Noelle Neff is the founder of Noelle Neff Photography. Neff is a graduate of the University of Miami and founded her photography studio in downtown Miami shortly after she graduated.
What do you (or your business) do?
I take photographs for clients. Sometimes this is wedding related, which I love, and other times it is for a specific event, speaker, or other request. I also run my business, which takes more time than you might imagine! I find that my time is split fairly evenly between artistic and business oriented tasks.
How long have you been in business?
I have been working professionally as a photographer for over ten years. I started taking jobs while still in college. My current business, Noelle Neff Photography, has been in operation officially for about two years, though the inception of the idea and the planning began years earlier.
Are there any unique challenges in your industry?
The competition within my industry is extremely high. I find that this pushes me to keep my product fresh and unique. People have to know what your photography brand stands for, and what makes it stand out. I want people to recognize my style when they see it. If I didn’t have such harsh competition I might not have to perfect my style to such an extreme.
Do you have any particular challenges that you personally address?
Yes, I am very artistic so some of the logistics of running a business have been a challenge. I don’t like analyzing numbers or managing my invoices and expenses. That has been a big point of growth for me, because there is no way to run a business without knowing your own numbers.
Is your industry growing, shrinking or remaining the same?
I fell into photography by following a love for it, so I never thought about it as an industry, per say, until I was pretty deeply invested. When I started to pull away and gain that kind of perspective I saw that the industry was staying the same, while my personal practice was growing. Within the wedding photography niche, especially, the client demand stays very steady for us wedding photographers as a whole. The individual fluctuations say more about the individual photographer than about the industry.
How does technology impact your company?
The tech around photography is constantly changing. I try to stay on top of things but I don’t get obsessed. If my camera is capturing perfect images, I won’t jump to a new version with more bells and whistles just because it comes out. I try to go to at least one photographers conference a year so that I know what kind of technology the competing companies are using.
Have you ever been to Miami?
Yes, I currently live in Miami. Noelle Neff Photography has roots in Miami.
What part of Miami?
Noelle Neff Photography is based in Downtown Miami, which I love. A bit of hustle and bustle in the air makes me feel more productive. I enjoy the pace of the downtown area.
Did you visit any particular locations including restaurants?
I love to go to the Pérez Art Museum for an inspirational boost, especially when there are great exhibitions that come through town. I spend a lot of time at the beach, of course! As for restaurants, I have to say that Zuma is my current favorite, because I’ve recently discovered Japanese food and have fallen in love with it!
Would you come back?
Yes, I feel at home in Miami. I went to school at the University of Miami, and haven’t left since.
Was it a business or pleasure trip?
I enjoy operating my business in Miami, and also spend my free time here. The people are amazing, the culture fuels me, and the natural beauty keeps me centered. I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon!
Where do you see yourself or business in 5 years?
In five years I hope that the Noelle Neff Photography brand has expanded and that we have a nationwide presence. I’d love to have my photographs displayed in New York, LA, Chicago, and Boston. I hope to branch out into some publishing and merchandising. There are so many mediums for photography, and I’ve yet to fully dive into them. I think that collaboration with other business owners can be very fruitful. I’ve met some women at the conferences that I attend who have some amazing ideas for unique business ventures. I’d like to work with them and see how my photography could fit into their vision, and add to it if possible.
Personally, in five years I’d like to be living in Miami and enjoying a vibrant social life. I have an amazing group of friends and I value their impact on my life. I hope to nurture those friendships, as well as other relationships in my life. I might be married in five years, or I might not. That one is hard to say! All I know is that I want to be happy, fulfilled, passionate about my relationships and career, and looking forward to exciting new opportunities on all levels.