We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebecca Hogan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rebecca, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I was a kid and even as a teenager I was very shy but I knew from a young age I didn’t want to just work a nine to five job. I wanted to do something that inspired me to get out of bed each morning. It wasn’t until I got married in 2010 that I was asked to take pictures at a wedding. I was excited and nervous all at the same time because I didn’t have the best gear and I had never photographed a wedding before. After the wedding was over I realized I could turn this into a business. I was 22 at that time and I didn’t have a degree in this field so I started learning from videos, watching other photographers, and of course trial and error. My husband invested in me and my business. We upgraded my equipment and I started getting more clients. In 2017 I went part-time at my job to pursue photography as a career and not just a side hustle. I got fully focused on doing what I was called to do and that was to use my gift and talent to serve others. My foundation to my company is 1 Peter 4:10 “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” I believe everyone was created for a purpose and fulfilling that calling in your life is priceless. Starting a business can be intimidating especially if you don’t take rejection or failure very well. Albert Einstein said “Failure is success in progress” Don’t let failure stop you from moving forward. I have learned so many things over the years and if I can help just one person not make the same mistakes I did, it is worth it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
There are so many photographers in the world today that if you don’t stand out your work will go unnoticed. When I first started it was trial and error. It seemed like set back after set back but I had to decide to never give up no matter what. One of my biggest challenges was money at first. I believe in investing in yourself but not going into debt and putting yourself in a stressful situation. When I first started I had to embrace the camera gear I currently had. So many other photographers had the top of the line equipment and when they would look at me they would underestimate what I was capable of. If I wasn’t careful I could have easily let their opinions affect my mindset and in turn, it would have hurt my business and the work I produced. One thing I have learned is you can create some of the most beautiful works of art when you stop trying to mimic everyone else’s masterpiece. For years I would try to do exactly what other photographers were doing but I wasn’t getting the same results. At first, I was taking pictures of anything and everything because I was just looking for clients to make money. After I got married and had my first child it was like a light bulb came on and all the sudden Weddings and Family photography now had a different meaning to me. I wanted to capture moments you only experience once and when you look back at the images it allowed you to recall all the emotions you felt that day. Life has taken my business and personal life on a beautiful journey. Most of the time people get so busy they forget to enjoy the loved ones around them which is why during my photo sessions I want to make it an experience families remember. Any photographer can pose their clients but I want to create a memory during each session. I have women tell me all the time that their spouse hates taking pictures but after our photo session, their husband says that was really fun it didn’t even feel like we took pictures that long. I don’t just see people as clients they become part of my family. Being able to capture their life’s story from getting married to having a baby, watching them all grow together is something I don’t take lightly. I count it an honor that they entrust me to photographer their life’s milestones. The thing that sets me apart is the relationship formed with each person. When individuals are comfortable with their photographer they begin to portray true emotions in each image. This year I am most excited about my online course that teaches you how to use your DSLR camera. This course is interactive and has engaging challenges to build your confidence and skills in photography. I want the world to know that life is short which is why they should take advantage of the time they have by making memories with the ones they love. Capture every moment like it was your last.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in a very small town which is the perfect place to get away and relax so I would first take them to grab some coffee at Farmhouse Coffee in Whitewright. Their coffee is amazing and the staff always makes you feel right at home. Next, we would visit Word of Life church in McKinney to have some great fellowship with the pastors and all the members. After church, we would grab a bite to eat at Romanos. They have some of the best cheese rolls you will ever eat. Then we would take a nice walk through Shawnee Trail to admire the waterfall or visit Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. Then to end our trip we would enjoy the night at Wild Brush Studio. This is a great way to get some inspiration and get in touch with your creative side.
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?
I would like to Thank God for giving me gifts, talents, and creative ideas. My Husband Jason for always encouraging me to pursue more and keep going. My Parents (Pastor Rick & Penny Riddle) for showing me how to remain in faith. My Kids (Jeraden & Kylie) for inspiring me to see things from different perspectives. Jasmin Star for teaching photography and business strategies. Sean Connell with Think Media for teaching me how to grow my business. Terri Savelle Foy for her book (Dream it. Live it. Pin it.) and all her motivational teaching.