Introductions Hey guys, and welcome to the photographer interview, today we are Interviews with Washington-based Elopement Photographer Molly from Nomadic Weddings. Where here to feature photographers who want to share some incredible tips and advice for others in the photography community. As a Brand and Website designer for photographers, I want to do my bit […]
Hey guys, and welcome to the photographer interview, today we are Interviews with Washington-based Elopement Photographer Molly from Nomadic Weddings. Where here to feature photographers who want to share some incredible tips and advice for others in the photography community. As a Brand and Website designer for photographers, I want to do my bit to help the photography community and support the incredible work photographers create. On the blog today, I’d love to introduce our Interview with Washington-based Elopement Photographer, Nomadic weddings Molly from Nomadic Weddings.
I hope you enjoy today’s Interview with Washington-based Elopement Photographer, Nomadic weddings, and make sure you hop over to Molly’s socials and give her some love!
Sarah & Scott x
Hey all! I’m Molly and I run the adventure wedding business, Nomadic Weddings! I’m an absolute wild extroverted enneagram 7, so you can already guess that I’m basically a walking party! I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my hubs and 3 dogs. When I’m not working with awesome adventure clients, you can catch me traveling the world or catching happy hour! Favorite cocktail, Negroni!
Absolutely binging any and all reality cooking TV shows or home renovation! My recent favorite has been Dream Home Makeover on Netflix as my hubs and I recently had an offer on a house accepted.
Growing up, the creative arts were always just fun hobbies and nothing I pursued regularly. My parents came from the boomer age of “science, math, healthcare, etc is the only career paths that will make you money” era. So off I went with my shiny notebooks and pens to Physician Assistant school. Don’t get me wrong, healthcare is a great career path, especially if you like working with others. But the mundane regularity to it all just ate away at my soul. I craved the open road, travel, experiences, and a day-to-day life that was wildly different.
So I picked up a camera and began booking monthly vacations to see the world. Capturing landscapes and random travel imagery, I began to learn the inner workings of photography. During a backpacking trip with friends in the Grand Tetons, I shot my friend’s surprise proposal and realized then and there that my landscape images were missing people!!! But alas, on our return home the day-to-day life faded off into a distant memory.
It wasn’t until my husband and I began planning our own elopement that a small idea blossomed. During our elopement, the photographer & videographer duo we had hired mentioned that I had a knack for this. And that tiny little kernel of an idea began to turn into something tangible truly. I could do this! And with a pandemic on our hands and hospital work slow for my speciality, I began planning a business model, setting up mini shoots to practice posing and shooting, and growing this little business of mine.
Fast forward two years, I’m now living in the beautiful pacific northwest and shooting a crazy schedule of elopements yearly! I do still pick up occasional hospital shifts to keep my skills sharp but my heart & soul craves this crazy little world of travel that I’ve created.
Getting outside and hiking. The alone time to think tends to open up awesome ideas and creative inspiration. I just need to get better at jotting those ideas down!!!
As a Washington Elopement Photographer, I am still wildly influenced by landscape photographers. Their dedication to getting the one perfect is memorizing. It can take weeks on weeks of hiking the same trail at sunset to get just one chance at an image. Plus, it’s a great way to scout really awesome locations for future couples!
In this day and age of over-saturation in the market, looking outside of wedding & elopement photography is key. I urge any photographer to regularly purge their Instagram of other people they follow. If you see the same shit day in and day out, you’ll get into a creative rut and look down on your own beautiful work.
Giving up comfort to chase a dream and watching it blossom into a reality over the past 2 years.
When you get that text after sending sneak peaks to a couple and they send back an awesome raving message about the photos and overall experience. Nothing beats that feeling and makes it worth it every day!
Social media is such a struggle for me. I see so much beauty out there and feel that I don’t measure up at times. Running your own social media is a full time job in itself! Trying to keep up with trends and algorithms can be stressful. The biggest tip here is just to hire that out and don’t worry about it.
Really sit down with yourself and figure out the type of life you *actually* want to live. Then work backwards from there to figure out how to make that happen. This is not an easy thing to do and it can take several tries to figure out how you want to express yourself, run your business, and live an intentional life.
Really sit down with yourself and figure out the type of life you *actually* want to live.NOMADIC WEDDINGS
Business speaking to get it off the ground – invest in business courses, attend a wide array of styled shoots (or create your own), and learn how to market yourself! Plan to spend a year working your ass off on these 3 things and you’ll see the return in year two immensely.
Some of my favorite courses have included:
Adventure Instead Academy’s Elopement Photography Course
Adventure Instead Academy xx Henry Tieu The Art of Adventure Weddings
India Earl’s Pricing Workshop Course
Immersed Education’s Editing & Composition Course
Running Ad’s helps get your name to the front page of Google and in turn more traffic and inquires to my site. However, the biggest thing that made an awesome difference in quality of my inquires was pricing myself high enough to attract the right clients.
I rock the sony system with 2 camera bodies and 24, 35, 50, and 70-200. My 24 is by far my absolute favorite lens! I utilize a vegan holdfast camera strap when actively shooting and hike with the Fernweh WANDRD camera backpack.
Elopements are my absolute favorite thing in the world and I love working with other extroverted couples. When we can all just chat, laugh, and vibe throughout the day, it can’t be beat!
WOOOOO this is a big one! One of the things that was so important to me was creating an unbelievable workflow with clients from the booking process right through their elopement. From the get go, I send out tons of information with their inquiry response and hop on a call with them to chat further details. Once couples are through the booking process, they recieve their massive welcome email and 100 page elopement planning guide (yep, it truly is 100 pages!).
From there, we jump right into getting to know each other and location planning through a questionnaire. I spend hours researching perfect locations for them and we chat over Zoom about each one and let them pick their favorite options. Over the next few months, I check in regularly with helpful tid bits such as permit information, leave no trace ethics, wedding attire knowledge, and so much more! Closer, we start into the heavy planning of figuring out the day’s structure (or timeline) and planning last minute details & activities.
As someone who eloped and basically did 100% of the planning without my photographer’s help, I know how stressful it can be for couples. Not only do I want them to be prepared for their day but I want them to be engaged in the planning process so they are even more invested in having the best day ever.
Bucket List Elopements include a weekend houseboat elopement on Lake Powell, a skiing/snowboarding backcountry elopement, and an adventure elopement in the Faroe Islands! I’ve got more, but can’t give away all my ideas ?
Fake it till ya make it! HAHAHA actually I gave myself that advice when I started working as a physician assistant and it has served me well in both careers!
1. Fake it till ya make it — you can do this you just need to believe in yourself and get out of the social media game. It will run you ragged in not believing in your own work and worth
2. You gotta spend money to make money — go to styled shoots, attend workshops, buy courses, get good gear
3. Don’t work for cheap — my biggest headache clients have always been the cheapest clients I’ve ever booked. Price yourself in the category of clients you want to be working with. See tip 1, fake it. And then see tip 2 to gain experience & portfolio.
4. You don’t need to second shoot to jump into this world — Sure experience is warranted but you can gain that through styled shoots and workshops. You don’t need to spend years and years second shooting for shit pay to feel that you are “worthy” to begin shooting on your own.
5. Get off social media — seriously, Instagram will drive you nuts and make you feel awful about yourself. If you can’t get off, hire it out!
Increasing my pricing so that next year isn’t so crazy busy ?
Then spending an awesome time this slow season made my client experience even freaking better!
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