Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kate Cohen, Owner of Katherine Elyse Media, located in Carmichael, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Katherine Elyse Media offers award-winning photography, cinematography, branding, and content creation services to queer, offbeat, unique, and adventurous folks all over the globe.

Tell us about yourself

Early on, I started with grad photos and fashion photos. I eventually moved on to engagements; that’s where I felt like I really started to come into my own. I LOVE people, I’m a huge empath. Being around people in love made me feel lovely, and capturing that brought me a ton of joy, so I knew that I had to continue to expand on that.

When I transitioned to weddings, I started learning from the best of the best. I took online classes, second shooting, networking, etc., and it really helped me grow into the true professional I am today. Since then, I have shot over 300+ weddings in my career.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being a safe space for LGBTQIA+ couples is my greatest accomplishment. Our goal is that anyone who joins the KEM family feels seen, heard, appreciated, and celebrated throughout their time with us.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

One of the most difficult things about being a business owner is how much of your business is technical vs. creative. I love shooting and editing, but I don’t really love SEO, posting to social media, updating my website, contracting, etc. Finding ways to balance my passion for photography and my desire for business growth is extremely important to me.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Don’t go it alone! Ask for help from other people in your area. Purchase classes or find videos online. Allow your ego to take a back seat to your interest in learning and growing.
  2. Learn the business side early! Figure out what you need to track for your finances, how to build a website, and how to make it easy for clients to contact and book you. Your talent will only take you as far as your organization allows.
  3. Create a schedule that allows for work-life balance. Find a rhythm that works for you. Consistent commitment to leveling up includes taking time for yourself to relax and enjoy time with the people who mean the most to you. Never get so lost in work that you sacrifice your ability to live fully.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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