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This week’s guest is known for her outstanding adventure photos! Cat Ekkelboom-White takes elopement and wedding photos in the Alps and Dolomites. Her images are full of excitement and joy.
Cat and I talk about:
- Why she chose to specialise in wedding photography in the Alps and Dolomites
- How her work/life blend helps her stay healthy and motivated
- The advice she’d give to aspiring elopement photographers
& much more!
Cat has such an amazing life story. I learned a lot about burnout, mental health, and business from her. If you’re looking for an interview that will compel you to think differently about your business, you should definitely listen to this episode!
Here is a preview of our conversation with Cat Ekkelboom-White.
Q: What advice would you give to a photographer who wants to have a better work/life balance?
As entrepreneurs – as business owners – we’ve created these businesses out of something that we love. There’s that thing of “Oh, I’ve grown it from nothing.”
I’d like to call it a work life blend, not a work life balance. A balance involves or implies that there’s always a tipping point. There are some times where maybe you do focus more on the work. And there are other times when you’re like, “Now I’m going to prioritise my life.” So it really is a blend.
For me, one of the big things is knowing where your boundaries are, setting those boundaries, and holding them. If it’s saying: I only want to work X number of weddings a year, or I only want to work four days a week, or I won’t work during the month of August because I have kids and that’s when they’re on school holidays.
Knowing what your boundaries are and not moving them for anyone. I think that’s one of the really, really important things to help with keeping that blend in a good place.
Q: You’ve taken so many amazing photographs in some of the most beautiful places in the world. I know that every photoshoot is special to you, but is there a specific experience that really stands out?
The photoshoots that really stand out are the couples with whom I spent multiple days. The first one where I did that was a couple called Adam and Michelle, who came all the way from Colorado over to the Italian Dolomites.
We hiked for three days on the Alta Via 2, which is possibly the most challenging of the Alta Via routes. It’s a long distance hike in the Dolomites. They were on the hike for a week already, and I joined them on the last three days. It was the end of June so there was still a whole load of snow on the trails. We were covering a lot of distance and a lot of altitude.
We suffered quite a bit! Physically, it was hard work, but it was just an incredible experience. To be able to capture that adventure for them was just so incredible for me. That was the first time when I’d done one of these 3-day elopements. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure to do a few others, and they always stand out for me as just being amazing.
Q: What compelled you to specialise in wedding photography?
It was actually my own wedding. That was the catalyst. I wasn’t a photographer before I had the idea of starting up a wedding photography business. It started with getting married.
When we were planning our own wedding, the most important thing was the photography. Choosing the photographer was a really important part of it. I became so emotionally drawn into the photographs of other photographers and the power that they had.
I’ve always had that entrepreneurial drive of wanting to start a business. I’ve always been creative. After our wedding, I was like, “I’m going to buy a camera and I’m going to learn to become a photographer. I’m going to learn to be a wedding photographer.”
And everyone thought, “Yeah, okay, right. Great. Good for you.”