We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Blackmon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alex, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
I think there are two main factors to making this choice, and the weight you put on each factor is up to each individual. The first is business sense, does what your doing have a viable market to serve and will it be enough to sustain your goals financially. If the answer to that is yes, then if you keep going and learn how to get better at what you do then you’ll eventually improve. But if there just is no one to serve or not enough profit in what you’re doing, it could cause more stress than anything else to continue. That being said, just because something is not super profitable doesn’t mean it can’t be fulfilling. That leads me to the second factor.

The second is your personal mission. If what you’re doing makes you whole as a person on multiple levels (it’s meaningful and impactful, it motivates you to work hard every day, it makes you happy) then you should also not give up. If the alternative is hating a different line of work or placating yourself into thinking something else makes you happy, I don’t think is sustainable either. Even if it makes a lot of money, I personally think it’s not worth it to keep going if you’re not happy.

It’s up to each person, partnership, and business which of those factors are more important. It’s hard to know in the moment whether to keep going or not, so just go with your gut. If you take a break or quit you can always pick it back up again later. And if you decide to keep going, just make sure to keep realistic about your results. Especially if you have others depending on your day-to-day success.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Official Photo is a husband and wife team of wedding photographers in Tucson. We focus on ways we can reduce stress for our couples in every way we can. When we got married we realized the value of wedding professionals who can be counted on. It’s one of the most anticipated days of some people’s lives, but with that comes the stress of all those expectations. We’re most proud about putting our clients first in every way, even if that means finding them another photographer who fits their style and budget. We’re always working to create new tools and content that could help brides and grooms stress less on their big day. I’m told often that there are more profitable ways to structure the business to make more money but that just never sat right with me. Especially within an industry that already has a “wedding tax” on it to begin with.

Wedding photography is a tough field to break into because there are so many folks out there that can do it decently well. Especially as cameras get cheaper and more advanced, the barrier to entry to do this part time gets lower every year. This makes it hard to get those first few gigs when there are people who can outshine you in either experience or price. After getting that initial experience, it takes a lot of different skills to rise above. It’s those skills that I’m currently working on to be a better photographer and business owner. I’m continually working on practicing the technical and interpersonal skills. At the same time I’m pushing myself to network with other photographers and business owners to find out how we can help each other grow. I think there is a lot of value in putting community before competition because there are so many opportunities out there. I’m finding that as we help other small business owners with their goals, we get closer to the goals of our business as well.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This would probably center around all the great food in Tucson. We’d start with drinks, games, and food at Culinary Dropout. From there we could see the sights at Mt. Lemmon and introduce them to Eegees as we come back into town. On a day near the south side we’d have to stop at Amigos for some burgers and fries. If they haven’t had a luxury theatre experience before, we’d treat them to a movie at Roadhouse which always seems to impress. On the east side we’d grab drinks at Ni Hao Tea and get dinner at Kimchi Time. Finally we’d take a day to experience downtown with so many bars and restaurants like Highwire Lounge and Street Taco (their new carne asada fries are the priority).

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife Stevey deserves credit in helping me start and work in my business. She helped motivate me to make my hobby into a real business when I didn’t have the confidence to do so. She is instrumental as a photographer, creative director, and consultant on our team and she does all of this while running her own business. I definitely would not be where I am today without her, and together we’ve started helping other businesses and non-profits to grow and collaborate.

Website: https://officialphotoaz.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/officialphotoaz/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjKIjyozvyoI2meCzBcB-Ug

Image Credits
Official Photo LLC

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.