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Life & Work with Phoebe Moll

Today we’d like to introduce you to Phoebe Moll.

Hi Phoebe, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Art has always been a part of my life. I grew up in a household with two artists as parents. I was always experimenting and playing with different mediums. But I always knew I was wired a little bit differently from my parents when it came to creating. I was given my point-and-shoot canon camera when I was 7 and pretty much never put it down. I was always taking pictures of anything and everything. Documenting my life around me. It truly became my escape. It wasn’t until high school when Instagram came into the scene that I started posting online. From there, I started to get comments from my peers, and I branched into photographing people. Then, I started to get asked if I would take senior photos until one day, a couple approached me and asked if I would photograph their wedding. I remember just how excited I was and I thought “how exciting would this be to do this all the time?”. But I never imagined it as my career, I always thought it would be a side hustle/hobby for me. While I registered my original LLC when I was in high school, I never imagined it would become anything more than it was, just something I do on the side. I was focused on the pre-med/science-based career path. I went to Michigan State University with intentions to continue on the same path of studying Neuroscience, but I wanted to cater to my creative side at the same time, so of course, I picked up some art classes to fill in my elective spots. It wasn’t until part way through my freshman year at MSU that I started to realize I was having this huge internal turmoil. I was dead set on this huge scientific career and that I was going to work through years and years of school. But I started to kind of question that decision when I realized I didn’t feel like I was in the right place anymore in any of my STEM classes. I felt completely out of place and dreaded going, yet as soon as I walked into the art center for my 3-hour-long drawing class, I felt right at home, and I couldn’t wait to just sit and get lost in whatever piece I was working on. It started to dawn on me that I was not heading down the right path anymore, but I got very stuck on how I would ever make that jump. I remember talking to my mom on the phone in tears because I felt so out of sorts and confused about what I was supposed to be doing, and I remember her saying, “Sometimes, Phoebe you just have to make a plan and then take that leap of faith. If it ends up not being what you want it to be there are no rules saying that you can’t change direction again”. And from that moment I did, I started putting together a plan. I am not kidding you it was like the stars aligned from there, I started focusing on my creative work, of all sorts, trying to find my path and where my voice was. From there it literally exploded, and my career started. My life was 100% consumed by my work, personal and business related. Fast forward, I worked a day in and day out to build a brand and grow my portfolio in the wedding industry. I was working at a pace that led to full-time work very quickly and was getting a little difficult to manage while going to school full time. So, I fast-tracked my degree, graduating with a BFA in Photography and Ceramics in 3 years instead of 4. Right out of the gate, I relied on my wedding photography to support myself and my move up to Northern Michigan. Now, I currently work full-time for my own company, traveling most weekends Spring-Fall. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I think there are ups and downs for any career in the creative industry, especially working for yourself. In the beginning, the uncertainty was very difficult, there is no telling how busy you will be the next season or if you will have work. When you’re growing your portfolio and don’t have a consistent location set for your work, it can be really strenuous to try and get your name out there, build your brand and promote consistent work. I think that constant worry was a huge struggle for me. But, if you stay true to the power of the course and keep working to grow as an artist, that worry eventually subsides. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a wedding and elopement photographer. Specializing in non-traditional, adventure, or creative weddings. I am a huge believer in your wedding day is done your way rather than by traditional standards. It’s a day that is celebrating your love for one another and most of the time the union of two families, so I work with couples that don’t believe there are really any bounds for the type of celebration they want to have. I am known for my outdoor and adventure-style wedding work. I think I am most proud of that in itself and that I’ve been able to cater my work to a group of people that connect with it, so I am constantly meeting and getting to work with the most interesting people. I get noticed the most for my documentary style as well and accent on candid portraiture. 

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I am not sure luck has really played a role at all in my business if I am being honest. I’ve always been told and had the mentality that if there is a goal that you want to reach, formulate a plan someway or somehow to get there. There are no bounds for how hard you can work to reach your goals (of course, while maintaining a life balance). I do believe that times that things aligned just right for me, such as having parents who freelanced during my childhood to show the normalcy of working from home for yourself and having that lifestyle already comfortable for me. I would say I am really fortunate to be at the point I am at my age and have such a good support system. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Phoebe Moll Photography, Delaney Viau (for my headshot photo)

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