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Inspiring Conversations with Alicia Wiley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alicia Wiley.

Hi Alicia, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
As cliché as it sounds, I’ve always had a camera! I used be the kid snapping photos with the disposable cameras at family weddings, I’d take my film cameras with me everywhere and develop the film as often as I could. I got my first digital polaroid camera as a teen and then newer digital cameras every couple of years until my first DSLR in 2011 when I started taking photography classes as filler courses in college.

One of our photo assignments was to photograph humans which was different than the usual object or landscape assignments. I asked some friends if I could photograph them and I loved taking family photos. In 2013, just before my own wedding I photographed a small backyard wedding and loved it. By 2014, I was photographing weddings regular and I have grown each year since then! In 2016 I quit my 9-5 and have been running my business full-time.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It’s been smooth-ish. I have had steady growth since I started my photography business, some years were too busy and I was burnt out but I learned to manage my calendar better. 2020 kind of threw all of that off, it was a rollercoaster or ups/downs and not knowing what will happen with the wedding industry. 2021 went from 0-100 really quickly, I thought we were easing back in but it’s two wedding seasons all in 1 year now! I love the hustle of it but because I am aware burnout is easy, I am trying my hardest to balance it.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I’m a wedding and portrait photographer. For weddings think I am known for my love of details, visually curating galleries based on the color palette and styling flat lays. I mainly do family portraits and for the last few years, I have created styled mini session sets at my studio. The sets range from giant balloon walls to monochromatic themes with different backdrops in various shades of the same color. I am most proud of the amount of detailed information I have on my website, it was time-consuming to lay it out in a way that’s easy to digest and not too overwhelming for clients. I LOVE photographing big weddings, couples and families.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
I’ve learned that it’s necessary to learn to pivot quickly. I was often months behind others in my industry because I do not handle change very well. I’m a planner and thrive in an organized calendar with a schedule up to two years out. Coming to a screeching halt and not knowing what to expect for the next couple of years was difficult to navigate.

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