures together.