Today we’d like to introduce you to Lena Mirisola.
Lena, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I always created art as a kid but in middle school, I started taking pictures of anything I could get my hands on with my family’s point and shoot camera. That’s where the obsession started, faking sick from school when I learned a new technique and photographing my friends doing ballet and putting glitter on their faces in the park. I did odd jobs to save up for a Canon Rebel, finally enjoying real bokeh instead of the fake blurry backgrounds I did in Photoshop.
During my freshman year of high school, my business started when people started asking to hire me to shoot. I didn’t decide one day to launch a photography business, it just happened organically. I shot my first wedding in 2011 – I had never even attended a wedding in my life! But, I absolutely fell in love with the energy of the day. In 2013, I interned with a commercial photographer, and she opened my eyes to fashion, editorial and advertising work. I shot weddings all through college and dove headfirst into business and entrepreneurship.
Today, I’m a full time wedding photographer, shooting 20 weddings each year all around New England and getting published in The Knot, Brides and Boston Magazine. I also shoot commercial and fashion work for companies like American Eagle, Johnny Cupcakes, Citibank, The Boston Globe, Vice, Cosmopolitan and dozens more. I launched Boss Lady Diaries in 2015, which gives entrepreneurs free creative business strategies and tools to success, as well as one-on-one coaching.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Smooth is the last adjective I’d use to describe my journey. Unexpected is what I’d call it. Lots of ups, lots of downs, lots of uncertainty and fear. Starting my business young was ultimately an advantage, but it didn’t seem like it at the time. I hid my age to avoid ageism, as not many people trust a 17-year old to shoot their wedding (shoutout to all the amazing couples who believed in me)!
College was a struggle. I wasn’t sure if I even needed to go. I ultimately decided on a state school to keep tuition costs manageable. I invested a lot of time into a school where the professors didn’t believe you could make a living directly from your craft. The curriculum was biased towards a fine art career track, so I had to seek business and photography education elsewhere through workshops, mentoring and self-teaching, on top of running a full time business. Everyone drank the Kool-aid but I knew, I needed be surrounded by more people who were self-motivated, hard-working and innovative.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I’m a Boston wedding and fashion photographer known for my energetic personality, spirited and colorful imagery and has an obsession with bubble tea. I approach each job with excitement, a hug and a huge smile, which rubs off on my clients. They have a BLAST at their session and the photos are authentic, emotional and full of pure joy. I love to spoil my clients and believe that your wedding photographer might as well be your BFF, too.
In 2015, I started The Boss Lady Diaries, a free resource full of business strategies for creative entrepreneurs. I am so fortunate to have had so many mentors along the way that were there to pick up the phone when I had a sticky situation, help plan for the future or answer any question under the sun. I want to help others cut years off the learning curve and propel motivated boss ladies (and men!) to the next level in their empires. I just launched one on one coaching, which has been so rewarding and exciting!
What were you like growing up?
I was precocious, social and outgoing. I hated sports and anything outdoorsy, loved art and wanted to be a Disney animator when I grew up. The Disney obsession is real. I’ve always been fiercely independent (only child win) and went to bed at 9pm, haha! I’m still growing up, though, so I’ll update you when I’m all done.
- Portrait experiences start at $850
- Wedding collections start at $5,100
- Website: http://lenamirisolaphoto.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lenamirisola/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lenamirisolaphoto/
- Other: https://society6.com/lenamirisola