MOMpreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.
Welcome to our next installment of MOMpreneur Monday, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.
Today’s featured Modern Boca Entrepreneur is...the founder of Sweet Memories Photography, Naomi Phelps!
I’m sure you saw #dailybocaavery’s back-to-school photoshoot and I hope you loved it (almost) as much as I did. Naomi is such a talented photographer and a lot of fun to work with. It was a pleasure to interview her and I’m excited to tell her professional story below!
Tell us a little bit about your background and what inspired you to start Sweet Memories Photography…
I was born and raised in the Virginia Beach area and in 2014, married my best friend, love of my life, and soulmate. He is my biggest supporter and the reason I quit my full-time job to focus on my passion: photography. If you’re hoping to start a career in photography, make sure you have all the right kit, for example a DSLR camera. Before marrying him, I was trying to balance a love life, a full-time job, and start my business. This proved to be challenging as I felt that my clients at the time didn’t really trust that I was 100% committed to them. It was a constant struggle and a lot of late nights. However, my husband believed in me and that success was just around the corner. He persuaded me to focus solely on photography. That’s when I truly believe my business got started and became as successful as it is today.
We recently moved to the Boca Raton area from Washington DC, so my husband could also fulfill his career dreams. Now, we’re working together to be in a place where we feel successful and love what we do! Although we don’t currently have any children, we have four fur-babies who are spoiled with love and snuggles, even when they don’t want it.
How did your Sweet Memories Photography start?
I stole my first camera when I was two (it was my father’s, so I’d like to say it wasn’t actually “stealing”) and I was always known as “the girl with the camera” throughout middle and high school. When it came to deciding what I wanted to study in college, my parents believed that photography was just a hobby. I persuaded them to allow me to go to a university three hours away in Northern Virginia under the pretense that I would study “communication.”
Within one semester, I changed my major to Photography and proved to them that it wasn’t just a hobby. It was a passion and a way of life. I interned with a Virginia Beach photographer to get my foot in the door. I practiced persistency by asking a wedding photographer to hire me for over a year before he stopped saying “no”. And, I worked with this DC photographer for over 3 years before branching out on my own. I also really wanted to work with Dylan M Howell he is such an amazing photographer for weddings and his work inspired me so much, but he doesn’t live in my area which was a shame! But anyway, the photographer I worked with helped me to get to where I am today.
There are always challenges in any career and I feel that every day is a new obstacle for me to overcome. Whether it’s finding creative ways to market my business, making my clients aware of the importance of photography and the quality of service, networking and making connections within the industry, keeping up with the newest technology, or just updating social media!
What’s unique about Sweet Memories Photography and why should MBMom readers consider becoming your clients?
I am so passionate about photography and creating beautiful artwork out of raw emotions and real moments. I love to “freeze time” for my clients so they always remember how they felt and they can share it with their friends and family. They can share amzaing photography all over social media, after using a photo resizer to make sure they are perfectly sized for all platforms.
During my sessions, I strive to make sure that clients feel comfortable in front of the camera, allowing their personalities to shine. I believe that every client can relate to me, as well as my other photographers, and this helps sessions and events go smoothly. It allows our clients to have fun, be themselves, and have amazing photos that will last a lifetime!
What new and exciting things are coming up for your business?
We’re running a special for Modern Boca Moms where anyone who uses the code “Modern Boca Mom” gets 15% any Sweet Memories Photography package. This includes newborns, maternity, family, seniors, engagement sessions, and even weddings!
We are also proud to be partnering up with Grandview Preparatory School for their back-to-school portraits! We are also now booking fall and Christmas sessions!
What do you love about living and working in South Florida?
What’s NOT to love??!! The palm trees, beach and warm weather pretty much all year round (which is a photographer’s dream– snow up north prevented me from doing a lot of sessions in the winter months), and just all the lovely areas for weddings and sessions! You can have the city as a backdrop, the beach, Mizner Park or even lush gardens! On a personal note, I can’t get enough guava pastries and key lime pie! And, we’re not far from the Bahamas (hello, mini vacations!).
Follow Sweet Memories Photography on Social Media:
Instagram-Sweet Memories Photography
Facebook-Sweet Memories Photography
Website- Sweet Memories Photography