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  • Michaela


Updated: Nov 27, 2021

Advice to turn what you love to do into a way to make money from Hannah DeVries, the owner of a natural light photography studio


1. To figure out what your passion is: Go back to your childhood

While photography and a natural light studio may not have been on Hannah's mind when she was a kid, entrepreneurship was. Before going blueberry picking as a kid, she went door to door to ask neighbors if they wanted her to bring them some. She took down orders and made deliveries. "From that point on," Hannah said, "I thought, 'I want to keep doing this.'"

2. To get started: Put yourself out there

To get her photography business started, Hannah had to allow herself to be uncomfortable. She said she made a list of things that would get her out of her comfort zone while she was living in Florida for a few months. The first item she checked off the list was walking up to strangers on the beach and asking if they wanted her to take photos of them.

3. To turn what you do into a business: Look for a problem you can solve

The idea for Hannah's natural light studio, called Lightbox, was born out of trying to solve her own problems as a photographer. She was tired of wearing herself out every summer to make up for the lack of business in the winter. The solution? An indoor photography studio that would allow photographers to take pictures inside where it was warm while still taking advantage of natural light.

4. To make sure the business will work: Let the idea brew

Before opening the doors of Lightbox in October 2019, Hannah spent two years doing market research to make sure her problem was a problem for other photographers, too. This took extra time before she was able to open the business, but it set a firm foundation and let her know she was onto something with her business idea.

5. To make your business last: Don't give up

Hannah stressed the importance of not giving up. Challenges will come and it will take time, but it's all part of the process of turning your creative passion into a business. "Keep going," she said. "Keep creating. Keep taking steps to do what you want to do."

P.S. To check out Lightbox, click here. To check out Hannah's photography, click here.

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