MEET NINA, STORYTELLER BEHIND THE LENS OF UNITED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY
"I'm an Office Manager/Portrait Style Photographer who loves Jesus and taking care of business! A total cat lover, Office binge watcher, and storyteller to those who show up in this world the way they want to be seen."
Connect with her here:
Facebook: United & Free Photography
Tell us about United and Free Photography! How did it begin?
Great question! UNITED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY simply began at a time in my life where I asked myself, "What is my life purpose?" I started asking myself some very deep questions and found that I've loved photography my entire life. Even more, I wanted to start making an impact and capturing milestones for those who have beautiful stories to tell. This business is definitely my passion and ministry for those who need to know love in a whole new way.
What has your journey as an entrepreneur been like? When did you know you wanted to start your own business?
My journey as an entrepreneur has not been easy, but very much worth it. I knew that I wanted to start my own business once I started living on my own and wanted to find an outlet. And what a remarkable one this has been. What really surprised me was how quickly I came to realize how much my photography business would spark and ignite my desire to build and grow the relationship I had with God, with myself, and with others. I get to be in the presence of love quite often. It's such a beautiful thing!
How do you balance your business with your full time job? What challenges has this created for you?
I'm that girl who's always on the go, and I definitely feel like I have to juggle with my full-time job and my business. The biggest challenges that I've had to face so far have been maintaining my priorities and learning when to say "no" in order to give myself more time for grace and rest. It's always important to work hard, but there's always a fine line between growing and overworking. It's important to remember that resting is a part of the journey and should not be seen as a thing to overlook.
What are your go-to ways to get out of a funk/feeling discouraged?
My go-to ways to get out of a funk/feeling depressed: Read my Bible, cuddle with my cat, take a 10-minute break, go for a run, or get some Vitamin D for a few minutes. All of these are good for the soul!
Tell us about your mission and purpose with United and Free Photography? If there was one thing you could achieve with your business, what would it be?
My mission is to capture your vision and create moments by putting them into tangible memories. My hope is that this photography business continues to become a source of faith, beauty, and inspiration to my clients and those who simply need a word of encouragement. If there's one thing I can achieve with my business, I want others to know their worth - and just how much they're seen.
Who are your top 5 role models and why? They can be in life, in business, anything! (Include their social media handles if any!)
Top 5 Role Models: Audrey Hepburn, Jordan Lee Dooley, Brittany Dawn, Riley Clemmons, and Emma Watson. They all encompass love and light!
What advice do you have for gals in your shoes/looking to start their own business and get to where you are now?
My advice to start a business? Definitely take the time to search and discover how God made you. What are your goals and desires? How are those going to align with your purpose? Think about your personal mission statement. What is something that will take you out of your comfort zone and help you grow immensely? Great things never come from comfort zones... and no amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life. If you're going to try, go all the way.
Tell us what the process is like for you when taking in new clients- start to finish. What is your favorite part of the process?
My process: Back-to-back personal messaging (set up an appointment within 24 hours), research/get to know their vision, set up a style guide (for outfit inspiration), send a contract/invoice, and rock an amazing photo session! My favorite part is getting their responses after sending out the photo albums. *Priceless*
What are your top 5 motivational quotes?
(1) "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream another dream." (C.S. Lewis)(2) "There are people less qualified than you, doing the things you want to do, simply because they decided to believe in themselves. Period." (Unknown)(3) "Be the reason someone feels welcome, seen, heard, valued, loved, and supported." (Unknown)(4) "Nothing is impossible. The word itself says 'I'm possible!'" (Audrey Hepburn)(5) "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." (Luke 1:45)