A photographer is someone who has the ability to capture a moment, make it beautiful and forever lasting, and to us, Molly is the right person to do that for our brand!
We’ve worked our campaigns with her and one of the things we love the most about her is how authentic and true to herself she is. She’s truly a Rawly Bold girl!
This photo is from the first Rawly Bold campaign. Shot by Molly.
We are lucky to have Molly be part of our brand, and that’s why we decided to share with you how awesome she is on this #WCW
Get ready to meet this amazing woman and learn a little bit more about what she does.
- Who is Molly Smith?
At my core, I am a strong woman who believes in the power of encouragement, telling the true story, and loving well. I am many, many other things (dog mom, photographer, wife, sister, adopted at birth, Latina, Southerner-with-an-accent, etc.), but I always come back to my strength, the power of encouragement, and my ability to love deeply. I like to think of myself as a Mother Goose weathering a storm; I've got a lot of room under these wings to keep all the beings warm and dry.
- How did you start your career as a photographer?
I got my first camera when I was 13, but I didn't take an actual photography class until my sophomore year of college. I was actually in nursing school, but needed a few more credit hours to maintain my scholarship, so decided to take the film photography class I had always wanted to take. I fell in love with everything about film photography. I loved the many processes that film requires (loading the film into my camera, composing my image, removing the film, developing the film, then printing in the darkroom), and it really gave me the ability to learn about and execute the thing that had always been a fun hobby.
I began photographing the families I was nannying for at the time, gradually built a small clientele, and then photographed my first wedding in 2010. I spent several years building my little business in Savannah, GA and then took a bit of a break when we moved to Oregon, then New Haven, CT, then Long Island City, and then finally was able to make it a full time thing again when we put down a couple of roots in Greenwich, CT. I'm primarily a wedding photographer, but love every opportunity to photograph families, couples, and have a very special place in my heart for small, female-owned businesses like my own. ;)
- What kind of legacy would you like to leave with your photos?
This is a great question! First and foremost, I want to tell the truth. I don't generally use a lot of posing or production with my photo sessions. I want my clients to remember the moment exactly as it was. Were they feeling themselves? I want to capture the badass energy exactly as it is! Children running around with messy hair and chocolate on their faces? Give me all of that! A couple in love with all the goo-goo eyes? Telling that truth, y'all.
A wedding photographed by Molly
- What advice would you give to your younger self about life, love, and career?
I would tell myself to never, for one second, believe that I need to be anything other than my authentic self to be loved, or to have value. I have affirmations that I tell myself each morning, and I would have started that much earlier given the opportunity. Molly, you are strong. You can do hard things. You deserve to be loved and valued. You have a beautiful soul, and don't you ever cover that up.
- If you had the chance to photograph anyone in this world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I've thought a lot about this, and I think that I would choose to photograph my 8 grandparents as children. I was adopted at birth, and I have never met my biological grandparents (two have passed, two are alive), but my adopted grandparents (three are alive, and one has passed) played a huge role in my life. I would love to photograph them before they had children or grandchildren; I'd love to photograph them in their original and truest identity as children.
- Have you ever had any inconvenience or problem with being a female photographer? How did you overcome that?
Most of the inconveniences I've encountered are relatively minor. As most women who are in a traditionally male-dominated field have experienced, I am often talked over or ignored. I often shoot with male videographers, and 9 out of 10 times, questions that I can/should answer are directed at my male counterparts. I'm not one to let that slide, but sometimes it's better for business to just let things slide.
Change often happens slowly, and I always take every opportunity to educate with grace. A very wise woman once told me that hate, disrespect, and rudeness never changes anything. Firm graciousness seems to be working well for me so far.
- For you, what are the keys to having a successful and fulfilling career?
The most successful and fulfilling times have come when I fully accepted who I am as a human, a photographer, and business owner. As I've learned to love my authentic self (the great things about me, the flaws, and the things I want to be better at), I've attracted clients who want me to tell their authentic story. My best work comes when I have the freedom to create in a truth-telling environment, and getting paid to do that is just a bonus.
- What advice would you give to our readers that aspire to become photographers like yourself?
I recently photographed an event where a five year old little boy came up to me and asked to hold my camera. Without hesitation, I took my camera off my harness and handed it to him and showed him how to take photos. I think we are often hesitant to try something new when we don't know how to do it, and I loved how this little boy had no fear; he saw something he wanted to try and he tried it. So do that.
I once heard that your first 10,000 photos are your worst, so get a good camera, learn how to use it in manual mode (YouTube is a great teacher, but nothing beats getting in a classroom setting), and then take.those.photos.
See more of Molly's work here: Milly Smith Photography
Follow Molly on Instagram here: Molly's Instagram