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Rising Stars: Meet Julie Anderson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Anderson.

Hi Julie, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I have always had a passion for taking photos but in late 2019 I was battling a bit of depression and needed to make a change. I decided to take my photography hobby and turn it into a true passion project. My 2 kids were out of the infant stage and a health scare in my family made me want to shift my priorities around. I wanted to transition to a job that offered me more flexibility to be with them. I also wanted to focus on myself, my mental health and make this dream of mine a reality. So, I picked up my camera and launched One Wild Life Photography to make the most out of my One Wild and Precious Life (based on a poem by Mary Oliver).

I quickly learned that starting a business (while also working full time) is an extremely challenging adventure. The first year was a whirlwind due to COVID but I started by dropping fliers in mailboxes around my neighborhood offering porch photos for $40 during the “stay at home” documentary photo trend. From there I worked off referrals, friends, friends-of-friends to build up my portfolio. In 2020, I photographed a few “mini-mony wedding ceremonies” for couples that wanted to tie the knot but keep it small and intimate. My first year and a half has been a building year to dabble in different categories and see what I want to specialize in from lifestyle to wedding to commercial photography. I started collaborating with small businesses in late 2020 and discovered my love of flat lay and creative product photography.

Whether it is products or people, the relationships I’ve built over the last 2 years have been the greatest reward of this undertaking. Every customer is unique and I love customizing the content creation process to fit the individual!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I launched my photography business in the fall of 2019, I had no idea the world was going to shut down the following year. Thankfully, I was still gainfully employed in my 9-5 job so I took everything I earned and put it back into my business. I had the luxury of time to slowly ramp up and discover which areas of photography I enjoyed the most. I started by participating in the Front Porch Project, capturing friends and local neighbors during their quarantine which I will forever cherish.

One of my biggest challenges was learning everything from scratch. I’ve had some mentors along the way but everything from the nitty-gritty photography skills (learning to shoot manual!), building a brand, marketing, social media, web design, and my least favorite the accounting and record-keeping. I have learned so much and continue to push myself out of my comfort zone to learn new skills and adapt.

It hasn’t been easy with all the early mornings, late nights, multi-tasking but it has all been worth it to chase my dream!

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a lifestyle photographer, a people person, who wants to capture special moments in a magical and creative way. I have been casting a wide net in my “area of expertise” during the pandemic, shooting of a range of clients to gather experience, lighting scenarios, business etiquette, and of course all the logistics of running a business while also working full time and raising two babies. My current passions are weddings and small business product photography but I do dabble in other lifestyle photography categories such as senior, graduation, newborn, boudoir as well.
My persistence is what I am most proud of; I could have easily given up a thousand times. Changing careers and starting from scratch is incredibly hard. I think once I started getting referrals from clients, word of mouth, people telling their friends and family to hire me….that was the moment I knew I had to keep going. I was making people happy, they loved my work and they wanted to recommend me, that is seriously the best compliment for any business owner.

I like to think my personality truly sets me apart from other photographers. I love to interact with clients, tell jokes, get kids laughing, couples kissing, giant smiles, and candid moments.

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I was a bit of an adventurous tomboy, friendly, outgoing, and into mischief. I’ve always been an adrenaline seeker, sketchy roller coaster at amusement parks to cave diving in my college days. I’ve always been a little “wild” so up and starting One WILD Life photography wasn’t a huge surprise to my immediate family.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Jenelle Botts Photography

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