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Life & Work with Makaela Thomas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Makaela Thomas.

Hi Makaela, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I have always loved to take pictures, so back in 2017, my fiancé (now husband) surprised me at Christmas with a camera that I had my eyes on for a while. I only planned to have it for personal use and to take on vacation with us to get some good quality photos.

My younger sister was in high school at the time and I took some pictures of her, posted them on Facebook, and got a lot of compliments. Other friends and family asked me to take pictures for them here and there, but it still wasn’t anything super serious, and I never considered making a career out of it.

Fast forward to Spring 2019 and my husband is encouraging me to at least make an “official” Facebook page for my photography so that other people could see my work. I finally give in, one thing leads to another, and before I knew it I was booked every weekend with sessions.

I still didn’t really take it seriously and thought business would just stop as suddenly as it started. Well, fast forward again to 2022, here I am! I now consider photography my second full-time job and love every minute of it.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
This journey has definitely been anything but smooth or easy. One of my biggest struggles has been learning how to run a small business while also working full time and trying to make time for myself and my family.

A normal day for me is working an 8-10 hour day as a Registered Veterinary Technician, coming home and spending some time with my husband, taking care of household tasks that need to be done, eating a quick supper, and then spending a few hours editing and answering emails before bed.

After it’s all said and done I normally end up working a 14-16 hour day. I should also mention that I am completely self-taught, so most of my personal time is spent learning any and everything I can so that I can better myself as a photographer and business owner.

There are definitely still some days where I feel like I have no clue what I am doing, but I am slowly figuring out how to juggle it all!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I photograph a little bit of everything, including weddings, but couples are definitely my passion. I absolutely love being able to capture those sweet moments between two people in love and telling a little bit of their story.

I am not a big fan of super posed photos, so I try to incorporate a lot of movement in my work so that I am really able to capture those candid moments and real, raw emotions.

My goal is to always make my clients feel so comfortable in front of my camera that they forget I’m even there, and, of course, to make them feel the most confident they ever have.

I will be your biggest hype girl while also cracking a joke or two to get you to relax and feel your best!

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
Of course, none of this would be possible without encouragement from all of my family and my clients who have been with me since the beginning.

I am thankful to each and every one of the people who have cheered me on and supported me, but there is one person who deserves to be mentioned by name. My husband, Cody, has absolutely been my biggest cheerleader since before I even took this seriously and decided to start this business.

Cody bought me my very first camera that started it all, has believed in me when I just wanted to give it up and quit completely, and puts up with my late nights and busy weekends spent working.

He has given up countless weekends and social events to come and help me with long wedding days and does it all without a single complaint. None of this would be possible without his endless support!

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