Let's do this journey called life together! I'm at my best when I'm surrounded by positive women who build me up. My heart is happiest when I'm helping women live their best life. I'm here for you girl! I'm cheering you on!
You babes are in for a long one today! I honestly don’t even know where to start with this post. I met Christy through the Rising Tide Society when I was leading the Rhode Island Chapter. If you guys have been following along you know how I tend to have anxiety when public speaking and know what we’ve been going through some things as a family. Well here comes this little ray of sunshine ready to jump into the world of leadership. She is all things happy, all things inspiring, and all things bossbabe! When I stepped down from leading our local group she stepped up in a BIG way. The RI chapter is stronger than ever and it’s all because of her. She has become one of my biggest cheerleaders, biggest supporters, and sweetest friends. She is a mama of a beautiful little girl named Emerson (who happens to be my bestie!) and a wedding photographer. Babes, meet Christy of Eisley Images.
Tell us about yourself!
I am almost thirty something who lives for a good girls night, starts her day with a hot cup of black coffee, will unabashedly sing (and dance) in the car with you and thinks life is best spent when you’re joyfully laughing and spreading Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear. In addition to living my dream (for real – this photography business is my dream y’all!) I am sweet on my husband, George, and a mom to the funniest four year old on the planet, Emerson. There’s also our daughter’s best friend, Artie The One Man Party. He’s the snortiest, the snuggliest and the most dramatic half blind pug we kindly let snooze on our couch.
I am a wedding & branding photographer with a focus on education with my company Eisley Images. The couples we work with are once-in-a-lifetime loves who laugh loudly & love deeply. The branding clients we work with are creative based entrepreneurs who are striving to up-level their client experiences and truly advocate for their business. When I’m out from behind the camera you can find me educating our clients on how to create an exceptional wedding day while planning for an exceptional marriage and educating creative business owners on how to do all the things! All the things… doesn’t it feel that way sometimes? I’m about to ring in my 11th wedding season. In those 10 previous seasons I have learned, taken many wrong roads, and turned a pipe dream into a full time reality. As a Rising Tide Society leader, the spirit of community over competition runs deep in my bones. I believe there is room for all of us at the table of success.
The first time I ever picked up a 35mm camera was in 3rd grade in Cheyenne, WY. I remember my mom was gathering donations for probably one of our Girl Scout Troop donation drives. Curiosity led me to peek through the bag a bit just to see what we were parting with. Lying in the bag was my Dad’s 35mm camera from college. I thought I had struck gold! At this age I still believed I would grow up to be Christy San Diego, super sleuth and the only thing my business was lacking was a surveillance camera. Can you imagine my disappointment when my Dad told me it was broken? My dreams were foiled.
I didn’t get to use a 35mm camera until junior year of high school in Dover, NH when I was finally eligible to enroll in a Photography Class for an art credit. My older sister, Stephanie, had taken the class two years before and I genuinely thought it was the coolest thing someone could do while still being in high school. You mean to tell me you can go on adventures with your friends, invite people to pose for you, or just capture life as it unfolds? Sign me up! The only thing missing was my camera.
She took hers to Northeastern with her so I couldn’t use hers. I must have mentioned it at a family gathering because my Uncle Glenn passed down his Pentax K1000 to me unsure if it even still worked. And, girl – it worked. I used it throughout high school and years after until I sadly got film stuck in it and it’s now a permanent fixture of my shelf (new year’s resolution is to get that film out this year!). I didn’t know I was going to pursue photography as a career until senior year of high school. At the time I was taking a Journalism class that changed everything for me. Mr. Singer banded together a classroom full of students from all different walks of life and we produced the first school newspaper for the first time in decades called ‘The Tide’ (our mascot was the Greenwave, it was clever, okay?).
We all interviewed for positions on the newspaper. I was hired as the PR Manager while writing copy and performing as one of the staff photographers. This was a privilege I did not take lightly and threw myself into. That year I learned how to sell ad space, journalism 101, and I even photographed Hillary Clinton with actual photojournalists on the press riser when she came to visit Dover High School in 2007. I was absolutely sure I wanted to be a photojournalist. My photography teachers Ms. Castellan and Mr. Strickland along with Mr. Singer gave me the encouragement and drive I needed to look into this and to kindly inform my parents that I this is what I should be doing. Passion drives people.
When it came time to apply for college I was confident I would major in journalism with a minor in photography. We had a guest speaker come to our photography class to speak to us about his career. He explained that he went to photography school instead of a traditional four-year college and my little world in New Hampshire exploded and all I saw was sky for miles. I had no idea such a thing existed. I hopped on the world wide web when I got home and found there were a few in Boston, but then I came across one in Turners Falls, MA called ‘Hallmark Institute of Photography’.
After a quick google search to see where that was (it’s Western, MA for those of you following at home) I knew in bones this is where I would go. It all seemed to happen so fast. I applied, we visited, my jaw was dropped the entire time, and I was sold. Hallmark was a transformative life experience that I was so lucky to experience fresh out of high school. In 10 months we learned everything from Photography 101, film, digital, commercial photography, weddings, photojournalism, portraiture, studio lighting, Photoshop, Lightroom, web design, branding, etc. Silver Platter. Everything you need to succeed. The idea is when you graduate you have a full tool belt to walk out their doors and flourish. The Hallmark community is something we’ve all stayed close to. It’s a little family.
After I graduated I moved back home to Dover, New Hampshire and started working for a local wedding photographer. The experience gave me the hands-on experience I needed to see the behind the scenes of how she ran her business, how she photographed a full wedding day and post-processing. It shaped my career entirely. I knew weddings were where my heart was. It was like experiencing the magic of photography for the first time all over again. You mean that I get to spend the day documenting the happiest day of someone’s life? What is better than that? Newborn photography is a close second BUT there is no higher honor, for me, than to be trusted to capture someone’s wedding day.
Flash-forward to 2018 – A marriage and a daughter later, I am entering my 10th wedding season! I am just as in love with what I do as ever. Even saying the word ‘job’ is a disservice to how I feel about all of this. Every day I wake up and I am living my dream.
I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t adopt a routine into my business until last year. On one hand I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner, but on the other having the experience where now I can see just how crucial it is to have a routine ensures I will never back slide into straying from it. Raise your hand if you’re an anxiety babe like me!
This is what helps curb that:
“Get up off of that thing!” My “thing” being my doubt, imposter syndrome, sprinkled in with anxiety. I waited so long to start working towards this dream.
Absolutely! This beautiful age of the internet means we have mentors and coaches at our fingertips. They don’t even know I exist but they’re serving me by way of podcasts, youtube videos, micro-blogging on their instagram posts or even in their educational courses.
Can I be real with you? Me. I am the only person who has ever held me back. My fears, my doubts, and my lack of persistence towards my goals has been the biggest hurdle to get over. Isn’t that just bananas?
Let me put my coach hat on…. Girl, you have WORK to do. Show up for your life and get at your dreams TODAY. If there are pieces of knowledge that are holding you back from starting, visit your friendly little google search bar and figure it out. You have a story to tell. You have goals that are far too big to sit deep inside your heart. We need people like you in this world. We need your dreams, your goals and your heart.
My absolute favorite thing on this earth to do is – it’s so cheesy – to simply be with my daughter. She is a pure hearted, kind soul, outrageously funny without even trying, and is the absolute thrill of our lives. Adventuring with her will never get old.
(I think my role model answer works for this…)