We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Leonard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, what do you want your legacy to be?
The driving force behind my personal life and my business are very similar which is why I believe my business has been as successful as it has been in the short time I’ve been running Emily Leonard Photography. I truly believe that the biggest take away from any relationship is how that person made you feel. Whether that be a professional, personal or romantic relationship the biggest impact, I believe, is the lasting effect that relationship has on someone. I never wanted to be someone who let someone feel like they fell between the cracks, or that they were just a number. My goal in life and my business have been to make each person feel genuinely special and give that person the time and platform in my life that they deserve.
I want to be remembered by my ability to make people feel comfortable with me. The biggest compliment that I get is when someone tells me that it feels like they’ve known me forever, or that they feel safe around me. I believe that genuinely candid moments and authentic connection is seen in photographs by first having a feeling of safety and connection with your photographer. To truly have moments where you don’t care that there is a camera involved is to trust the person holding that equipment.
Same for my personal life, I want to be someone that brings comfort to others and helps them feel the most genuine versions of themselves while around me.
By merging my personal beliefs and goals into my business I believe that it allows me to appeal to those couples who are attracted to authentic people and in turn gives me the opportunity to work with couples who are truly in love and are looking for candid style photography.
What should our readers know about your business?
When I started my business I had a few things that I knew were non-negotiable for me. Firstly, not only accepting peoples differences but celebrating them. I want to know what makes my clients connection unique and that is what I look to photograph and encourage during each session. Secondly, I wanted to be authentically myself through and through. I had worked some professional jobs before being a photographer that felt like I was contained in a box. Starting my own business I decided I wanted to be my most genuine self for my clients and myself. By being able to be authentically myself I am able to be present in each moment throughout a wedding day. I believe that I must be able to be in the moment to capture the moment for couples. My goal is to have photography be the last thing on the mind of each of my couples on their wedding day. Full trust, authenticity and genuine connection are what I’m all about!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Where to start?! Portland Maine is seriously one of the most fun cities! It is so small but jam packed with unique restaurants, bars and shops. I would start with breakfast at the American Bayside Cafe in downtown Portland. Their mimosas are also a favorite of mine! Then I would take them to the beach or by the Portland Head Lighthouse and do a nice long walk. I would be sure that we hit up a fun pottery class at Hallowell Clay Works in downtown Hallowell, or hit up a concert at the State Theatre in Portland. I would love to end the night walking around the cobblestone Old Port and have a lobster roll or a nice dinner on the pier. Then finishing the night with a drink or two and maybe some dancing at Bubbas Silky Lounge.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would have to say that my friends, family and especially my late husband Zach deserve the biggest shoutouts. Zach was always encouraging me to pursue my “pipe dream” and when that became my full time gig he was always so proud of me. I love having the support from not only him but my family, friends and community to really build my business into what it is today. I am forever grateful that I had that support from the jump and continue to have it to this day.