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Conversations with Felise Waxman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Felise Waxman.

Hi Felise, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
When I was younger, I was always interested in doing hair and makeup.

I wanted to go to cosmetology school but my parents encouraged me to get a college degree first. I majored in photography at Columbia College Chicago and went to cosmetology school at Aveda Institute in Chicago after graduation. I feel very fortunate I was able to attend college and cosmetology school.

I happily did hair for about 10 years in Chicago and loved every minute of it. While I was chatting with one of my hair clients, she mentioned she wanted newborn photos and couldn’t afford them at the time. I said, “Well why don’t I do them for free?” I didn’t have any experience but I knew how to use a camera and I loved babies. The rest is history! Many of my hair clients turned into photo clients and I did both jobs for about a year. After I got married and we started a family, my husband and I decided to move home to St. Louis. When we moved, I started spreading the word that I did hair and also family photography and my photography business just took off and exploded. I took this as a sign that I was supposed to be a full-time photographer!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When I first started, I had plenty of “OH NO” moments.

At the very beginning, I showed up to a session and my camera was on a setting I did not even know how to change and I was mortified that I had to reschedule. I also once accidentally somehow changed the file size setting on my camera and took multiple family sessions at a very small size and had to refund those families.

This is why I hardly charged anything at the very beginning. In those moments, I almost quit because I was so embarrassed and upset, but I am glad I didn’t give up!

I also had cancer last year and had to take off months of work. My clients were incredibly supportive and I will never forget the love I received. And now, I am back in action.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a family photographer who likes to capture love and freeze it in a photo.

I think I am known for my close-up intimate lovey happy photos. I am proud of my packed schedule and my relationship with all my photo families. I truly love each and every one of them.

What does success mean to you?
I don’t measure success by how much money I make or if I am doing my dream job. I think success is being accepting of, kind to and supportive of the people around me. If we embrace and celebrate each others’ differences, we inspire each other to be our true selves, which will naturally bring out unique success in all of us.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Celeste Golden Photography (Image of my family and the one under the rainbow)

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