On episode 005 of the Wedding Safari Podcast, New Orleans’ own full time professional wedding photographer Cierra Johnson Hicks is captivating with her vulnerability. This isn’t just a feel good episode, it's a real journey into the intricacies of true professional business ownership. If you have a family and have been teeter-tottering on whether to take a leap of faith into entrepreneurship, you don't want to miss this interview.
02:10 Getting Started
11:28 Holistic Approach to the Logistics, Photography and Weddings
16:36 Next Steps after Mentorship
21:00 Social Media Takeoff
22:36 What Led to Making the Leap to Transition from Full Time Corporate Position
27:20 Real Life - Major Blows to My Leap of Faith
38:50 Lessons Learned
45:27 Is it Possible to Pursue Your Dreams and Provide Balance
48:00 Chasing your Dreams
55:24 Piece of Advice
56:48 To Jump or Not to Jump
Cierra Johnson Hicks masterful photography has been featured in the likes of Munaluchi Bride magazine, New Orleans Weddings, Chic Brown Bride and Grace Ormond, amongst others.
Thinking back to her childhood, Cierra always had a camera in her hands. Freezing memories in time, she never knew where it would take her.
When afforded the opportunity to study the arts, like many of us, she allowed the pressures from her parents to dictate her higher education major. Besides, they were footing the bill. After a successful matriculation, she graduated with a marketing degree and worked in the commercial banking for 10 years.
In 2011, she realized something was missing...her love and passion for photography never faded. Given the opportunity to shoot a co-worker's wedding, she quickly returned the fond memories of her childhood.
After investing in a holistic approach to mentorship along with continuing education with regard to her craft, tools and the industry as a whole, what started as a hobby, quickly turned into a passion with a paycheck. A hopeless romantic and deciding to be in control of her own destiny (or so she thought), Cierra took her leap of faith into full time solo-preneurship.
After boundless success at the rate of a freight train, and a pivotal point when one of her Instagram images went viral thanks to her keen eye and “Weddings on Point”, business grew leaps and bounds. But while this was happening, other areas of her life began to deteriorate. Perhaps she lost sight of “who she was doing all this for”, and her marriage and family were pushed to a breaking point. Ultimately a separation and having to be truly honest with herself, she realized her marriage suffered because... she was married to the business.
You must listen closely or you’ll miss it. Between speaking candidly about life lessons, the pursuit of a dream vs. balance, passion and priorities, Cierra discusses the importance of outsourcing, setting boundaries, creating guidelines, and the value of your journey when building a “Legacy Business”.
Cierra’s story to living a purposeful life has not been an easy one, but the passion for her craft is what keeps her inspired. You will be captivated by the ups and downs, the good and the bad, and transparency that this young entrepreneur, wife, and mother has overcome.
But through it all, taking a real look at her mistakes, has allowed her to simultaneously invest in her family and clients. This modern-mom and wife’s niche’ for intimate details, moments and ability to capture visuals only unique to her trained eye is what keeps her “booked”.
All Photos by Cierra Johnson HIcks ofsouthernamore.com
Watch this amazing interview where Cierra walks you through her journey to becoming a full time photographer.
Facebook- Cierra Johnson-Hicks
How to Reach Cierra:
www.southernamore.com | IG @southeramore | email@example.com
Milton Lawrence Jr-
Editing was done by Willis Aybar- WillisAybar@gmail.com
Music- Scrapbook by Silent Partner