I am constantly amazed by our community of Certified Photographers, each one with unique talents and stories to tell.
One such photographer is Erin Waynick of Loveland, Colorado, who kindly took time out of her schedule to share some inspiration with us!
Interview with Erin Waynick, CubiCasa Featured Photographer
Tammy: Hi Erin, Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us! One of the things I noticed about your work is that you do a wide variety of things. In addition to real estate photography, you’re also promoting portraits, product and marketing photography, and artwork. So many people insist that you have to specialize in order to be successful in photography, what are your thoughts?
Erin: I would be bored out of my mind if I only did one type of Photography. I have clients of all types that need a variety of different things. It keeps my job interesting and I get to continually learn and expand my knowledge and skill.
Tammy: I’m curious about your photography journey. I think you went to photo school and kept photography as a side gig while you were a full-time Baker in a pastry business, and it took something unexpected to steer you toward the commitment to photography full time? How did everything fall into place for you?
Erin: I did, I went to school in Virginia and received my photo degree in 2015. Going to school late in life and for something I was interested in was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. I thank my father-in-law for that push and inspiration. I never saw myself as an entrepreneur, but I’m a natural helper/assistant. So, I was content with working with other photographers as an assistant/editor/second shooter while working with a friend at her Gluten-free bakery. I would also do my own photo shoots mostly for friends, and through a realtor friend, I fell into Real Estate photography. Also, as another side gig I bought/ sold clothes online.
Technically I had 4 jobs for about 3 years. I was divorced in 2018 and was hustling to support My daughter and My mom (who lives with me). I was tired but content.
Health changes lead Erin to new opportunities
Overnight, in February of 2021, I lost all of the strength in my right arm and was in a ton of pain. I had torn a tendon in my elbow…..needless to say I couldn’t frost 200 cakes a day anymore, and I could no longer do my main, “money-making” job. Super Scary!!!
But, I could still use my camera on a tripod and work on my computer. It took months for my tendon to heal and to gain strength in my right arm again but during the healing process my real estate photography grew. By May of 2021, I was officially a business owner. I got an office in downtown Fort Collins with one of my best friends (I always dreamed of working downtown, in the midst of all the fun Colorado energy). Then I connected with an old friend who was in the same office building. She was starting a networking/referral chapter in Fort Collins and was looking for a photographer. It’s an industry-specific group, so I’m the only photographer. That group has changed my life and has built my business to a place I could never have pictured. It has also helped me build my confidence and belief in my talent and capabilities. I’m now a year in, I have 1 job and it’s my dream job. I’m a spiritual person and truly believe that God had drop-kicked me into my purpose, because I would have never done it on my own, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Tammy: I believe that you jumped into your photography business right about the same time as the first wave of Covid arrived and the shutdowns began. How did you navigate those difficulties, and how are things progressing for you now?
Erin: During the first wave I was still doing it on the side. It worked out well for me because I would be going into vacant homes. My portrait photography completely died but the real estate market in Colorado is so crazy, it never slowed down and all of my communication was through email or text.
It is obviously very different and better now. Now I get to meet different people every day and am invited into their homes. I love people and getting to know some of these owners. Some are starting amazing adventures and others are going through really hard times and don’t want to sell, and in some cases I’ve had little therapy sessions with them. I’m a neutral party and always have an open ear.
How Erin discovered CubiCasa
Tammy: How did you first learn about CubiCasa, and how do you present your floor plan services to your clients? How has adding floor plans to your menu benefitted your business?
Erin: I first learned about CubiCasa through RICOH360 tours. I bought a 360 camera through them and did their 1 on 1 training session. They mentioned you as a great floor plan company. So far I only do floor plans for an AirBnB company that I work with. One of my very favorite gigs (I get a mini vaca for each one). For each of their properties, I do HDR photos, a 360 tour and a floor plan. I integrate the floor plan into the 360 tours then also send the floor plans both with and without the dimensions straight to them through email.
Tammy: Would you like to share a memorable story from a photo shoot? It can be anything – scary, funny, heartwarming…
Erin: One of my favorite clients was a woman (oh man, I can’t remember her name at the moment) she was from Nepal and had just closed down her Nepalese restaurant in Fort Collins. One I had known and loved. While I was photographing her home, her mother was cooking a traditional Nepalese meal. I was still able to shoot the kitchen lol, they had it perfectly planned out. She ended up inviting me and the handyman to sit and have a meal with them. I couldn’t say no. It was incredible and included the best papaya I’ve ever eaten. We sat and truly enjoyed each other’s company. She shared that it’s a tradition that you cook and eat with anyone who comes into your home. What a cool tradition and beautiful way to create community. I have plenty of other great photoshoot stories but that one stands out in my mind. She ended up moving to an area close to where I lived in Virginia. Small world!
Tammy: If your business had a theme song, what would it be?
Erin: We actually just answered this question in our Networking group. I decided mine would be the new Michael Franti and Spearhead song “Good Day For A Good Day”…. or Jon Batiste’s “I Need You.” Both put me in a great mindset.
Tammy: Are there any resources that you think are especially helpful that you’d like to share with other photographers?
Erin: There are a couple of books I’m reading that are helping me with this whole business mindset, “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” (Jen Sincero) and “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” (James Clear). And TEAM referral network, they have chapters all over the country, a game-changer for me and my business.
Tammy: If our readers would like to reach out or follow you, where can we find you?
Tammy: Thank you Erin! We are so happy to have you with us, and hope that CubiCasa floor plans will continue to help you grow your photography business.