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Rising Stars: Meet Becca Maffett

Today we’d like to introduce you to Becca Maffett.

Hi Becca, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
The moment I remember realizing I had a serious interest in photography was in my high school graphic design class.

We had a project where we had to take photographs and then bring them into Photoshop to edit/alter/etc. These photos were taken on a point-and-shoot camera that I had at the time and were nothing special… but it was the first time I felt like I was paying attention to how light affects objects, creating different shadows, and I was hooked.

I wasn’t someone who just knew what I wanted to do straight out of high school, but I decided to go to school to study photography. I attended a small two-year college right outside of Philadelphia focusing on photography and business. The whole first year we only shot film and developed it ourselves. It ended up being a great experience and it’s where I learned all the fundamentals of photography.

Once I graduated, I got a job as a photo retoucher. And since then, I’ve had my photography business–for a while mostly on the side as I have had a full-time job up until a couple of years ago. I’ve done a little bit of everything–but earlier in my business, I was focused on weddings, portraits, and family sessions. I definitely had years where I wasn’t shooting as much, where I was kind of in a lull, trying to figure out what direction I wanted to go.

I have always loved commercial photography though–food, products, etc. I just always told myself there wasn’t much of a market in my area for it (not actually knowing) or didn’t believe I could do it full time. I started practicing more and doing some personal projects to grow my portfolio, reaching out to local businesses and ended up getting some food/product gigs.

I remember doing a shoot for a new restaurant opening up and that’s the job that made me want to focus more on food and product photography. I started practicing more, got more job opportunities, and finally left my job in the corporate world–it was insanely scary to take that leap, but it was one of the best decisions ever.

Currently, I do freelance retouching work along with food and product photography. I continue to grow each year and am so grateful to the clients I get to work with.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Definitely not! Honestly, leaving my corporate job and going full-time with my business was a wake-up call–I had to really do some self-work (which I’m still doing and will continue to do) because I was dealing with a lot of comparison and self-doubt.

I worked with an amazing coach to help me through a lot of things I was dealing with and it has helped me so much to grow and push myself. I also read a lot of personal development books. The hard days, the failing, the creative lulls, the self-doubt, the comparison–it’s how we push ourselves through those moments that matter most.

There are so many things no one teaches us about being a business owner, and a lot of things you have to learn as you go. And I’ve learned that once you reach your goal or get to where you want to be, even if you are at the top, you still have problems to face every single day.

There are still days when I sometimes forget that I can create my own schedule and do my own thing. Some days it’s hard to motivate myself and sometimes I find myself in creative ruts. Sometimes, I have to zoom out and look at the bigger picture and remember I used to dream about this–going full-time with my business and being able to make my own schedule.

I feel so grateful for taking those hard steps outside of my comfort zone to get here.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
For the past few years, I’ve really been focusing solely on food and product photography. I have a lot of experience with photo retouching so being able to have those skills is something I find super valuable–especially when it comes to product photography, a lot of post-work goes into those types of jobs..

I am always learning new techniques and trying new setups by doing my own personal projects.

This is something I did a while ago to build my portfolio when I didn’t have many food/product jobs yet, but it’s something I started doing again and I think it’s so important to let yourself have that creative freedom to just have fun and try new things–whether you’re a beginner or have years of experience. I’ve even gotten some clients from my personal projects!

I absolutely love learning about my client’s brands and creating images that make their products stand out. I have always appreciated a beautifully plated dish, a pretty cocktail, or well-designed branding. I respect how hard small business owners work and I love the opportunity to be able to show their products in the best way possible.

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
I was in the corporate world for about 10 years until I finally took the risk to do photography and retouching full time on my own. I’ve done so many things since then that I didn’t think I’d be able to do or never thought I’d do.

What changed? I finally took a chance on myself and followed my gut feeling. All those little nudges or feelings of wanting more or to grow weren’t going away, and at this point, I’d rather know I tried than not knowing.

There were so many times I told myself “I’d love to go full time with my business but no one would hire me” or “what would people think if I fail”–it’s about changing your mindset and at some point, you’ll have enough of your own excuses. It’s also about believing that you can figure it out, whatever that might be.

Taking risks proves to us over and over again that we can do hard things, and over time those things we thought were hard, will get easier. I know that every decision I’ve made thus far has gotten me to this point.

And there were months/years where I barely shot at all and felt like giving up. But I kept coming back to it, continued to try new things, and have only recently felt like I’ve found my place in the photography world and can’t wait to see what happens next.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Terragold Photo

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