We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Lindsay and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, how do you think about risk?
You cannot be an entrepreneur without risk. It goes hand in hand. That being said, before I started my business, I was not a risk taker at all. In fact, taking risks scared me. I was comfortable inside my “box”. It wasn’t until I graduated college and was thrown out into the real world that I realized I had no direction with my life. I was floundering – hopping from one job to another, trying to find my “calling”. At the time, I hadn’t even considered the possibility of becoming a professional photographer. It wasn’t until my friend sent me an application for a wedding photography internship that I even thought I could make a career out of something I loved. Keep in mind, I had never photographed people before, let alone weddings! It was in that moment that I took my first risk and applied for the internship. After I hit “send” on the application, my thoughts immediately turned to the worst: what if that was a mistake, what if they think I’m stupid for even trying to apply, what if I’m not good enough, etc. But to my surprise, the company invited me in for an interview and liked me enough to hire me as their intern! Fast forward 7 years later and I now see risk as a good thing, especially as an entrepreneur. You cannot grow, change, or build a business without taking risks, putting yourself out there, and accepting the possibility of failure. I attribute my success as a professional photographer and business owner to the risks I have taken. In all honesty, some of the risks I take fail miserably, and that’s ok. It’s all part of the process. I have learned to see failure, not as something to be ashamed of, but something to embrace. I tell myself, “Ok, that didn’t work, let’s find out what DOES work.”
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I have always been passionate about empowering women, but when I first started my business, I didn’t realize I could use that passion to empower them from behind my camera. As a new photographer, I started down the path that most photographers do: weddings. I soon understood that weddings were not for me – the stress, anxiety, and fear of missing a shot were all too much. So I started to photograph anything and everything that came my way. From newborns, to families, to boudoir, I thought I had to photograph it all to be successful as a professional photographer. Then I learned that there are some photographers who only photograph ONE thing and are incredibly successful. What set them apart? They specialized in what they loved to photograph the most. So one by one I started eliminating the types of photography I wasn’t excited about. The first to go was newborn photography. I’m not a kid person, so I don’t know why I thought I would like photographing newborns in the first place. Slowly but surely I eliminated all but one – high school senior girls. But now there was a new hurdle. So many photographers shoot senior girls, how was I going to stand out?? I thought about that for a while and suddenly had a thought, the only factor that differentiates my photography business from another, is ME. Clients book YOU, not your business. That’s when it clicked. I could use my passion for empowering women to stand out amongst all the other photographers. So I changed my entire business model and started providing empowering photoshoots for young women. Guess what? I stood out. Client’s now book me BECAUSE I empower their daughters.
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.
If my best friend was visiting and I wanted to show them a good time I would first take them to the RiNo District. There is so many cool restaurants, bars, and shops to visit – not to mention all the amazing artwork on the building facades!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Denver Photo Betties have been important to my success as a professional photographer. They are a supportive network of women where I can ask them for advice on anything from what camera bag they like best to filing taxes and converting to an LLC.
Other: TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@sarah_photog?source=h5_m
Sarah Lindsay Photography