Brianna Parks, owner of Brianna Parks Photography, is a 21-year-old elopement photographer based in Northern California who is also studying to get her Bachelor’s in Sociology. She’s been a photographer for three years and started her business at the age of 19. Since starting her business, Brianna has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Authority Magazine. She’s extremely passionate about breaking the traditional mold and helping couples realize that they don’t have to follow the grain when it comes to their wedding day. Traveling all around the United States, Brianna has helped couples everywhere create the wedding day of their dreams.
Where did the idea for Brianna Parks Photography come from?
Brianna Parks: When I was in high school, I realized that I enjoyed photography. However, it wasn’t until I got to college when I truly found my passion. After majoring in human biology for a semester, I was overcome with the fear of having to work a 9-5 after school. I knew that I wanted to something of my own, and it wasn’t until I stumbled across a YouTube video about photography when the idea sparked. Using the $600 my husband and I had left in our bank account, we took a leap of faith and purchased a camera. Three years later, here I am.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Brianna Parks: The first thing I do every morning is go to the gym. It helps me stay sane and puts me in a good headspace for the rest of the day. After the gym, I block out an hour in the morning to enjoy my breakfast and plan out my day.
Everyday is different which is why I love what I do! Most days, I work on marketing, editing, and communicating with clients.
After my workday ends, which is usually around 5 or 6, I make dinner for my husband and I and then unplug from my phone and enjoy time with him until it’s time for bed.
The biggest thing that helps me with productivity is making a schedule. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without a schedule! Blocking out time to do things, but also giving myself breaks keeps me productive throughout the entire day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Brianna Parks: I get a lot of my ideas from other creatives, or from places. When I travel, I love writing down in my notes that things I loved about each place, and how I can incorporate that into my work.
It’s all about going out of your way and stepping out of your comfort zone to truly bring those ideas to life. I often just reach out to people and ask them to model for me and help me with my vision. Everyone usually says yes, because who doesn’t want free photos?
What’s one trend that excites you?
Brianna Parks: Elopements! Because of COVID, a lot of couples are becoming more aware about elopements, and since it’s my specialty, it really does excite me.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Brianna Parks: Like I mentioned earlier, scheduling out my day. It’s something I have to do everyday. I don’t know how I lived without it!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Brianna Parks: I would tell my younger self that it’s okay to not have anything figured out. While I’m glad that I started my business at a young age, I look back and realize that it’s okay to not know what you want to do with your life yet. I think society puts so much pressure on young people, but I think it’s important to take time for yourself and try a ton of new things before settling on something for the rest of your life.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Brianna Parks: I don’t believe college is for everyone. While this is starting to become a more popular opinion, I still feel like many people disagree with this statement. I’m personally going to college right now. I have two semesters left until I graduate, but I don’t believe I’ll be using my degree anytime soon.
While I love college and do believe it’s important, I do think that taking risks and following your dreams is sometimes more important that putting them off for four years to get a piece of paper and get a job you hate for the rest of your life.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Brianna Parks: Put the phone down. Especially as an entrepreneur, I feel like we use our phone more than the average person (at least I do). If we put our phones down and meditate or spend time with those around us, we’ll have a fresh mind and perspective when we come back to whatever we’re working on.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Brianna Parks: Giving free knowledge to people. I get most of my inquiries from Google. I strongly believe that giving free knowledge by informational writing blog posts is the main way to not only get clients to trust you.
We live in a world of instant gratification, so what better way to solve this problem than writing articles that will solve my potential client’s problems?
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Brianna Parks: One failure I had as an entrepreneur was having a stubborn attitude towards those who wanted to help. I’m not great at asking for help, and while it didn’t necessarily make me “fail,” I think it set me back a bit. It’s always okay to ask for help, and I’m still learning this, even three years later.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Brianna Parks: I think websites like Upwork and Fiverr are amazing companies that rely on talented people. I think it would be amazing if we saw more creators creating websites that allow people to do what they love.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Brianna Parks: The best $100 I recently spent was on a plane ticket to take a solo trip to Washington State. I had never been to Olympic National Park, and it’s been on my bucket list for years. I finally decided to go after a spontaneous thought. Not only was it an incredibly beautiful, but it ended up being one of my favorite places I’ve ever been to.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Brianna Parks: Dubsado. It’s a client management experience that saves my life! It helps me keep track of all my clients, questionnaires, contracts, invoices, etc. I use every feature and recommend it to everyone.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Brianna Parks: Find Your Why by Simon Sinek is an incredible book that changed my perspective about my business. Not only will you walk away with a new perspective, but you’ll walk away knowing yourself on a much deeper level. The book talks about finding your why and how you can use this to your advantage in your business.
What is your favorite quote?
Brianna Parks: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” – Babe Ruth
- Solve the problem by being the solution.
- Take risks and enjoy the bumps.
- Plan out your day and take breaks to truly be productive.
Originially published on Ideamensch.com