Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Vance.
Emily, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I can honestly say I don’t remember when I decided to pursue my career path because art was always just a part of me. I received my first digital camera when I was thirteen, however, prior to that, I was shooting with an old Canon AE-1. I attend art school in 2010 and very quickly learned it wasn’t for me. After a couple of semesters, I dropped out and was so burnt out I didn’t touch a camera again until 2013. Once I picked my camera back up, I didn’t stop. I began shooting everything I possibly could. While I wouldn’t consider my early work to be anything close to “good,” I am SO happy I didn’t stop. It might not have been pretty, I was making plenty of mistakes, but I was learning.
After balancing the artist life with my 9-5 for several years, I decided enough was enough and I was going to go for it. My husband and I decided to take a risk and start living life to the fullest. We both quit our jobs of nearly a decade, he decided to go back to school, and I decided to pursue art full time. We packed up all of our belongings, left Washington state, and headed to the midwest where we ended up just shy of a year. Shortly after moving to a beautiful, but isolated, farmhouse, we quickly learned we belonged in the city. Although Kansas was a fun adventure, it never felt like home. But the one thing it did was push us so far out of our comfort zone, we lost our way back. It taught us how to really live life to the fullest and not be afraid to take risks.
After toughing it out for a year, we moved to the desert in June 2018 where I accepted a content creator position at Remi Raine Bridal. I am constantly shooting, meeting amazing people, and it gives me the perfect flexibility to still pick up odd jobs here and there. I am finally living my dream working as a photographer full time and I can truthfully say I couldn’t be happier.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Being an artist is hard. My work is a piece of me, so when people don’t like it I take it VERY personally. I am slowly learning to stop comparing my work to others and embrace my own unique style. While I love dark and moody work, I typically capture bright colors. There was a time when I was trying my hardest to capture this style, it just wasn’t me and I felt like I wasn’t being true to myself.
Working full time as a photographer can also very quickly lead to burning out. While art used to be my “escape,” it sometimes seems like I can’t get a break from it. With a little reflecting and a few self-help books, I learned I need to have another way to escape. I would love to be able to take a mental break every day by doing yoga, but if I sit still for too long, my brain floods with new ideas. Instead, I have taken up running as a way to take a mini-vacation every day.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
While my main title is a photographer, I do so much more than that. Being able to work as an artist full time takes a bit of creativity. Along with capturing everything from weddings to first birthdays, I also work as the social media director at Remi Raine Bridal. I create all of the content for their social media, capture brides as they fall in love with the dress of their dreams, and organize events.
My proudest moment as a photographer was being selected to work with Together We Rise at Disneyland. Out of thousands of photographers across the country that applied, I was one of a few dozen selected to spend the day with an amazing group of foster kids while they were reunited with their siblings in the park. Being able to use my passion as a way to give back one of the best days of my life.
Although I do a little bit of everything, I specialize in portraits. I love connecting with people and capturing emotion.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I do believe in luck, but luck has its moments. I firmly believe that if something is meant to be, and if you work at it every single day, the Universe will make it happen. I might not be making millions or have my work on the cover of Vogue, but I am a full-time photographer. Of course, there was a little bit of luck in there, but it took years of hard work and dedication. There were so many times I wanted to throw in the towel, or in this case the camera, but by pushing through I proved to myself and the Universe that I am dedicated and therefore, so many amazing opportunities continue to fill my life.
- Portraits – Starting at $250
- Weddings – Starting at $2500
- Marketing – Starting at $350
- Website: www.emilyvance.com
- Phone: 253-304-2123
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/emilydillvance
- Facebook: facebook.com/emilydillvance
- Twitter: twitter.com/emilydillvance
Personal Photo: Taken by Nitin Mohan