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The Hustle

Name: Amanda Mayer (Sunkissed Moments)

Posted By Keara McGraw

"I have always had a camera in my hand, but when I graduated from school, my graduation present to myself was a DLSR camera," Amanda Mayer explains on her website. "I took a class and then started a 'photography business' that I knew nothing about - I just loved taking pictures!" Numerous life changes later - including working as a Hospital Physical Therapist Assistant - she studied business through the St. Pete Greenhouse's Entrepreneur Academy. And Sunkissed Moments was born. The company helps businesses move forward by "providing professional photography that elevates your look, brand and sharing your story. We also offer help with your social media calendar so that all of your posts are on-brand and cohesive."

Years in Tampa Bay

I moved to St. Petersburg in 2006, after graduating from Florida State University.

Hustle (job)

Brand Storyteller

What do you do?  

Sunkissed Moments uses creative photography and strategic storytelling to help your business to be seen on social media. Our goal is to help you build your audience and your brand. We meet with local businesses once a month, go over ideas for stories, take pictures/videos that will kick off the story, and schedule them to be shared on various social channels. All you have to do is write the content in your voice.

Why do you do it?

I enjoy the creativity and analytical nature of helping others in creating something. I also really like to hear about people’s passions or life stories, and hear how I can help them create a future for themselves through my abilities; who doesn’t love that?

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

I’ve always been a photographer, but when I started in physical therapy, I heard so many amazing stories from my patients. They were going through something so rough, and yet they looked so beautiful – and I wished I could take pictures of them during that time. But HIPPA got in the way, and I realized it was hard to share the story of a patient without violating their privacy. So instead, I started taking pictures of foster animals while they waited to be adopted. It helped them get adopted faster because people could see how cute they were! Plus, sharing their stories made me feel like I was helping them get homes faster. During this journey, I met amazing small businesses with stories that  were not being shared because of the lack of great images. And before we knew it, Sunkissed Moments had morphed into this: professional photography for small businesses on social media to help their business shine.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

One of the most common misconceptions about what I do is that it’s easy. Anyone can take a picture; anyone can post it on Facebook, so why do you need someone to do it? Well, first off – I’m glad you asked! It’s not easy at all. It takes a lot of work and a lot of thought. It’s not just about taking pictures or posting on social media – it’s about sharing a story. As a photographer, the most important thing I can do when telling your story is to understand “why” you’re doing what you’re doing and then make sure that comes across in the photos and posts we create. That’s how we share information that isn’t common knowledge – and how we get people to feel connected with your business in a way that makes them want to go out and buy from you.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Selling myself has been the biggest challenge. I am a caretaker by nature, so behind the scenes is where I feel most comfortable. Also, I have always struggled with anything I did, including starting a business. During the process, I found out that I have ADHD, and it is more than just getting distracted. I have since been working on doing things differently than normal, so it works for me to succeed. Also, ADHD people are very creative, which helps in photography and idea creation for small businesses.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Surround myself with other entrepreneurs because it can be very lonely, and they know what you are going through. Make sure they are supporting people and taking it seriously.

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