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Daily Inspiration: Meet Madison Smith

Today we’d like to introduce you to Madison Smith.

Hi Madison, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
As a child, I loved taking pictures and could often be found behind the lens at family functions. Once my nephew and niece were born, they became my main subjects. There’s nothing like capturing the smiles of an infant or toddler. During this time, I also pursued my degree at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. After graduating in 2017, I found myself working 40+ hours a week at a job that I didn’t feel passionate about and one that left me with little free time for my photography. Then in July 2018 everything changed when I got very sick and spent ten days in the hospital. Upon discharge, my life was immediately very different. Physically I was unable to go back to the work I had been doing. I took some time to reflect and I realized I wanted to put my time and energy into what I loved – – photography.

I initially started out small, offering photo sessions for family and friends. Finally, I was enjoying what I was doing, but then the pandemic hit. I started to question if I could grow my business in this climate or if I would have to forego Sweet M Photography. Altogether instead of giving up, I decided to put my head down and devote my time to what was in my control. I updated my website, scouted future photo locations, and focused on building my Instagram. By the end of summer 2020, I had handfuls of new clients. My confidence grew, while at the same time my new clients referred more new clients. In the last year, I’ve been able to expand my portfolio to include newborns shoots, engagements, and even a few weddings. Sweet M Photography continues to grow and I am so excited to see what the future has in store for me.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
When you’re in a creative field, especially as someone who is self-employed, struggles are not unexpected. As a photographer, you learn to think quickly on your toes, adapting to weather changes, fussy clients, location switches, etc. There are also the obstacles you may place on yourself. For me that included self-doubt. It can be very easy to compare yourself to others in the field and without a boss validating your work, you have to find that validation within.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a family and couple photographer located in the Temecula area. I am currently growing my business to include elopements and weddings. I specialize in natural light photography with an emphasis on capturing authentic and real moments. I feel the most pride not just when my clients love their photos but simply for the fact they are allowing me to capture such special and sometimes intimate moments in their lives. I have many repeat clients and it is such an honor to be trusted with their milestones. There are many talented photographers in the industry, but I feel that my ability to connect with my clients sets me apart. I always strive to connect on a personal level and not just hide behind the lens.

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
One of my favorite childhood memories would have to be when I received my first digital camera. It was my 11th birthday and as I peeled open the wrapping paper and spotted the hot pink camera, I was ecstatic. The gift was from my older sister who has always been extremely supportive of my passion for photography. To this day, she is Sweet M Photography’s biggest cheerleader.

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