Monday, 9 March 2015

Making it Happen with Erin Blackwell

All through March I'm celebrating inspirational women in honour of International Women's Day 2015 #MAKEITHAPPEN.  Today we kick it off with an amazing lady who runs her own successful photography business whilst juggling life and raising a gorgeous family.  Want to know how she got there, read on...


{meet}
Erin Blackwell the owner of Erin Blackwell Studio, LLC a beauty portrait studio in Denver, CO. She's also a wife and mother to 4 beautiful children!


{the journey}

About 5 years ago my family and I were living in my mom's basement struggling to make ends meet. I wanted to find a way to contribute to the family income, while still being able to be home with my kids. I hadn't done photography in over 10 years (back in high school), but I had always dreamed of being a photographer. I used my tax refund to purchase a very used camera and taught myself how to shoot, market, and build my business! Over the last 5 years I have photographed over 300 women, been featured on several national blog publications and won two awards. It really is a dream come true and my family and I have come a long way from that day in my mom's basement!  My husband recently quit his job to pursue his dream of videography and we're planning to move to Boise, Idaho in June and live on some land. Life has changed dramatically and it's all because I took a leap and believed in myself!
{support along the way}

I had a lot of help from other photographers, as well as watching every course I could on Creative Live. Photographer Sue Bryce has been instrumental in building my photography and business skills. I also have some amazing photography mentors like Jeffrey Brown, Denise Birdsong and Michael Buchanan who keep me learning!
Recently I joined the FPA (Female Photographer's Association), Revealing Epic by Alicia Cain, and the Mission for March Challenge put on by the Female Entrepreneur Association, all of which give me support, keep me learning and working hard towards my goals!

{how to achieve the goal}

Setting specific goals, then working REALLY hard to achieve them. Small business ownership is not for the faint of heart! You have to be tough and open to hearing other's ideas and criticisms. You also have to provide amazing customer service and value.

{words of wisdom}

Just do it- don't sit there and think about it! I could've looked at my circumstances (having 3 little kids under the age of 5, living in a basement, having no money) and said, "There is no way I can start a business." But I didn't. I just went for it, learned everything I could, worked hard and never looked back.

{days off are important} 

My favorite thing in the whole world is going to the movies- especially any movie with Robert Downey Jr. in it. I also love reading, shopping, having dance parties with my kids and Netflix binging with my husband. 

{an inspirational woman is...}

Any woman who has a job (her own business or not) and children is a huge inspiration. It takes a LOT of work to raise children and work, and women who do so successfully should be looked up to!


Erin Blackwell is an award winning photographer, published author, wife and mother. She owns Erin Blackwell Studio, LLC in Denver, CO and is the creator of the 28 Days to Gorgeous Beauty Challenge (#28DtoG). You can find her website at www.erin-blackwell.com, on facebook, or follow on Instagram at @erinblackwellstudio