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Rising Stars: Meet Emily Anderson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Anderson.

Hi Emily, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My love for photography started the moment I was old enough to start snapping pictures. I’ve always been “the girl with the camera” – When I was a kid, I documented everything I possibly could with disposable film cameras before transitioning to polaroid. I got my first digital point and shoot in middle school and eventually started dabbling with film and full-format digital cameras in high school and college.

I’ve always been intrigued with documenting life with photographs but never knew I could make a career out of it until I landed my first professional gig in 2007 as a school portrait photographer. Fast forward to 2011, when my time in the PNW was coming to an end. I was desperate to shake up my life and made the conscious decision to move literally anywhere and not look back.

A few weeks later, I wound up in my hometown, Ventura. A few days after that, I met *THE* Jennings Paige, of Jennings Paige Photography, by pure happenstance.

Jennings is a wildly talented family photographer, badass entrepreneur and a Conejo Valley Celeb. She quickly became the big sister/mom/mentor/therapist/professional hype girl I never knew I needed, while I became the wind beneath her wings. Together, we hustled and grew her business to new heights while I helped raise her two adorable, adopted children, Gracie and Hudson.

That wild (and sometimes scary) adventure left a lasting impact which gave me invaluable perspective, inspiration, and the real-world experience I needed to branch out on my own to start my own business.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Was my journey a smooth one? Absolutely not. In late 2016, I received an unexpected cancer diagnosis and the very next day, my boyfriend abandoned me, our apartment and life together. I was 27 years old and learned I would never be able to carry or birth genetic children of my own.

It became blatantly obvious that if I wanted anything in this world, I needed to do it entirely myself. I was depressed, fueled with grief, rage, and anxiety. I was broken and more than anything, I wanted come back better and stronger than ever before.

So, with the blessing and support of JPP, I channeled my sad-cancer-abandonment-angsty energy into starting and launching my own photography business – EEP. I financed a used Canon 7D, a 50mm lens and jumped in, feet first. I wanted to be so damn successful, my EX wouldn’t be able to enter any home or establishment between LA and Santa Barbara without seeing my work in the wild and knowing I was a fully un-fuckwithable-total-badass. As my business and success grew, my drive became less about the sadness and medical bills – I wanted to keep it going for me because it was fueling my soul.

A short while later, my oncology team at City of Hope called with the best news ever. I was cancer-free! That year, I executed 159 photo sessions without any assistance or funding. I hustled until I felt like I couldn’t hustle anymore, and then I hustled harder. I can confidently say, EEP only exists and thrives today because of the literal blood, sweat and tears I threw myself into during the scariest and saddest experience of my life. My life was transformed because I just kept going and never gave up.

After 6+ years, living the grind every day and an enormous amount of support, I gratefully write this today with a thriving business. Over the years, I’ve photographed about 900 families (many who return year after year) and built a dream team: Ashley, EEP Studio Manager and Aly: EEP Associate Photographer and Co-Founder of our newest business endeavor, EEP Everywhere.

I can’t begin to express the gratitude I have for my community, clients, staff, friends and family for continually supporting my dream of EEP. I feel like the luckiest person on the planet. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I’ve had a hell of a ride on this planet and in the end, it was all worth it because EEP exists. Now I know I can handle any and everything life throws at me, and I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
My style is fun, laid back, authentic and full of joy. I love bright colors, making fart sounds and bringing out the inner child that lives within you by creating an experience your family will never forget. What sets me apart from typical family photography is that my sessions are actually fun, and it shows in the final product. I can crack a real smile out of anyone- even the ones who say they hate having their picture taken. 😉

My goal is to capture you and your loved ones in such a way that you can cherish your photos for life. I know how to make you pee your pants from laughter and also know how to take charge and create the sweet candid moments that can never be recreated too. I love what I do, and I feel honored to be the one to capture your family memories. When we work together, we’re creating magic that goes way beyond the click of my camera – we’re forging a friendship, creating memories and decorating your home with heirloom quality works of art, starring your favorite people- your family. I guarantee the art I create from our session will be cherished by your family for generations to come.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I’m always reachable by phone, email or social media. Feel free to reach out! I’m always excited to make new friends, connect over work, collaborate or mentor anyone with big dreams of starting their own business. Get at me!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Emily Elizabeth Photography

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