Micah Carling isn’t just a photographer. She’s a key person in one of the most important days of many people’s lives (myself included). And it’s more than just a job to her - it’s truly a passion and a calling.
Browsing through an endless selection of dreamy photos on her website, you’d think she was born with a camera in her hand. However, that wasn’t the case.
A rare Gilbert, Arizona native, Micah Carling didn’t launch her business until December of 2006. She was attending a wedding as a guest and was inspired when she noticed the photographer winding her way through chairs and people. It looked easy to Micah, the way the photographer was snapping shots and moving throughout the wedding. She thought, “I can do that!” And so, she got herself a camera, and started her business with nothing more than gumption and a positive attitude.
While she learned early on that it took more than just “pressing a button” to create the portfolio she has now, her natural talent and warmth has helped her come a long way.
I hired Micah when my husband and I were planning our wedding and trying to maintain a tight budget (nearly impossible when planning a wedding, I might add). I found her site through recommendations on The Knot and couldn’t believe that she was offering such affordable prices for gorgeous photography. When I found her “About” section, I was sold.
In it, she proudly warns “Caution! I may tear up at your wedding… particularly the first dance.”
I knew that this was the person I wanted to capture the best day of my life. I wanted a wedding photographer who not only created beautiful photos, but who also appreciated the heart and soul of the moment. From my very first meeting with her to receiving the finished photos after our honeymoon, Micah delivered.
She is a true entrepreneur in every sense of the word. She is professional, warm, friendly, hard-working and talented.
We recently reached out to her to tap into some of what makes her successful and share it with our fellow entrepreneurs. Here’s what she had to say.
Inspiring Habits & Thoughts From a Woman Behind the Lens
If you could share any advice with a new small business owner, what would that be?
Be You. Do not compare yourself to those around you and do not try to be like someone else.
Describe the moment you realized you were going to make the leap into entrepreneurship.
After having been to a few weddings and watching the photographer walk around and simply press a button to take photos, I thought, "Hey, I can do that!"
So, I bought a camera and in December 2006 started my business. I very quickly realized it is much, much more than "walking around and simply pressing a button".
What inspires you to do what you do every day?
I am inspired daily by being able to witness the love shared between my clients, the love felt at the wedding and reception by all attendees, and knowing I am part of one of the most important days in their lives.
Tell us about the 'why' behind starting your business?
I grew up watching my parents be successful entrepreneurs and I was taught how to work hard alongside them. So, I guess you could say my ‘why’ just came naturally and it was to be like my parents!
Do you have a favorite quote that you live by?
I practically live by quotes! They are inspirational and life changing at the right moments. Here are a few of my faves:
“Feel the fear, do it anyway." - Chalene Johnson
"The only way you can fail is by giving up." - Chalene Johnson
"When something goes wrong in your life, just yell 'PLOT TWIST' and move on.” - Unknown
"Never, ever, ever get rid of the desire to climb a tree or run through the sprinklers." - Unknown
What app could you not live without?
Without my Google Calendar, I could not function, haha. I use it for minor and major task reminders and for personal and business use.
What sets your brand apart from other businesses in the photography industry?
I strive to deliver quality images that last generations to come at affordable rates.
If you could attribute your success so far to ONE thing - what would it be?
Attributing my success to one thing is hard, but I would have to say simply always looking for the positive in every situation. No matter what. Positivity brings smiles and smiles open many windows/doors.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in the first few weeks of starting your business? How did you overcome that challenge?
The largest challenge for me was learning how to use a camera. I had taken a couple years in high school, but I was not producing images I was proud of. So, before accepting any paying clients, I took courses online and in person. I practiced non-stop on my family, pets, and friends as well. Still, to this day, I never stop growing and learning. I now know how to use my camera, but I am continually taking courses to better my photography, myself, and my clients’ experience!
Where do you see your business 10 years from now?
Ten years from now I see my business still growing and changing with the times, of course. Adding on an associate photographer will be fun and I will continue to give clients images to last generations at affordable rates.
What's one thing you do in the morning to set yourself up for a productive and powerful day?
My morning ritual is to take my dog for a walk within 15 minute of waking up. Nature, sunrise, birds chirping, exercise....all these things help calm me, help reset my mind, help give me clarity.
I am able to make a mental "to do" list for the day as well. This daily morning walk gives me the energy and mental clarity for a powerful and productive day.
Thank you, Micah, for sharing your experience and your words of wisdom to all of our fellow entrepreneurs. Your photos are breathtaking and your attitude is awesome. We can’t wait to see more of your work on social media!
Micah Carling Photography - click to check out her portfolio & schedule a session today!
If Micah can take a dream and transform it into a successful small business, you can do the same! Click to download our FREE marketing guide that’s full of pro tips and actionable steps you can take to see your small business finally take flight!
Photo credits in this post: Micah Carling Photography