We had the good fortune of connecting with Missy Knight and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Missy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Starting a business in and of itself is a risk but I’ve realized along the way that you cannot succeed at anything if you never take risks. Growing up I had lots of dreams and passions but anytime something seemed to become too challenging or someone said no along the way, it seemed easier to just move on. Later in life I’ve learned that too challenging just means to learn and practice more and no just means to try again. Yes that all involves risk but giving up means you go no where and I was determined that was no longer an option for me. Photography started off as just a passion in the beginning, wanting to capture all our little moments as my children were growing up. Eventually after lots of practice and learning I got to the point of thinking a photography business sounded interesting yet scary. Scary because I knew nothing about business. Who starts are business when you only have a passion for the art and no business knowledge? In fact that’s what held me back for a little while but I was determined to learn what I needed to in order to make it happen, and in 2017 I did just that and Missy Knight Photography was created. During this time I was a member of a group called Clickin Moms https://www.clickinmoms.com/ a large photography community for women. They have a sister company called Click Pro https://home.clickprophotographers.com/ that one has to apply to become a member of this professional photographers organization. The application process is extensive in which you create a portfolio of 150 images that showcase your ability to meet certain criteria. Once I heard about Click Pro, I knew one day I wanted to be apart of this group but knew that wouldn’t come easy. I also knew, I’d never know if I didn’t take the risk to apply. I spent over a year preparing my portfolio and had many fellow photographers critique my work. If you are a creative of any kind, you know having others critique your art is hard. Putting yourself out there like that isn’t easy but that’s what risks are right?! I felt like I was ready and applied in the fall of 2018. Right before Thanksgiving I got the email in my inbox and excitedly opened it up, only to find the disappointment that I missed making pro by only a few points. Again, in my younger years, I would have just accepted no and moved on, figured it wasn’t meant for me. Instead, I took the no and the feedback and used that to drive me to learn and practice more. I knew if I truly wanted it, I could make it happen but I’d have to put in the work. Again, risk isn’t just going to happen to you, you have to put the work in to make it happen. I spent another year and a half taking courses to fill in the gaps I had and putting into practice what I learned. A year ago this time in February, I applied again with a stronger portfolio and a hope that this time the risk would pay off. It did, when I opened the email this time it had the words “Welcome to Click Pro”. What if I had just accepted that first no and gave up? Well I’m glad I took that risk, the opportunities it has already opened the door for have been well worth the risk and who knows what else is in store. Making Click Pro was a dream come true but it isn’t the end. It just makes me want to take more risks and reach more goals. Why stop there right?! I already have more risks I’m dreaming up and working on. What risks are ready ready to take? Go for it and don’t let no stop you!
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.
With photography people suggest finding your niche and focusing there to make the most of your business. While I do find this true to some extent, I’ve also found that can feel kind of limiting. In my personal work I shoot just about anything and everything which I think helps me stay motivated and passionate about photography. I love film photography, underwater photography, documenting our days with true to life moments, but I also like planned out posed creative portraits. I’ve found by shooting all the things for my personal work, it helps me grow with my professional work too. While I currently focus on family photography, I’m moving towards more of a child and tween/teen based photography business both in sessions and photography education. I want to capture childhood portrait sessions with images that speak to the person themselves. As well as offer photography education for those interested in beginning with photography. You can currently find some photography education resources on my website but look for even more coming in the future!
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.
I’d tell my best friend to visit a few of my favorite fun spots. First stop is the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We have spent a lot of time at the museum over the years and there’s always something new to see along with our favorite exhibits to visit each time we go (Rocks and Minerals, Dinosaurs, Health Experience and so much more). Of course don’t forget the Denver Zoo right next door. A favorite place to eat and drink for a night out is Lola. I highly recommend doing a chefs table dinner if they still offer that, it’s an amazing experience! Another favorite must visit place for us is on the way out of Denver in Olde Town Arvada. You have to hit The Bluegrass Coffee and Bourbon Lounge either in the morning for breakfast and a coffee (they brew their very own coffee!) or later in the day for some pizza and a drink (the Secretariat is my favorite).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Organizaitons: Clickin Moms and Click Pro People: all the photographer friends who took the time to critique my work throughout the process and encourage me to keep going. Especially Kate Davis, Cassie Duffle, Jenny Waller, Rui Zeller, throughout both portfolios and so many more who hopefully know who they are that inspired me and encouraged me along the way. As well as friends and family who encouraged me to even start the business in the first place.
Other: Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/Missyknightphoto