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Conversations with Haley Birdsey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Haley Birdsey.

Hi Haley, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I’m Haley Birdsey – owner and lead photographer of Haley Terrell Photography. Terrell is my maiden name. I’m mainly known for my photographs of others. Specifically couples and weddings. But I’m also a wife, daughter, friend, and Christ-follower. I believe that those titles are what led me to where I am today.

My story started like many others – a young twenty-something-year-old that had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had recently graduated college and was working a great advertising job when I realized that wasn’t what I was meant to do forever. There was no passion behind my work, and I so desperately desired to find my passion. I had owned a camera for several years at this point, but to be honest I had never even opened the user manual or learned how to properly use it. However, I enjoyed taking photos of my life with it.

One day I just felt called to dig deeper into this hobby of mine and decided to start practicing. So that’s what I did. It all started one week during a snow storm in Atlanta that caused my roommates and I to be stuck in the house. I decided to make use of the time by having my roommates model for me which led to creating an Instagram and now here we are! I just decided to start and I’m so glad I did.

I truly have the best job ever. And not because of the cool places it may take me or the amount of wedding dessert I get to eat but because of the priceless relationships and the precious memories I’m able to play a small part in.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Absolutely not. Entrepreneurship is not easy. Taking the leap to self-employment alone is a struggle. The biggest struggle, for me, as an entrepreneur has been playing every role. Yes, I’m a photographer but that also means I am in charge of marketing, finances, social media, client relationships, etc. I am a one-person team so learning how to balance all of these roles and life is something I am still figuring out. Is it worth it though? 100%

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I photograph human connections. Priceless memories that shape who we are.

I’m mostly known for my photographs of weddings and engagements but I also photograph lifestyle work such as families, maternity, seniors, and brands. That’s why I say human connection.

That’s where my passion stems from. Relationships. I’ve always been one that values deep relationships. I’m super close to my family and have a husband and friends that I’m so grateful for. Growing up, I’d keep journals to remember special moments in my life and enjoyed looking back on old photos. Photography and technology have come a long way since then and I’m so grateful for that because at any moment I can easily pull up a photo on my phone or reach for a photo album on my media stand. I can’t wait to show my kids old photos of my husband and I one day, flip through our wedding album on our 50th anniversary, or laugh at photos of my parents and I on vacation. Tangible memories like that are priceless to me, and I love nothing more than being able to provide that for my clients.

My job is to freeze time for others and gift it to them in the form of a tangible memory – there is nothing sweeter. I like to think this is what sets me apart. I see the wedding day from a holistic view. I want to photograph the way a groom sneaks a look at his bride, the tears a mother holds back during a ceremony, or the hug a father gives his daughter before they walk down the aisle. Those are the moments that make you feel something again years later and it’s why I love what I do.

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
Life is not meant to be perfect. The messy is what makes it beautiful. Even the most “successful” people have hard days – it’s how you handle the struggle that sets you apart. So don’t give up. Keep going.

If you are dreaming of starting something or just starting, you can do this! You have to first believe in yourself before anyone else will. The hard work will be worth it. I promise.

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