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Daily Inspiration: Meet Ella Johnson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ella Johnson.

Hi Ella, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I have always had an artsy soul, and in high school, I began to love to take photos of everything under the sun – on vacations, of my family, of friends at the dance, flowers, etc. My family remembers me in 5th grade bringing along my little aqua point and shoot camera on a trip to Hawaii and that I never put it down.

I was photographing everything! I also found myself fascinated with how I could edit these photos to look even cooler. I never had any intentions of becoming a photographer, but definitely looked up to those in my community. I was working at a dance store at the time and decided to save up money to purchase my first DSLR camera.

From there, I began taking photos more of my baby brother, and friends at the dance, and that spring I had a friend ask me to take some photos of her on her new college campus before her high school graduation. At this point (2017) I was a junior in high school. That summer, I had a lot of peers ask me to photograph their senior portraits, and that is really where my business took off!

That following year, I continued photographing lots of senior portraits, and that spring I began “second shooting” weddings with many different photographer colleagues.

That summer and fall entering my freshman year of college, I photographed over 70 seniors and second shoot weddings almost every weekend, in addition to a few of my own. After feeling like I had a lot of experience with weddings, that fall (2018) I also began photographing my own weddings.

In the years following up until now, I have been very busy still with lots of seniors, 20-30 weddings each year, and lots of engagement sessions. I recently have also been traveling to many places for photography: Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, Chicago, and multiple trips to Mexico.

Destination sessions and weddings light such a creative fire in me that I can’t wait to continue doing this.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Overall, my photography and business journey has been a smooth road, which I feel very lucky for. I have definitely learned so much over the last 5 years.

I have learned a lot about business management, client relations, and the social media side of things, in addition to a lot of learning in regards to photography and editing in general.

The most difficult part has definitely been balancing a full-time business on top of college, but I have learned many time management skills from this and only have one month left of this balancing act before I can finally ONLY focus on my photography!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My creative work is photography. I specialize in creative and fun senior portraits, weddings, and couples. I also occasionally photograph babies and families.

My business is known for being warm and inviting, creative, fun, spunky, and overall a great time! I am most proud of the relationships that I build with my clients throughout the planning process, and how I can see this truly reflected during their photography session or wedding day.

What sets me apart is how dedicated I am to creating a memorable and smooth experience for my clients from start to end, and making them feel beautiful, amazing, and empowered in the process.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I definitely see my artistic eye as a form of “luck” in my business. I am told so often “Wow, I never would’ve thought of that” and I feel blessed to see things in a very artistic light.

When I started my photography career in high school, I was in a very abusive relationship and was continually told my work was stupid, that I was asking for attention, people only liked me for what I could do for them, and essentially a lot of horrible things that made me want to quit. I eventually was able to leave that and use that negativity to prove them wrong.

Ever since have been surrounded by the most supportive people like my family, friends, and partner that encourage and speak highly of everything I do. I also feel very lucky for the photography community where I am biased because I have a lot of friends in this community which I know is rare in many other cities.

Pricing:

  • All of my photography services include pre-session planning and customized scouting, an online gallery of professionally edited photos that never expires (meaning the photos are always able to be downloaded), and printing rights.
  • My senior sessions begin at $750 with 3 looks & locations.
  • My wedding packages begin at $3000 with 8 hours of coverage.
  • My family, maternity, and baby sessions begin at $350.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Hayley Dolson Photography

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