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Meet Emili Farnum

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emili Farnum.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Emili. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Unlike many “creatives” my passion for photography did not begin at a young age. Now that’s not to say that I didn’t have a creative background. In fact, as far back as I can remember, I always had a passion for art. As a young girl, I would frequently draw in a sketchpad or gift handmade items to family. As the years progressed and I got older, that artistic passion became channeled into graphic design. With that, I worked towards a degree in Fine Arts and graduated college with the top portfolio within my senior class. After that, I worked both as a freelancer and a graphic designer for a print shop in town that serviced many small business owners. But the turn to photography came still a bit later during the pivotal moment of my life when I entered into motherhood.

When my first child was born, I was full of emotion and a desperate need to capture every moment of this life-changing event pushed me to purchase a professional Nikon camera. I wanted more than to just document my child’s life with quick snapshots. I wanted feeling behind my photos, emotion. In a day and age where the cellphone has quickly become the only thing capturing life’s greatest moments, I wanted more for my child. I wanted him to look back on the photos I was taking and truly cherish them.

Not long after that, I knew I wanted more than to just photograph my own family. I wanted other families to feel the way that I did about my images. I wanted them to hang pictures in their homes that they were proud of. I loved taking candid images of everyone and everything so I decided to pour my heart into building a small photography business that would let me do exactly that. I educated myself on all things photography, from the legal nit and grit details to other more creative resources that I used to improve my skills as a photographer.

Now, I happily take on clients and provide them with beautiful lasting heirlooms that can be passed down for generations. I have structured my business to be a strong supporter of print-based photography and I pride myself on providing fine art quality products to my clients to display in their homes and not only on their computers. I do this because I strongly believe that everyone’s images are precious. Regardless of whether you need a photographer for maternity, engagement, a newborn, or a family, all images deserve more than a 10-second glance on social media only to never be seen again.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think I can speak for many when I say that being a small business owner is never without its struggles. For me, the biggest roadblock was learning what it meant to be a profitable business owner. For creative people, I feel it can be difficult to know where to draw the line between passion and business. I always want to give the very best to my clients but, on that same note, I also want to be able to help support my family financially. What that comes down to is learning how to balance hard work with profit. But today’s world is so over-saturated with imagery that it can be a daunting task sometimes educating client’s on what makes me different from everyone else and why I am worth the value I am asking for.

On top of that, it can be challenging to simply get the word out about a small business when there are so many others struggling for their own piece of the pie. I’ve personally found that building a strong community with other photographers is a wonderful outlet to grow. We each have our own niche and it helps everyone grow when we aren’t fighting against each other. Community over competition every time.

Please tell us about Emili Farnum Photography.
I set myself apart from the others in my area by providing my client’s with tangible products. While I do offer digital products for social media and archiving, I strive to focus mainly upon printing what I photograph. I want my clients to print their images so that they can hang fine art in their homes. I want them to feel something when they walk down their hallway or sit in their living room and see their families smiling back at them. It’s a sense of satisfaction, and why wouldn’t it be. Why wouldn’t you want to have photographs of those you love dearest in your home? I don’t know about you, but my own grandparents love showing off pictures of my children to their friends and neighbors. Its connection and connection is human nature. But I think that this has gotten muddy in this digital age where a picture has minute life span. So because of this, I continue to encourage and support printing high-quality photographs with my clients.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
This is a difficult question because there have been so many small victories while building my business. Yet if I had to pick just one, then I would say that it would have to be back when I was hired by my very first client. I say this because at that point in my life I knew all my hard work and dedication was finally fulfilled. Someone came to me because they believed in me and what I had to offer. It was so fulfilling to know that and to deliver a professional gallery to someone other than a family member or friend. I was stepping into entrepreneurial land and it was fantastic!

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