We had the good fortune of connecting with Naomi Phelps and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Naomi, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, honestly. I knew I always had more of a creative mind and that I was obsessed with photography, but when I mentioned the subject of doing this for a career to people, there was always such a negative response. Not the ‘you shouldn’t pursue it’ kind of response, but a ‘that’s a hobby, what are you going to do with your life?’ kind. However, I’ve been the type of person to follow my heart, and not necessarily my mind so I went with my passion and threw myself into it. I am a true believer that if you love something, you go for it, 100%. Don’t overanalyze or overthink it. Don’t dip your toe in … dip both WHOLE feet in! And that’s what I did and I haven’t turned back since! No regrets.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I believe that my art speaks for itself. My passion is reflected in the love stories and photos that I provide my couples. Every image I take is carefully composed, high-quality, and individually edited. Besides my work and experience of having a BA in Fine Arts, working with a prestigious Washington DC wedding photographer for 3-1/2 years, and having photographed over 100 weddings, I also provide an excellent and personable experience. I strive to make my couples feel as beautiful as they are, and make sure their images are a perfect reflection of them as individuals and couples. I also truly believe in customer service. I keep a very open line of communication. Weddings are nerve-wracking and a lot of planning goes into it, not to mention money! I’m here for them. I’ve been there personally and with my past clients. Each of my clients are not just clients. When you work with me, we skip the formalities. You are then my friend, my family. As for getting to where I am today, it has not been an easy road. But nothing comes without hard work and obstacles. Going back to the question before, if I have a passion for something, I go for it. If I needed to take on part-time jobs to help financially, I did it. At one point, I had 5 part-time gigs, in addition to growing my company. If one marketing tactic didn’t work, I tried another and another until something stuck. Obstacles are just life’s little ways of seeing how hard you want something. There are so many lessons that I’ve learned along the way …I don’t even know where to start! The biggest one is that you don’t succeed if you don’t make your passion your priority. It’s easy to become distracted or allow other things to become more important (like money), but at the end of the day, if your passion makes you happy and makes life fuller, go all in! I am just so grateful that I’ve been allowed to continue letting my passion tell couples’ love stories and playing such a huge role in their lives.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh the list is endless! One day would be spent in Miami: Schnebly’s winery, Miami Brewing Company, and then sleeping and relaxing on the beach. Another would be spent in Fort Lauderdale: walking down Las Olas, eating at Louie Bossi’s, and then playing games all night at Glitch. I would also eat at the Key Lime House for its food and views, Pierced Ciderworks for its amazing and various hard ciders, go kayaking along the intracoastal, and take them to the everglades airboat tour!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to give a huge shoutout to Michelle at Modern Boca Mom. four years ago, I was new to the area and without really knowing me, she brought me in as her family and blog photographer. Because of her, her blog, and her followers, I was able to grow my business. She has always been such a strong supporter of Sweet Memories Photography and is always the first person to recommend me to anyone she knows, or doesn’t know! So I am so grateful to have her in my life!