We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelli Hayden and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelli, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
You don’t have to say “yes” to every job offered to you, even if it costs you money. It really is ok to say no to a job or a client that doesn’t help you grow or bring you joy. In fact, you’re doing yourself a disservice by accepting work that doesn’t reflect your talent or your brand. In many ways, this could hurt your business if it doesn’t allow you to flourish your specialties and your strengths. The happiest freelancers and small business owners have a community of ideal clientele who are personal, not just transactional.
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.
I am a freelance photographer who specializes in lifestyle, destination weddings, and travel photography. When I’m not shooting weddings or traveling, I’m probably shooting a concert or some band promo’s at home in Los Angeles. It took a lot of work to get where I am today, and I still have a long road ahead. It literally took blood, sweat, and tears…and twice as much coffee! I wouldn’t call it easy, but I will say it’s worth it. There is no sole answer for overcoming the challenges of building your business. Every person’s story is different. You definitely cannot give up. Keep your eyes on the prize. Ask questions. Figure things out. Put the work in yourself. I’ve learned that by being completely stubborn, one of my worst/best qualities, I’ve weathered many storms. I laugh at rejection and just keep moving forward. I refuse to just be told “No” when there IS a way for a “Yes”. I love to capture, create, and story-tell. I also love to share things about myself, my accomplishments, and my quirky habits and hobbies. I’ve built my business the way it is to allow myself to connect with like-minded people. For over a decade, I’ve always known it is possible to be an individual with tattoos or pink hair and still be a professional and master of your craft – even in the luxury wedding world!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shout to everyone in my life. They all played a part in where I am today – those who believed in me, and those who didn’t, so I could prove them wrong! 😉