Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nandi Mooney, owner of Photos By Nefertiti, located in San Diego, CA, USA.

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

My business is Fashion and Portrait Photographer. My customers are those aspiring to be models or just want to feel beautiful. Ideally, everyone is a model just waiting for their photo to be taken.

Tell us about yourself

I am 27 years old. I started taking pictures in hopes of having subject matter for drawings. When I was on the rapid growing up (Cleveland's train), I would sketch people. My first love was drawing. Then one day, my dad came home with a Fuji Film point-and-shoot camera. I was completely intrigued, and I took it with me to take some photos. Finally, I got a job and got a Nikon d5100. It wasn't much, but it was mine. In 2013, I started taking pictures of my friends and family, and eventually, I was able to take clients.

My motivation to keep shooting stems from my kids. I want them to be able to see art in everything, sort of like me. If I keep following my heart and creating, I add to that world, to that dream, to immerse them in art.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a. business owner would be being invited to teach children in underprivileged areas how to use a camera. I was invited recently actually to be a teacher for a nonprofit program to help children use are to regulate their emotions. It was a big deal for me because I was able to see myself in them. I used art my entire life to overcome all sorts of difficulties while growing up to be able to see it come full circle meant so much to me.

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

One of the hardest things for me that comes with being a business owner is saying " No." This is probably crazy, right? But really, I want to be able to say yes to everyone, but the reality is there isn't a way to fully please everyone, and being able to do that is hard for me. For example, an image capturing the most beautiful moment of someone's life, like childbirth, and the package is 20 photos, but there are 50 amazing ones. How do you say no to that while being profitable? While still wanting to be able to be a success and not bankrupt. It's always being able to find a median, and sometimes that's not possible.

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

If there are any tips I would give someone, it would be the following:

  1. Love what you do, and don't wake up resentful that you have a business. Find the love in it.
  2. Understand that it is not going to happen overnight. You probably will find yourself wondering how the heck someone was able to get where they are, and it is like you see firsthand what happens behind the scenes of the success stories that you see on IG and social media.
  3. Comparison is the thief of joy, which is probably so typical, but it is so true. So often, we are always nitpicking our businesses apart because we are looking at the person next to us. You are unique in your own right, there's plenty of room in the industry for everyone, and moreover, there's no YOU. Don't compare your art, your joy your strategy to anyone because the card player that doesn't observe their own hand loses the game.

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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