Today we’d like to introduce you to Bethany Blundell.
Hi Bethany, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I knew I wanted a career in media as early as middle school. I grew up with a camera to my face — documenting everything I could. In middle school and high school, I specifically sought out schools and programs that offered media classes, and I took as many as I could. But I actually started working at my first newspaper when I was 15 years old. I was expecting to file papers and run errands, but the editor handed me a reporter’s notebook, a camera, and a sticky note with an address on it and said, “Here’s your first story.” And from there, I kept going!
I spent the next ten years working at various newspapers (including one that brought me to Phoenix) as a multi-media journalist. I wrote for print newspapers while also creating photos and videos for my stories. While I loved journalism, it is a very difficult career path, and it definitely took a toll on my all-around health. I was about to get married and start a family, and I knew I couldn’t stay in that field. So I quit my job and went on a long-term missions trip (focused on film and photo) to Mexico and Peru. While there, I took time to assess what I loved most and what I was really good at. The answer to that was photography. So as soon as I got back to the States, I launched my own photography company. That was over two years ago, and to this day, I LOVE it! The business has grown exponentially, and I feel so grateful for it and my clients. I love the flexibility and the creative freedom it offers.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Launching a business is never easy. I quit my full-time job to start my company — so with it, I left a stable income and benefits. That comes with all kinds of uncertainties. I spent my first year just getting my business on track and trying to grow, and then COVID hit and it felt like I took two steps backward. But I have amazing clients who chose to live life, despite the pandemic, and because of them, I was able to keep creating and growing and keep the company afloat.
I also struggle a lot with imposter syndrome. Deep down, I know that I know what I’m doing. But my head constantly tries to tell me that the great photo I took was just a “lucky shot, “that I need to compare myself to other photographers. or that — even after all this time — I still have no clue what I’m doing. It is honestly still something I am working on. But I know that my photography is my art. It may not appeal to everyone and the path may be messy at times, but that is completely ok. What is not ok is to let my thoughts get the best of my and quit.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in weddings and portraits (seniors, maternity and families). One of the biggest things that sets me apart from others is that I don’t follow editing trends. For one, I know those trends will change at some point, and I want my photos to be as timeless as possible. Another reason is that those trends just don’t represent who I am. I tried them, and the photos just didn’t feel like “me.”
I call my editing style “natural, but better.” I like to keep true colors and just make them more vibrant, and make the subject/s of the photo really pop. It took a lot of courage to step away from market trends and go my own way. I feared people would hate my style, and nobody would hire me. But I reminded myself that I need to follow my gut and do what feels right to me. And I know, if I do that, the right clients will find me.
Do you any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
Christmas time in my house will always be a cherished memory for me. Specifically, the day after Christmas. My family would drive up to the mountains, play in the snow, and search for hours for the “perfect” tree. We would always try to convince my parents to get these massive trees that would barely fit in our home. Most of the time, they said no. But sometimes they caved and we would leave with an epic green beauty! On our way home, we would eat at our favorite drive-in diner and then go home and decorate the tree as a family.
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