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Life & Work with Candess Miller

Today we’d like to introduce you to Candess Miller. 

Candess, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
My business started like a lot of other photographers: as a hobby. I always loved photography and started in a studio over 15 years ago. Even then, I wanted to start out on my own, but didn’t think it would be possible, or really where to start. I decided to purchase my first camera in 2015. I took some beginner photography classes, and just got out in the field and took photos! One day, a friend asked me to photograph her wedding. I can’t tell you how nervous I was! But the rush of the day, the joy of the couple, and the end product were more incredible than I ever thought they would be!! 

I jumped in feet first and decided to market myself on social media. I did a ton of free shoots and I gained a few clients here and there. It was really difficult in the beginning, even giving away free shoots was difficult at times. 

In my first wedding season in 2016, I shot three weddings. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that those first few brides trusted me to capture their wedding because now I am fully booked this year and projected to do even more for 2023! 

My next endeavor has been the addition of videography and photo booth services. I started offering video in 2021 as a hybrid photographer. This looks a little different than a traditional photography/videography team since I do both jobs at the same time. This allows me to expand my creative horizons and offer the style my clients have come to love, in one lower-cost package. Videography is very special to me and love that I can offer this service to my couples now! 

Getting to meet new people, experience their joy and love on their wedding day, and capture it all is awesome! Wedding photography is seriously the best job in the world! 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
One thing I regret is not finding a mentor early on. There are so many nuances to wedding photography and I had to learn a lot on my own. Eventually, by happenstance, I met a fellow photographer that had been in the industry for over ten years, who loved my work, and asked me to do some second shooting for her. She taught me so much and freely offered advice, reassurance, and support. 

For anyone starting any large endeavor, I highly recommend finding someone that can act as a guide, or at the very least, moral support. Starting a business is not an easy task and having help is super important! 

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?
My work is constantly changing. I am always looking for new ways to reinvent myself. I guess that’s true for any artist. I want to be creative, true to myself, and proud of the product I create. My work is a work-in-progress. Looking back at stuff I did as little as two years ago, shows me how much glow-up has been happening. Every time I upload a new session, I get butterflies! I see images that I knew would be great and then see them as a finished product…Yes! I get super excited when something I create brings joy to my clients and anxiously anticipate their thoughts about the session. It’s seriously and honestly one of the most fulfilling things in my life. 

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I am also an operating room nurse! I work PRN, which is an “as needed” basis, about once a week (or less during the busy season). It’s honestly the opposite thing of wedding photography. 

Some days at the hospital, I am talking and praying with my patients, wiping tears of fear and helping them through probably one of the worst days of their lives. 

On the days I’m shooting weddings, I’m laughing with couples, wiping tears of joy, and capturing what is probably one of the BEST days of their lives. 

They’re both totally different, yet equally fulfilling. 

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