Today we’d like to introduce you to Naomi Phelps.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It all started when I stole my first camera at the age of two and I just haven’t put it down since. I was the obnoxious girl in middle and high school who wanted to document everybody and every day life. The unofficial school photographer. I had friends who would run the other way or cover their faces if they saw me, knowing that they were about to become victims of my camera!
Of course, like every kid, I went through phases of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a teacher, a journalist, a musician, a veterinarian, but it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I figured that photography has always been my future.
I was attending George Mason University in Virginia and working on a fine arts major but I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my degree.
Well, fate would have it that I would meet my future in one of the Tourism and Events Management classes: Wedding Planning (yes, there is such a class!). A wedding photographer came to my class and started showing us his work and that was it. I fell in love with everything about it: documenting a couple’s love, the emotions, the beauty and elegance, the details!
Of course, I wasn’t about to let the photographer leave without asking for a job opportunity, which he declined. Lucky for me, he came back the next semester and I got another chance to ask, yet again. I’m very persistent! This time, he didn’t say ‘no’ but told me, I needed experience. I was to keep in touch and send him my work over the summer.
I did just that. I got an internship with another wedding photographer in Virginia Beach, where I was residing at the time and emailed him every week with new pictures. That sealed the deal. He offered me an internship during my entire senior year of college. When I graduated with my Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a concentration in Photography, he hired me full-time as his office manager and photographer.
It was an amazing 3-1/2 years, where I worked non-stop but loved every minute of it! I learned so much, not only in photography, but managing a business, marketing, networking, editing and processing. It was the opportunity of a lifetime!
But, with most jobs, there comes a time when you want to keep growing and you can only do so much growing within someone else’s company. So, I took a HUGE leap and started Sweet Memories Photography in 2013 and haven’t looked back since. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, it’s a tough and competitive business but I truly love what I do. Being a part of someone’s love and celebration is everything to me and makes any obstacle that I face feel like just a small stepping stone to something great!
Has it been a smooth road?
As with any business, there are plenty of ups and downs. Photography is a competitive field with a lot of talented photographers out there. So, I would definitely say making myself and my work stand out from the crowd, and reaching the couples who love what I do as much as I do is my toughest obstacle.
Running a business is just plain hard. Putting myself out there when I love to hide behind the camera. Keeping up with the latest technology, constantly marketing, maintaining budgets and taxes … I mean, the list goes on and on.
But with any business, the struggles and overcoming them is the most rewarding. I mean, there’s no failure if you don’t try, but there’s also no success either!
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Sweet Memories Photography by Naomi Phelps – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Sweet Memories Photography specializes in weddings, engagements, family sessions and special events. Basically, anything to do with people, animals and traveling… I’m all in!
I have a passion for documenting life and telling love stories through my photos. I am unobtrusive, staying behind the scenes, allowing moments to unfold, capturing the raw emotions and real events as they happen.
My style is more photojournalistic and real, with just a touch of traditional. And being someone who is not a fan of being in front of the camera, I work closely with my brides, couples and families to make sure they feel beautiful, comfortable and relaxed. These are images that are going to stay with them forever and I am told that, not only am I easy and fun to work with (I’m often described as ‘bubbly’ haha!), but the pictures are beautiful and creative.
Being able to use my creativity to make people happy and tell their stories is what I’m all about. I love using different angles (I can sometimes be found laying on the ground just to get that perfect shot), natural lighting and composition to create a beautiful picture and freeze a moment.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Oh, my gosh. The food! I am such a foodie and can’t get enough! I recently moved from Washington, DC where the food was great but nothing compares to here. The fact that I can go into pretty much any store and get a guava and/or key lime pastry, completes my life.
Aside from food, I also love the creative community. We have an amazing group, Rising Tide’s Fort Lauderdale Tuesdays Together, which I joined when I first moved down here and they’ve been so supportive. It’s wonderful to get together with these fellow creatives to learn from each other, motivate and inspire one another and bounce ideas. I’ve met some of my closest friends and have been introduced to awesome venues and vendors just by being a part of this group.
And who can forget the beaches?! I’m from Virginia where you can’t even see your feet once you put them in the water. They just disappear. That’s not the case here! The water is beautiful and clear. I often go to the beach to distress and clear my mind. Honestly, I do some of my best thinking at the beach.
- Website: swtmemoriesphotography.com
- Phone: 703.424.1345
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @sweetmemoriesphoto
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/sweetmemoriesbynaomiphelps
- Other: https://goo.gl/maps/EZZ5XQFvaCL2
Sweet Memories Photography