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

Hi Rachel, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I hesitated a bit at first. I had a little bit of imposture syndrome that kept me from initially taking the leap to taking paid clients. I didn’t want to start marketing myself as a “professional photographer” because I felt like that title was more or less assigned to you by your clients rather than declared–I felt like it was a title you had to earn over time.

I started an Instagram account, a Facebook page and a website to show my work, not really to market. I didn’t want to push it in peoples faces, rather just show them what I could do and let them decide if I was good enough or not. I felt that if people liked what they saw, then they could reach out to me to work together, and that’s how my business inadvertently got started. I just put myself out there and people started contacting me–a sort of “if you build it, they will come” approach. I’ve never really advertised (hardly ever), as I have a pretty passive approach to marketing myself. My whole business has been built off word of mouth and I prefer it that way. It’s worked for me and I’m busy enough.

I kinda sorta just fell into my business rather than conceive it.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I feel like being honest and reliable is extremely important when it comes to running a business. I’ve always tried to be fair with what I offer and what I charge. Businesses that try to nickel and dime people with hidden fees or extras are a personal pet peeve of mine, so I’ve always had a very straight forward approach to my packages and my pricing. I’m honest with my clients with what I can deliver and what limiting conditions may be. I feel that when you take someones money you have an obligation to deliver your best so I always try to deliver my best work and my best self.

Getting to this place in my business hasn’t been easy. There have been a lot of hours put in learning how to use my equipment, learning how to pose, how to draft contracts, shooting, answering email’s, texting clients at all hours of the day, addressing technical problems, designing a website, learning software, posting to social media, etc… it’s honestly non-stop work and non-stop learning. In some form or another, I work every day of the week, often from sun up to sun down. It can be overwhelming sometimes, and sometimes I have to take a step back for my mental health and say, “Nope, I’m not editing today” or just not answer my e-mails for a few days, but I have a hard time separating myself from my work. I feel an obligation to address things in a timely manner so it’s hard for me to let things go for too long. I also obsess if I have something lingering over my head that I think needs to get done.

I’ve learned that in business and in life in general, you will never be able to please everyone. That’s a hard pill to swallow in a creative field because you want everyone to love your work as much as you do, but that’s just not realistic. I’ll never forget the first (and only) time I had a client ask for a refund. It hurt. It honestly hurt more than I should have let it, but it felt like I wasn’t good enough and like I had failed. When you get that kind of negative feedback on your work, it’s hard to isolate that one instance from the rest of your work. I had to let that one go and just accept the fact that you can’t make everyone like what you do. I’ve worked hard to ignore negativity and just focus on the positives because it’s the positives that got me to where I am today. Obviously I’m doing something right or I wouldn’t be where I am.

One thing I’ve had to learn over the years is to stop comparing myself to others. Whether it’s someone else’s style or who their clients are or how many shoots they’re doing. Comparison is the thief of joy, and it can rob you of your own accomplishments, so I try not to look at what others are doing and just remind myself that I am good at what I do and that there’s a reason I have people coming back to me. I’m not trying to be the best, I’m just trying to do MY best.

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.
Lake Tahoe is a popular tourist destination where I live so a few days in Tahoe would be a must. Whether it’s skiing in the Winter or laying by the lake in the Summer, it’s something people must see when they visit the area.

Virginia City is another cool place to take people who are visiting. It’s an old mining town with a bunch of historic buildings and interesting shops and bars.

Reno has gone through a major revitalization over the past few years with a lot of new bars and restaurants popping up over town so our nightlife and eating options are endless.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shoutout to my husband. He’s the one who recognized my talent initially and encouraged it. He bought me my first camera and encouraged me to start my website and social media pages. He’s been my biggest fan since day one.

Website: www.rachelrosephoto.com

Instagram: @rachelrosephoto

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelrosephoto28

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.