We had the good fortune of connecting with Leslie Blalock and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leslie, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I think one of the most important things to keep in mind as a business owner is you will need to continue growing , adapting and feeling passionate about what you do. As the years pass and you must keep investing in your business and continue learning. I truly believe this is why I have been able to still be here after 9 years and get to do this full time. In this span of 9 years I have read, watched countless videos, attended workshops internationally, trying new techniques and gear, and continue to adapt. You can stay true to the type of business you want to have or style you want. And still aspire to learn more and branch out and try new things. Always keep growing.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have a love of natural landscapes, love stories, lifestyle photography & film photography. It has developed throughout the years and I love getting to intertwine them all. At portrait sessions and weddings I blend a little bit of everything. I shoot digital and film, make sure to document the location and scenery. I always keep in mind they chose that place, their interactions with each other and or loved ones. It’s been such an awesome and fun journey up until now. Of course no journey is without challenges. For me, some challenges I had to overcome was planning ahead for busy seasons, marketing, and shooting more for myself. Those are all very vital parts of a creative business like this one. In photography like other event businesses we have off season and busy season. I had to learn to grab a calendar and plan ahead months and months in advance. So you have an idea what your off days will be, holiday/vacations, work days, editing day, and even days you can use for special projects. Marketing and shooting special projects for myself actually can intertwine so I now set money aside for that . If you do special projects that you love and match what you are wanting to photograph you can use that as content and market with those images. I now see the value and how important it is to set time and money aside for that. And also it is good for the soul to have fun projects built in to your schedule that will get the creative juices flowing instead of just having a packed schedule with nothing but work bookings. It’s an important balance and good for personal growth in trying new concepts, gear, locations etc. If there’s an overall mission that’s important to me in this photography journey and business. It would be to be able to look back and see all the wonderful clients that had a fun experience while getting this special time in their lives photographed. That they have joyful images and memories captured to share with family and pass down for years. And of course as the business owner I hope I can continue to grow and have many more adventures.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some favorite spots are definitely coffee shops and some Arizona scenery. One of my favorite places that is a bit more central is Luci’s Orchard. A fun place to hike would be South Mountain where you can easily reach the top and get a city view. Another favorite place that I would take a friend to would be The Henry for a delicious latte and breakfast or lunch. And of course downtown Scottsdale with all the shops is always fun.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I honestly can say that from inside and outside of the industry I have friends and peers that have been so supportive. Whether it meant modeling for me for portfolio, peers collaborating with me on inspiration shoots, or just kind words along the way to stay positive. Being an entrepeneur is definitely a rollercoaster at times and I have my family, friends , and industry friends for that.