"People use my services because they see my work, meet with me, and feel at ease," said Michele Eisch, owner of Michele Eisch Photography. "I make it easy for my clients. They always say, 'you made me feel calm and you made it fun'. The key is to stay true to your most authentic self and skip the formalities. I stay relaxed and never feel nervous during a shoot. That's a blocker to creativity."
For as long as Eisch can remember, she's always been interested in photography. What started as a childhood hobby eventually turned into a full-time job that gives Eisch the freedom and flexibility to express her creativity through photographs. About 10 years ago is when Eisch decided to switch from part time to full-time. "I was doing accounting and even did some stock trading for a while," she said. "I noticed that trying to juggle two different jobs meant that I wasn't fully servicing my photography clients. I reached a point where I had enough. It was time to do something that was feeding my soul instead of depleting it. I was making a difference in people's lives and I knew that photography was where I was meant to be."
Last year, Eisch moved from Wisconsin to Florida to be closer to her aging parents. "My husband said we're going to retire down here so we figured we'd start that journey ahead of time," Eisch laughed. She left behind an established business, a steady referral stream, and had to start all over again, but Eisch was excited about the new opportunity. She still maintains her Wisconsin studio and her client base there, but opened a new one in Homosassa and services the greater Tampa Bay area.
"When I first moved to Florida, I had to put myself out there and get in front of people to earn their business," she said. "My business in Wisconsin is 100% referral driven. It's much different down here. I had to learn the demographics and where my skills fit the best. I had to get used to marketing and advertising again. It's been awesome, though. I feel like I'm back at the drawing board. Entering this new market has encouraged me to rethink my overall business strategy."
Eisch admits that the move to Florida has given her business a clean slate in more ways than one. She's focused, more than ever, on photography that delivers emotion. She's looking to do work that has impact and makes a difference. "When I'm hired to provide fresh content for a business and they see positive results from my work, that really drives me. I also love photographing people doing what they love to do. I want them to feel something when they see the images, not just now, but also in the future. All of my photos are made with that editorial perspective in mind."
Eisch offers up some great advice for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to turn their passion into a profession. "You have to be very brave and take the leap," she said. "Once you leap, your bravery will come out. Stay focused. If you're doing what you love, you can't fail. Don't tie success to a paycheck. The money will come eventually and people will hire you because you're good, and passionate about what you do. If you truly live your passion every day, it's going to show instantly. Lastly, get out of your own way and just be you. By staying true to yourself, you'll produce your best work."