Mindy Hulett | Wedding, Elopement, + Lifestyle Photographer | Mindy Hulett Photo
Mindy and I were supposed to meet at our Spring Styled Photoshoot, yesterday. Unfortunately, we've had to postpone our photoshoot until the end of May so I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Mindy in person yet.
Her photos are gorgeous and I'm super excited to work with her this Spring.
Enjoy her story below.
Tell us about yourself - Where are you from and what did you wish to be when you grew up?
Born and raised in Sterling, NY. I have always considered the beautiful town of Fair Haven, NY to be home. The small neighborhood, friendly community, and rustic woods right in my backyard, makes raising my family here feel right. It did take some convincing of my husband to place our roots here, but this area truly won him over. We spend summers as a family enjoying everything the town has to offer, our favorite pastimes are evenings spent on the boat and ice cream trips to Big Bo’s. Running a successful business requires a lot of back end work. I’m thankful for having someone who supports, encourages and celebrates my victories with me.
What brought you to where you are today?
Everyone claims to have the best parents, and I’ll be the one to add to that. Without my parents hard work and dedication, I don’t believe I would be half the person I am today. I have seen this couple go through some of the worst hardships and continue to show not only each other, but the friends and family around them, immense love and support. My father is one of the most hard working men I know, running a self-employed business of logging for over 50 years. My parents' work ethic is what made me believe I was capable of doing anything I set my mind to. My mother has always had such a kind hearted soul, she has always put others first and herself second. Being raised this way has made me grateful for what I have and what I work for. I believe that we must treat others with love and respect. You never know what others are dealing with, being kind goes a long way.
What do you do professionally?
I have been working at Pace Electronics in Sodus, NY since 2015. I work as a Quality and Marketing Director, but my love for art and photography started my journey as an engagement and wedding photographer in 2013.
What year did you start your business and how long did it take to acquire a consistent client base?
I started my business in 2013, taking on any session I could just to have a subject to shoot. I quickly learned that not every genre of photography was for me. Once I figured out my niche, I knew capturing love stories was the path I wanted to continue. I strive for connection with my couples and over the years I have been able to perfect my interactions and relationships with them to create those “aha” moments. This has improved my client experience allowing them to not feel nervous or awkward in front of my camera. In return, they rave about their experience and it sells my services and what I’m capable of providing to others.
How long did it take to become a profitable company?
I would say it took a solid two years of building client relationships.
What does a day in photography look like?
A typical day for me is answering emails and inquires, booking appointments with clients to meet and get to know each other better, plan locations and outfit ideas for engagement sessions, prep wedding timelines, and of course edit and deliver for days!
What do you do to stay involved in the community?
I have a small group of local creatives I stay in touch with. If a couple inquires about a date that I am already booked for, I pass along their information for the inquiry. I find it crucial to have others you know and trust for references. Most of the time, clients that reach out have never planned a wedding before, so they are looking for our guidance and honesty. This also helps us grow as a community in a highly saturated market, you have to choose community over competition.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I would love to travel more. One day, I’d love to be considered a traveling elopement and wedding photographer by my clients.
What advice would you give to people your age looking to start their own business?
Never compare yourself to others. If there is a quick way to send your business into a downwards spiral it is by comparing yourself to others. Only compare your work to yourself. If you see growth from one session to the next, one year to the next, then you are making strides in your business. Also, never be afraid to reach out to others in your field for mentoring and always remember to treat others the way you want to be treated.
If a child walked up to you and asked for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
Being a mom myself, and having a son that takes an interest in photography, my best tip to him would be to focus on what makes you happy. You will always have time to grow and perfect your craft, but always put happiness first and then make an impression.
What do you enjoy most about being a photographer?
My client relationships because I strive to develop them into a friendship. The excitement when they see their galleries, to know I captured a moment so memorable and tender. It truly is amazing to be in a world surrounded by love, happiness and cake.