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

Hi Whitney, how do you think about risk?
Sometimes doors open professionally for us at unexpected times. Over time, I have learned that truly exploring these opportunities and sometimes taking a leap of faith can lead to discovering a new passion and a wonderful business opportunity. If I would not have taken a leap of faith and walked through an open door, I wouldn’t have my school photography division. I adore kids and working with school administrators and staff, and had I not listened to my heart and taken the opportunity at the first school I worked for, I would not be serving my incredible schools with portraits every September and October. My advice to any entrepreneur: listen to your heart, explore all opportunities that come your way, and LEAP. Take that risk.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
While I started my career in finance, I have always had a creative side. When the opportunity came for me to start a new path in my life, I knew I wanted to be in a creative field. I found that photography perfectly balances my analytical and creative sides. I feel that photography is my calling and I am so blessed that I discovered my calling when I did. I have been a professional photographer for over 12 years. I truly deeply care about each and every client. I create WITH and FOR my clients to create stunning portraits to hang on their walls, put in an album, or use for their business. I am also a full-service photographer. Over the years, I found that by giving families I photograph only digital files, I was doing them a disservice. Digital files were never being printed (other than the obligatory Christmas card) and the digital files were living on a hard drive or devices. They weren’t being looked at. I realized that I’m not serving my clients in the best way possible if I’m not providing them with a gorgeous product they can cherish and look at in addition to the digital files. My full-service model is truly a win-win for my clients.

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 is such a great question. When I moved to Phoenix with my family 7 years ago, I was determined to hate the desert. But guess what? Now I love it! There are so many great places to visit and things to do! If I was entertaining someone for a week, we would definitely have an active outdoor adventure! We would start off on day one with an early hike up Camelback Mountain. We’d then go have a wonderful brunch at one of my favorite local spots for breakfast, The Chestnut. The rest of the day we’d relax, and enjoy catching up over a glass on wine on my front porch. On Day 2, we’d head up to Sedona and explore some of the amazing hiking trails in the area and enjoy the incredible beauty of the red rocks. We’d stay the night in Sedona, and on Day 3, we would head up to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon via Oak Creek Canyon. We’d definitely stop at Slide Rock on our way through the canyon. At the South Rim, we walk the Rim trail for an hour or two and view the amazing canyon below. I feel we are so lucky to have this National Park in AZ! We would then head to the Desert View campground on the west side of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to camp for a night under the stars. Day 4 we would slowly make our way back to Phoenix. On Day 5, we’d jump on our bikes and ride on the canal to old town Scottsdale to have lunch at Barrio Queen. Hello delicious table-side guacamole! Their Cochinita Pibil street tacos are my favorite! On the last day, we’d enjoy brunch at Chelsea’s Kitchen before heading to the airport to say goodbyes.

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 wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and encouragement of my family. Especially my sister. From day one, she has encouraged me to turn my passion into a business. On days where I feel there’s no way I can be competitive in this heavily saturated market, she lifts me up and gives me hope and reminds me that I am ME, and not to compare myself to others. This is when I am at my most creative. When I let the world and competition fall away and do what I LOVE. Do what I WANT to do. To CREATE for my CLIENT and for myself. This is where the magic happens. Thank you Beth for always being my cheerleader. You are the reason I am successful today.

Website: www.studioWportraits.com

Instagram: @studioWportraits

Linkedin: Whitney Thatcher

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