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Building Her Empire

Sarah Nelson - Owner of Oh Darling Photography


If you have ever seen Sarah during a shoot, you would see absolute focus and flare. Sarah has captured monumental moments in so many lives, including my own. With over a decade of experience crafting photography and owning her own business, Sarah joins me to discuss how she continues to build her empire and continue her legacy.

Ever since Sarah was 8 years old, she was "wasting" her mom’s film taking pictures of the cat and other random stuff. Her interest grew deeper in high school. During that time Sarah could be found capturing local bands rocking out or home leisure shoots. Initially Sarah saw herself following a life in music or being a teacher. But, decided to move forward with photography and entered a 10-month program after high school.

Today, Sarah has niched her services strictly for newborns, children, and family shoots. However, you may still find her capturing weddings and other projects. Through Sarah’s truly authentic presence, she captures baby poses with what seems like ease. During our interview she shared with me that her favorite pose is a mom holding and sniffing her baby; it always draws up a raw emotion.

Sarah shared with me some details of her journey building her empire.

Who has been your biggest influencer in creating your business?

My mom, she had her own salon and a successful entrepreneur. She showed me I could do it.

What is one thing you would tell another person building their empire?

Go with your gut and stick to your guns. Look at the big picture of where you want to go. So many things hold you back when you’re afraid but don’t waste time. It is scary but that should drive you. It is okay to fail but be positive about it.

What is the biggest risk you have taken?

When I was 19, I rented a space and decided to open a business.

What do you want your legacy to be?

To give people a positive experience and have a good time. I want to help people remember exact moments in time through photography and remember the good time. And to create lasting relationships with people. Some clients have been with me for years and I’ve captured so many of the big moments in their lives.

What do you like to do for fun?

Live music is my jam. Going to concerts, whether it is the bar or at a stadium. I like to do things that keep me sane and grounded like being outside, running, or hiking.

Why do you do what you do?

At the end of the day, I made every bit of my money. I didn’t make money for someone else. I can enjoy fun the parts and enjoy what I do for work and be happy with that. I do what I do to capture people’s accomplishments and build relationship with those people.

It was a true pleasure hearing Sarah’s story of where she started and how she built her business. It is clear that Sarah values relationships with people above all else. Sarah’s work can be found at or on Instagram @ohdarling_photography.


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