This husband and wife photography team is not only incredibly talented, they’re also the most genuine people (and adorable couple!). Their story always gives me chills, and their desire to serve others with so much love is unmatched! I’m honored to be able to chat with Something New for I Do Wedding PR client friends Michelle and Brandon Horn of Horn Photography + Design in today’s White List Wednesdays post! If you’re not following them already, head to Facebook and Instagram to follow along with their journey!
-Kristen Green, Wedding Publicist + PR for Creatives
White List Wednesdays | Horn Photography & Design
How you got your start in the wedding industry:
Oh boy this is actually a long story… but we will try our best to make a long story short. Brandon and I have both loved photography since we were young. Brandon was a hobby photographer and I attended the International Academy of Design and Technology where I received my degree in both Graphic Design and Photography. When we met, Brandon was a youth minister and I was the head graphic designer for a large marketing firm. We shared so much in common, especially our passion for photography, but to be honest, we always thought it would be just a hobby. However, God had other plans for us; family and friends began to see our photos and started asking us to shoot their family, senior, maternity and new born portraits. We LOVED it!
Then it happened, one of our friends asked us to shoot her wedding day. Oh em gee, we were so excited + nervous all at the same time. But with lots of prayers and preparation, we shot our first wedding together. It was incredible and we were hooked!
A few weeks after our friend’s wedding, we had them over for dinner + the Grand Reveal of their wedding photos. Watching their excitement with gleaming smiles and a little tear of joy in their eyes – our hearts melted. We were overjoyed and beyond honored to have had the blessing of capturing their love story and first day as husband and wife. From there, our friends told everyone they knew about us and inquiries began to come in like crazy. So once we got married, we officially decided to start our own photography business.
What is it that makes you love what you do?
I would say we have a little saint who drives our business and because of this little saint, the mission behind our photography is to Capture Moments of God’s Glory. Soon after Brandon and I said “I do”, we got pregnant and were so excited. Everything seemed to be lining up perfectly. The dream was to start our business just in time for the baby to be born. Christmas was fast approaching so we reached out to our family and told them all about our dream to be photographers allowing me to work from home and take care of our soon-to-be baby boy, Gabriel.
Both our amazing families pitched in that Christmas and we were able to purchase our first set of professional cameras on January 1st, 2010. This was perfect timing as we had a 3-day retreat to attend in about a week, the first opportunity to use our cameras.
So on January 9th, we headed to the retreat with bags packed. But God had something else in store for us. That evening, I found myself going into labor at only 24weeks. We ended up in the hospital and within hours our tiny baby boy, Gabriel Jacob Horn, was born. He was the very first person we took photos of with our new cameras. Gabriel only lived for three days, but it was an amazing three days and we documented every second of it. Upon leaving the hospital, the day we lost our baby boy, we also received our photography business license… God’s little way of saying., “I have plans for you, just trust me”.
So from the day we left the hospital to today, our mission has always been and will always be to Capture Moments of God’s Glory.
One of the moments you’re most proud of:
One of our best moments ever was walking into a bride’s dressing room to begin shooting her AMAZING wedding day. As soon as she saw us, she literally dropped everything and ran over to us with arms wide open. Giving us both huge hugs she said, “You are my favorite vendors, now that you’re here, I know everything else will be perfect!” Both our hearts completely melted. To be welcomed so warmly and trusted so deeply was humbling, endearing and beyond our wildest dreams. But the truth is, without clients like that, we could never do what we love. We are truly thankful for every one of our clients. They make our life, our journey, our adventure priceless.
Best piece of advice for a new business owner in the wedding/creative industry:
Our best piece of advice for new business owners is that nothing worth doing is easy. Owning your own business is HARD, especially the first two years. They will make you or break you. But… if you are starting a business you absolutely LOVE, it is so worth it!! We encourage you to really take the time to think about what you LOVE to do, then creatively think of a way to make that your bread and butter.
What advice do you have for more established professionals as it relates to your expertise?
For all our fellow veteran business owners who have worked your butts off to get where you are, we would like to offer two reminders that can get lost in the crazy world of pursuing your dreams. 1) Take time to rest. 2) Never stop moving forward.
This may sound like a contradiction, but really it is quite the opposite. Over the years, Brandon and I have found it is crucial to remember we work to live, not live to work. It can be so tempting to get caught up in work, especially when you LOVE what you do. But we discovered that taking time to rest has propelled our business forward. When we take 2 days off each week along with Holidays, long weekends and 2-4 vacations throughout the year, our minds, bodies and souls have a chance to relax + recharge and it is in these moments that our creativity comes alive. It is these moments that move our business forward.
Common mistakes you’re seeing businesses make + how to avoid them:
The most common business mistake we see is not branding yourself properly. It is so vital to brand your business with a website, Facebook and Instagram page. Today’s consumers want to know who they are working with, they want to engage, they want an experience and they want it at their fingertips. Having a well branded website that flushes out what your business is, the value it offers them and who the person behind the business is, is so important. Your clients will follow this up by checking out your social media outlets, Facebook and Instagram. Most of our clients go beyond that and check out our Pinterest and Twitter as well. So having all of this well branded is essential.
Describe your dream client + how you’d help them solve their painponts:
Our dream client is a couple who love God, each other and adventure. They have a free spirit and yet a type A personality – yes these two things can go together. We have worked with over 150 couples whom can prove it. Happiness surrounds them and so do amazing friends and family. Oh and family along with friends is so important in their lives.
When you’re not working, what do you love to do?
When we are not working, you can find us shopping at organic markets or picking up fruits + veggies at our local farms, tending to our own garden, hiking the mountain trails, paddle boarding where ever there is a lake or ocean, traveling the U.S. and beyond, camping in our teardrop or overall exploring this beautiful world.
Favorite Instagram accounts:
- Samuel Taipale @eljackson
- Hailey Devine @haileydevine
- Kylie Fly @kylie.fly
- Jonathan Taylor Sweet @jontaylorsweet