We had the good fortune of connecting with Ellyse Simpson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ellyse, how do you define success?
Are we talking about career success or life success? I read somewhere that we spend roughly 80% of our lives working. If we spend 80% of our lives working, then we can safely say that life success and career success go hand in hand. So by that logic my question is “do you enjoy your life?”. My answer is a wholehearted yes. I spend my 80% watching people start their forevers, seeing parents hold giggling children who will be up and grown in the blink of an eye, and fighting back tears as I watch people realize how beautiful they are. My 80% is giving people moments that remind them of who they love and why they love them. Sounds like success to me.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I come from a very athletically focused family. Artistic merit was never something we celebrated. Art has always been a big part of my life, and not only did I have to learn to foster that love on my own, but I also had to decide at an early age that it was something important to me, and that I had to fight for that love regardless of what the people around me were saying. Once I made that decision to keep art at the forefront of my journey, it became more and more clear that I couldn’t do anything else with my life. Art has given me life and joy in a way that nothing else has, and I am so grateful to finally be in a place where I can tell people I love what I do, and I can mean it with my whole heart. With that being said, I would just like to encourage fellow creatives to go for it. Don’t settle for a soul sucking career and only spending the latter part, the 20% of your life doing the things you’re passionate about. Spend your whole life doing the thing that gets your mind turning, your excitement bubbling, the thing that makes you feel like you’re on fire in the best way.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh, that’s a tough one. Right when she landed we would head to Boulder. The nightlife there is incredible: eating delicious food while gazing at snow capped mountains and luscious pines? Yes please. Days 2 and 3 would be spent just at Garden of the Gods (my fave place in Colorado), I can’t pick a favorite hike there, so we’re doing them all. Then it’s off for a few days in Steamboat Springs where we’re going to eat ourselves silly on the best eggs benedict I’ve ever had, and then honestly? We’re headed back to my local dog park so my two goldens can exhaust themselves, and then it’s home for red wine and rom coms. Sounds like a great week to me.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First I would like to credit my mom. Since the day I was born, she made me feel like I can and will do whatever I put my mind to. Without her I would never have believed in myself enough to start my own business. Second, I would like to thank my husband. He has challenged me, pushed me and encouraged me to go for it and jump into photography full time. He has sacrificed so much for my dream and continues to give all he can to make sure I am doing what I love.

Website: Ellysemarie.com

Instagram: Ellysemariephotography

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/EllyseMariePhotography

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