Today we’d like to introduce you to Bailey Cross Boggs.
So, before we jump into specific questions about what you do, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was that kid growing up that took my camera everywhere. When my dad purchased a point and shoot camera to take photos at family gatherings when I was in middle school, I quickly commandeered it and began taking it to school with me every day. I would take hundreds of candid photos every week and upload them to Facebook to share with my friends.
As I got older and began traveling more, I started taking less photos of people, and more photos of buildings and landscapes. I loved being able to use photography as a creative outlet, but never really thought I had much future in it, aside from taking photos of beautiful places to decorate my walls at home.
Things changed about six months after graduating from college when I was asked to take a couple of photos at my friend’s wedding. I told her I wasn’t a portrait photographer, but she insisted that she loved my work and wanted me to work alongside the other photographer she had hired to capture her big day.
When I arrived at her wedding, we got news that the main photographer wasn’t coming, and it was going to be up to me to shoot the entire day myself. I was scared to death, but wasn’t going to let my friend not have any photos! As I did my best to capture the day, I realized I felt more alive than ever before and loved the thought of being able to capture those priceless moments for generations to come.
After the wedding, I decided to give myself a chance to see if portrait photography was something I could realistically get into. I upgraded my gear, started reading anything I could get my hands on about photography and began doing sessions for friends and family, before expanding to sessions around my town. I shot anything and everything I could until I began to feel comfortable enough to really start marketing myself as a photographer.
I’ve continued to practice shooting as much as possible, and have really seen my business grow this past year. I am so honored to have been able to work with so many incredible couples and families, and can’t wait for what’s next!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I have definitely encountered some obstacles. I am so grateful to own my own business, but there has been so much that I’ve had to teach myself along the way. I went to school for political science, not business, so learning all of the ins and outs of how to successfully start and run a business has been quite a process.
One of the biggest obstacles I’ve had to overcome, however, is imposter syndrome. In the world we live in today, it is so easy to endlessly scroll through social media and start comparing myself to other extremely talented artists and photographers. If I’m not careful, I’ll begin telling myself that I’m not good enough or smart enough or talented enough to be doing this and that I’m a fraud. I know it’s not true, but boy does that voice like to try to convince me otherwise! Having a strong community, both in the photography world and in my personal life, is such a comfort when I start questioning my worth. It is invaluable to have someone who can help remind you that you are enough, even when you don’t feel like you are.
If I could give one piece of advice to someone starting out, it would be to find that community of support. It’s so important to have people you trust that you can bounce ideas off of, share what you’re excited about, ask questions when you’re stuck on something, and cheer each other on. Within the groups that I’m a part of, we stress community over competition and recognize that when one of us succeeds, it makes it that much easier for the rest of us to succeed.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Bailey Cross Photography story. Tell us more about it.
I am a wedding and portrait photographer who specializes in capturing real moments full of authentic emotion and work with adventurous couples and families who value experiences over things. When my clients look through their photos twenty years from now, I want exactly how they felt at that moment to come rushing back. I will never stop being grateful for the opportunity to be a witness to the start of my couples’ greatest adventure yet and am so honored to be trusted to capture so many important moments.
When I first started my business, it was really important for me to be able to incorporate my passion for advocacy and social justice in my work. For the past nine years, I have volunteered with non-profits working to end human trafficking and exploitation around the world. The fact that there are currently more people being held in slavery now than at any other point in history absolutely blows my mind, and I am committed to doing what I can to help. Because of this, 10% of all proceeds go to International Justice Mission, the oldest and largest organization in the US working on this issue. I am really proud of the fact that my couples and families get to play a role in bringing freedom to people around the world when they hire me!
Do you have any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general? What has worked well for you?
I would encourage people looking for a mentor to do their research and then don’t be afraid to ask. Start by finding people whose work you connect with and admire. Instead of emailing them asking for advice or mentorship, extend an invitation to get coffee and get to know them as a human, rather than as a professional. Share with them exactly why you are inspired by what they are doing, and what you’re passionate about. It can take time for relationships to develop, but so many photographers I know are always willing to sit down for a conversation, including myself!
- Weddings starting at $1500
- Elopements starting at $800
- Family Portraits starting at $175
- Website: www.baileycrossphotography.com
- Phone: 720-891-1218
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/baileycrossphotography
- Facebook: facebook.com/baileycrossphoto
Headshot: Shallyn Michelle Photography, Bailey Cross Photography