We had the good fortune of connecting with Shalonda Hill and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shalonda, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When you work for someone, you don’t always have control of the creative process. You can’t make those decisions without prior approval. I watched and learned from other photographers who own their business and thought that this was something I could do for myself. I was being asked for my business card and pricing of my sessions and events and had nothing about me, nothing to give, nothing to tell. I couldn’t believe that people were asking for ME! So, one day I just decided that that day was the day I would create my business. Something that was mine and something that allowed me to control the creative process and prices. And most of all … all the money made was mine and not some other company who may or may not have even know who I am.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am most excited about my relaunch and rebranding project. I had to take a step back for a few years to mentally get back in order. I revamped my customer service responses, turnaround time, and quality of images, as well as product and package selection. I had to take a realistic look at how I was managing and what happened to get me in the position I was in that caused me to have to take a step back. Being realistic with myself allowed me to take a hard look at how I was running (or not running) my business. I needed to invest more real time and set boundaries and time frames for myself. I needed to be consistent and follow through on what I said I would do. No more excuses! The pandemic was actually everything I needed. It allowed me to take the time to rebuild the right way, to establish actual work time and response time. To really invest in products and software that will increase the likely chance of achieving all the goals I set for myself. June 2020 – December 2020, all I did was research and develop ideas and projects that would further enhance me in 2021. I have a new website (launching at the end of January 2021) and a new workflow system. I am in a great space now and believe my work will reflect that. An improved business owner: Shalonda Hill and an improved business: Shalonda Hill Photography. I love it here! lol

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Typically I am not a hanging out type of person (even outside of the pandemic) but recently I have been going to various vegan restaurants (no I am not vegan). I probably would not put an actual itinerary together but instead google some spots and activities and just go!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are many people instrumental in my photography career. Tobias Smith of Tobias Smith Photography (Atlanta, GA) is my big brother in photography and in that span of time, I have learned so much from him about business and photography. He has been a huge help during sessions and has allowed me to tag along in his editing process. My mother, best friends, church, and family has also been a huge source of encouragement and support. When I felt overwhelmed early on, they encouraged me to keep going. They referred me to their friends and their friends referred me to their friends. I am so appreciative to everyone who has invested time and energy into me and my business.

Website: shillphoto.mypixieset.com

Instagram: @shillphoto

Twitter: @shill_photo

Facebook: @shillphoto35

Image Credits

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.