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15 Questions With Alesia Hunter

Introduction

If this is the first post you are reading from me, I would like to introduce you to the series.

G. D. Anderson said “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” 

This perception of strength she described is the reason I am creating this interview series.  Each article is structured to highlight the strengths, talents, and business pursuits of inspiring women of all ages, races, ethnicities, and nationalities. 

Thank you for traveling around the world with me as we celebrate these women’s accomplishments.

Alesia Hunter

Today we are traveling to my home state, Oregon, to learn about Alesia Hunter. I am so excited to introduce you to Alesia because she is an incredible photographer – known on instagram as @alesiafilms

15 Questions with Alesia Hunter

Q. 1. Starting your own brand and self promoting can be an intimidating venture. Have you ever felt nervous to advertise yourself?

I was nervous at first to start my business as so many friends, coworkers and family can be judgemental nowadays. Especially when you have to get into an “influencer” mindset on social media – it’s intimidating to put yourself out there! My confidence came when I started producing work that really showed off my creativity and realizing how much fun and passion I had for this job. When I realized this, I let go of those insecurities and just did my own thing and people loved it! 

Q. 2. Did you always want to be a photographer/videographer?

No! Long story short, I was in my junior year of college studying to be a school counselor when my mom, who is a wedding photographer, approached me and asked if I can make her couples wedding videos that summer! I was making super amateur travel videos on youtube with my boyfriend so this is where she got the idea haha! At first I was like “NOOOOOO that’s way too much pressure!” But she convinced me that she would talk to her couples and tell them that I was just making them a video to see if I would like it and that they would get a video for free. It took off all the pressure and I spent that whole summer with her LOVING it!

I stayed in school to get my degree because I had already come so far, but I also knew I wanted this degree for myself and have something to fall back on in case I changed my mind or got burnt out. 4 years later and I just went FULL-TIME with my wedding videography business. And I’m making a salary similar to what I would’ve made as a school counselor but on my own schedule! And I’m nowhere close to burning out – this job fuels my creative spirit and I love it!

Q. 3. Are there any misconceptions that people have about how much work goes into your job? If so, what are some of the things you would like people to know about your business?

I would say the biggest misconception is just lack of education. The couples I work with often assume that they have the rights to the raw footage or that they can tell me which Taylor Swift song they want for their video… lol. I’m constantly educating couples and other videographers that raw footage is an additional price if they’d like to purchase all of their video clips (on top of the highlight film I make) and that music is legally copyrighted and videographers can’t use mainstream media.

I’m subscribed to multiple websites that give me the licenses of music that is copyright free and this is where I send my couples to look for a song! The biggest point I make here is that if I or any wedding videographer for that matter, were to use a song with copyright (99% of music out there), then I could be sued by the producer/record label for “stealing” that song! With that said, it’s in my contract that the couple has to choose a song from a copyright-free website I’m subscribed to. 

Q. 4. Something I love about you is how driven you are. It feels like you are constantly off to photograph engagement sessions or weddings, but then still manage to juggle instagram posts, stories, and reels, your mentorship calls, and more! How do you fight burnout / keep so driven for your business?

Haha great question! There’s A LOT of self-care that goes into my life. I have to or I would absolutely burn out. I take care of my body by going to the gym weekly, eating healthy and spending time with friends & family. I also do little things like hobbies that don’t have to do with my job so it feels like a “break” such as doing face masks, playing video games, or reading fiction books!

My job seems like a lot from an outsider’s perspective by how much I post, BUT I plan out 100% of everything I post to my stories, instagram, reels, etc. so I stay organized and sane! 

Q. 5. Another part I’m curious about in regards to your instagram is how you stay so organized. You are a whizz at providing multiple forms of content on your social media. And daily! This seems like a lot of work when marketing isn’t your career and your photo and video creations themselves are. So, how do you organize your photo shoot days and post processing along with your social media marketing? What’s your secret?

Awe this is such a compliment thank you!! All of my photoshoots or weddings are paid gigs. If I’m available on that date, they are free to book me, so planning those out isn’t really in my control. They just get scheduled where they get scheduled!

As far as posting goes, I use two apps that help me tremendously! I use a calendar app called “TimeTree” that reminds me what days to post. You can also make other calendars to help you stay organized with other things like a “Personal” Calendar that reminds you about appointments and brunch dates with friends. Or you can share a calendar with someone else on the app so you both can keep track of each other’s availability. I share my work calendar with my mom so she knows not to refer any couples my way if she sees I’m already booked that day!

The other app I use to help me post is Feed Preview. I just use it to see which order I want the posts to go so my feed looks good, I don’t use it to automatically post. Instagram has this weird thing with automated posts from 3rd party apps so I manually do the post myself! Timetree will ding me telling me it’s time to post and then I look on Feed Preview to see which post was next. And then I go on Instagram and start building the caption for it, making my tags, hashtags, etc.! 

Q. 6. Do you have any upcoming business ventures you are excited about?

OH GIRL LEMME TELL YA!!! I just went through a FRENZY of bookings in January I’m so excited about it! I have an Olympic National Park wedding coming up in April 2021, a Helicopter Elopement in Alaska in July 2021, a Las Vegas Dune Buggy Elopement in October 2021 and a super adventurous elopement on Oahu in January 2022!!! 

Q. 7. I feel like your business has grown so much in the last year – and quickly! How long did it take you to get your business to the point where you are fully self employed?

If the 2020 lockdowns didn’t happen, it would’ve taken me 3 years, but since it did, I stayed with a part-time job until I was steady with work again. Mind you, I hustled hard during the lockdowns to market myself as an elopement videographer so that we could stay within guidelines and I could still get booked jobs. And that took an extra year so it officially took me 4 years to go full-time and be self-employed! 

Q. 8. What is one of your favorite “female empowerment” quotes?

Okay, I’m just gonna share with you the first thing that came to mind which was a trend on TikTok… “Behind every powerful man is a powerful woman…” and then the girl starts walking like a badass and goes, “I wouldn’t know… I’ve never stood behind a man” 😂 

Probably not what you were looking for, but in my job, I see true love everywhere. I am a firm believer that you should never settle and that you should be an independent BOSS BABE on your own as much as you are with your s/o! 

Q. 9. Can you share with us three women that have inspired you?

Well my first is my mom – she has always worked 3 JOBS her entire life. Not because she has to, but because she literally loves working. I get all my hustle from her 😂

The second lady who inspires me is my friend Brianna Broyles! She runs 2 businesses! She has her wedding photography business that she’s AMAZING at, and then she also owns the Shootout Society which I’ve watched grown so much in the last year, it makes me so proud of her and I’m constantly inspired by her! 

The third would be Dawn Photo, I use her presets and LOVE the way she pours her heart into elopements and the PNW!

Q. 10. What advice would you give to women who are considering starting their own businesses?

Find a mentor! I mentored under GoodCoStudios when I first got started and he kicked my butt to get serious about it and focus on getting myself organized and with the right equipment!

A couple years later, I went back to him and he let me second shoot for him at a bunch of weddings in the summer of 2020 and it was amazing to see how much I’ve grown and shoot so similar to someone I look up to.

I now officially offer mentorship calls to help people learn the technicalities of running a wedding business or taking their videography to the next level. Hopefully, in the future, I can offer in-person mentorships when COVID is a thing of the past! 

Q. 11. On top of being a business owner, you are also an adventurous soul. Traveling to foreign countries is becoming a lot more common and popular; but, a lot to women are still encouraged not to travel by their family and friends.

How important do you think female travel is?

Traveling by myself out of the country was a HUUUUUUUGE no-no for my family. They were so against me going, but I’m stubborn and I went anyways! My backpacking trip around Asia seriously changed my life. I think everyone needs to get out and explore, especially with international travel because it gives you so much perspective on our world and politics and human rights.

It also opened my eyes to becoming more sustainable and being more eco-friendly/environmentally conscious. The U.S. does a scarily good job of hiding how much waste and garbage we go through. Our trash ends up in 3rd world countries and they have to live in our garbage. It’s insanely disturbing and I hope everyone travels and opens their eyes to this issue!

Other than that, I believe woman shouldn’t be afraid to travel, you can make friends everywhere you go and as long as. you have some safety measures in place, you can let yourself live a little and have fun! 

Q. 12. Do you have a favorite travel story you can share with us?

OH MY GOSH. I have so many. But at the top of my head, I’m going to say the first day in Italy, I was walking through Rome completely lost, with no cell service and super jet-lagged. My boyfriend at the time and I stumbled across these stairs in the middle of this random alleyway that we just sort of looked at each other and said, “Why not?” and started walking up. We came across this rooftop park in the middle of the city?!

There was only one other person there and it was filled with beautiful trees and ponds and benches. We found a bench under some shade and decided to take a nap there while we waited for our check-in time at the hotel. This is actually the FIRST international memory I have of traveling. A place becomes so much more significant when you explore without a map and find hidden gems! Or in my case, before I knew that SD cards are a thing and your cell phone doesn’t work in other countries 😂

Q. 13. What are a few of your favorite places you have traveled to?

My top favorite of all time is Cinque Terre, Italy! The most amazing beach town I’ve ever been to! My other two would be Chiang Mai, Thailand since this is where all the elephant sanctuaries are and Yosemite National Park in California! 

Q. 14. Something I really value about traveling – especially solo adventures – is how much I have learned about myself. Are there any things you feel like you have learned about yourself through traveling?

Traveling kind of forced this on me – but you learn how to be persistent. So many issues and problems arise while you travel, especially internationally, and it’s up to you to problem solve. I learned a great deal on educating myself with the right resources and just overall being friendly to locals who are more than happy to help you 99% of the time! 

Q. 15. Women get picked apart a lot by the media and often pitted against each other. So I love that when you travel, you meet women who have such a different life than you and there is no way that the media standards we are given should be considered “normal.”

What advice would you give to women for self love and embracing both their bodies and unique personalities?

My biggest piece of advice would be to get into a habit of reminding yourself of the things you DO have rather than what you don’t. The media’s job is to sell and make money, so keep that in mind. They’re constantly telling us what we “lack” and that we NEED A, B or C.

I am always reminding myself that I have a healthy body that gives me energy every day to work, be creative, and be present with my family and friends. Not necessarily getting into the mindset of “well it could be worse,” but rather the mindset of “I am alive today, I am going to live today and cherish the life I have, work toward my own goals, and bring happiness to those around me.” 

Alesia is undoubtedly talented and I can’t wait to see how much her business grows in the next year. If you would like to follow her journey as well, for her photography instagram click here, for her personal instagram click here, and for her booking info read alesiafilms.com.

Thank you for reading!

XO,

Mikéla

15 Questions With Alesia Hunter

Introduction

If this is the first post you are reading from me, I would like to introduce you to the series.

G. D. Anderson said “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” 

This perception of strength she described is the reason I am creating this interview series.  Each article is structured to highlight the strengths, talents, and business pursuits of inspiring women of all ages, races, ethnicities, and nationalities. 

Thank you for traveling around the world with me as we celebrate these women’s accomplishments.

Alesia Hunter

Today we are traveling to my home state, Oregon, to learn about Alesia Hunter. I am so excited to introduce you to Alesia because she is an incredible photographer – known on instagram as @alesiafilms

15 Questions with Alesia Hunter

Q. 1. Starting your own brand and self promoting can be an intimidating venture. Have you ever felt nervous to advertise yourself?

I was nervous at first to start my business as so many friends, coworkers and family can be judgemental nowadays. Especially when you have to get into an “influencer” mindset on social media – it’s intimidating to put yourself out there! My confidence came when I started producing work that really showed off my creativity and realizing how much fun and passion I had for this job. When I realized this, I let go of those insecurities and just did my own thing and people loved it! 

Q. 2. Did you always want to be a photographer/videographer?

No! Long story short, I was in my junior year of college studying to be a school counselor when my mom, who is a wedding photographer, approached me and asked if I can make her couples wedding videos that summer! I was making super amateur travel videos on youtube with my boyfriend so this is where she got the idea haha! At first I was like “NOOOOOO that’s way too much pressure!” But she convinced me that she would talk to her couples and tell them that I was just making them a video to see if I would like it and that they would get a video for free. It took off all the pressure and I spent that whole summer with her LOVING it!

I stayed in school to get my degree because I had already come so far, but I also knew I wanted this degree for myself and have something to fall back on in case I changed my mind or got burnt out. 4 years later and I just went FULL-TIME with my wedding videography business. And I’m making a salary similar to what I would’ve made as a school counselor but on my own schedule! And I’m nowhere close to burning out – this job fuels my creative spirit and I love it!

Q. 3. Are there any misconceptions that people have about how much work goes into your job? If so, what are some of the things you would like people to know about your business?

I would say the biggest misconception is just lack of education. The couples I work with often assume that they have the rights to the raw footage or that they can tell me which Taylor Swift song they want for their video… lol. I’m constantly educating couples and other videographers that raw footage is an additional price if they’d like to purchase all of their video clips (on top of the highlight film I make) and that music is legally copyrighted and videographers can’t use mainstream media.

I’m subscribed to multiple websites that give me the licenses of music that is copyright free and this is where I send my couples to look for a song! The biggest point I make here is that if I or any wedding videographer for that matter, were to use a song with copyright (99% of music out there), then I could be sued by the producer/record label for “stealing” that song! With that said, it’s in my contract that the couple has to choose a song from a copyright-free website I’m subscribed to. 

Q. 4. Something I love about you is how driven you are. It feels like you are constantly off to photograph engagement sessions or weddings, but then still manage to juggle instagram posts, stories, and reels, your mentorship calls, and more! How do you fight burnout / keep so driven for your business?

Haha great question! There’s A LOT of self-care that goes into my life. I have to or I would absolutely burn out. I take care of my body by going to the gym weekly, eating healthy and spending time with friends & family. I also do little things like hobbies that don’t have to do with my job so it feels like a “break” such as doing face masks, playing video games, or reading fiction books!

My job seems like a lot from an outsider’s perspective by how much I post, BUT I plan out 100% of everything I post to my stories, instagram, reels, etc. so I stay organized and sane! 

Q. 5. Another part I’m curious about in regards to your instagram is how you stay so organized. You are a whizz at providing multiple forms of content on your social media. And daily! This seems like a lot of work when marketing isn’t your career and your photo and video creations themselves are. So, how do you organize your photo shoot days and post processing along with your social media marketing? What’s your secret?

Awe this is such a compliment thank you!! All of my photoshoots or weddings are paid gigs. If I’m available on that date, they are free to book me, so planning those out isn’t really in my control. They just get scheduled where they get scheduled!

As far as posting goes, I use two apps that help me tremendously! I use a calendar app called “TimeTree” that reminds me what days to post. You can also make other calendars to help you stay organized with other things like a “Personal” Calendar that reminds you about appointments and brunch dates with friends. Or you can share a calendar with someone else on the app so you both can keep track of each other’s availability. I share my work calendar with my mom so she knows not to refer any couples my way if she sees I’m already booked that day!

The other app I use to help me post is Feed Preview. I just use it to see which order I want the posts to go so my feed looks good, I don’t use it to automatically post. Instagram has this weird thing with automated posts from 3rd party apps so I manually do the post myself! Timetree will ding me telling me it’s time to post and then I look on Feed Preview to see which post was next. And then I go on Instagram and start building the caption for it, making my tags, hashtags, etc.! 

Q. 6. Do you have any upcoming business ventures you are excited about?

OH GIRL LEMME TELL YA!!! I just went through a FRENZY of bookings in January I’m so excited about it! I have an Olympic National Park wedding coming up in April 2021, a Helicopter Elopement in Alaska in July 2021, a Las Vegas Dune Buggy Elopement in October 2021 and a super adventurous elopement on Oahu in January 2022!!! 

Q. 7. I feel like your business has grown so much in the last year – and quickly! How long did it take you to get your business to the point where you are fully self employed?

If the 2020 lockdowns didn’t happen, it would’ve taken me 3 years, but since it did, I stayed with a part-time job until I was steady with work again. Mind you, I hustled hard during the lockdowns to market myself as an elopement videographer so that we could stay within guidelines and I could still get booked jobs. And that took an extra year so it officially took me 4 years to go full-time and be self-employed! 

Q. 8. What is one of your favorite “female empowerment” quotes?

Okay, I’m just gonna share with you the first thing that came to mind which was a trend on TikTok… “Behind every powerful man is a powerful woman…” and then the girl starts walking like a badass and goes, “I wouldn’t know… I’ve never stood behind a man” 😂 

Probably not what you were looking for, but in my job, I see true love everywhere. I am a firm believer that you should never settle and that you should be an independent BOSS BABE on your own as much as you are with your s/o! 

Q. 9. Can you share with us three women that have inspired you?

Well my first is my mom – she has always worked 3 JOBS her entire life. Not because she has to, but because she literally loves working. I get all my hustle from her 😂

The second lady who inspires me is my friend Brianna Broyles! She runs 2 businesses! She has her wedding photography business that she’s AMAZING at, and then she also owns the Shootout Society which I’ve watched grown so much in the last year, it makes me so proud of her and I’m constantly inspired by her! 

The third would be Dawn Photo, I use her presets and LOVE the way she pours her heart into elopements and the PNW!

Q. 10. What advice would you give to women who are considering starting their own businesses?

Find a mentor! I mentored under GoodCoStudios when I first got started and he kicked my butt to get serious about it and focus on getting myself organized and with the right equipment!

A couple years later, I went back to him and he let me second shoot for him at a bunch of weddings in the summer of 2020 and it was amazing to see how much I’ve grown and shoot so similar to someone I look up to.

I now officially offer mentorship calls to help people learn the technicalities of running a wedding business or taking their videography to the next level. Hopefully, in the future, I can offer in-person mentorships when COVID is a thing of the past! 

Q. 11. On top of being a business owner, you are also an adventurous soul. Traveling to foreign countries is becoming a lot more common and popular; but, a lot to women are still encouraged not to travel by their family and friends.

How important do you think female travel is?

Traveling by myself out of the country was a HUUUUUUUGE no-no for my family. They were so against me going, but I’m stubborn and I went anyways! My backpacking trip around Asia seriously changed my life. I think everyone needs to get out and explore, especially with international travel because it gives you so much perspective on our world and politics and human rights.

It also opened my eyes to becoming more sustainable and being more eco-friendly/environmentally conscious. The U.S. does a scarily good job of hiding how much waste and garbage we go through. Our trash ends up in 3rd world countries and they have to live in our garbage. It’s insanely disturbing and I hope everyone travels and opens their eyes to this issue!

Other than that, I believe woman shouldn’t be afraid to travel, you can make friends everywhere you go and as long as. you have some safety measures in place, you can let yourself live a little and have fun! 

Q. 12. Do you have a favorite travel story you can share with us?

OH MY GOSH. I have so many. But at the top of my head, I’m going to say the first day in Italy, I was walking through Rome completely lost, with no cell service and super jet-lagged. My boyfriend at the time and I stumbled across these stairs in the middle of this random alleyway that we just sort of looked at each other and said, “Why not?” and started walking up. We came across this rooftop park in the middle of the city?!

There was only one other person there and it was filled with beautiful trees and ponds and benches. We found a bench under some shade and decided to take a nap there while we waited for our check-in time at the hotel. This is actually the FIRST international memory I have of traveling. A place becomes so much more significant when you explore without a map and find hidden gems! Or in my case, before I knew that SD cards are a thing and your cell phone doesn’t work in other countries 😂

Q. 13. What are a few of your favorite places you have traveled to?

My top favorite of all time is Cinque Terre, Italy! The most amazing beach town I’ve ever been to! My other two would be Chiang Mai, Thailand since this is where all the elephant sanctuaries are and Yosemite National Park in California! 

Q. 14. Something I really value about traveling – especially solo adventures – is how much I have learned about myself. Are there any things you feel like you have learned about yourself through traveling?

Traveling kind of forced this on me – but you learn how to be persistent. So many issues and problems arise while you travel, especially internationally, and it’s up to you to problem solve. I learned a great deal on educating myself with the right resources and just overall being friendly to locals who are more than happy to help you 99% of the time! 

Q. 15. Women get picked apart a lot by the media and often pitted against each other. So I love that when you travel, you meet women who have such a different life than you and there is no way that the media standards we are given should be considered “normal.”

What advice would you give to women for self love and embracing both their bodies and unique personalities?

My biggest piece of advice would be to get into a habit of reminding yourself of the things you DO have rather than what you don’t. The media’s job is to sell and make money, so keep that in mind. They’re constantly telling us what we “lack” and that we NEED A, B or C.

I am always reminding myself that I have a healthy body that gives me energy every day to work, be creative, and be present with my family and friends. Not necessarily getting into the mindset of “well it could be worse,” but rather the mindset of “I am alive today, I am going to live today and cherish the life I have, work toward my own goals, and bring happiness to those around me.” 

Alesia is undoubtedly talented and I can’t wait to see how much her business grows in the next year. If you would like to follow her journey as well, for her photography instagram click here, for her personal instagram click here, and for her booking info read alesiafilms.com.

Thank you for reading!

XO,

Mikéla

  1. Rebekah Wong says:

    I LOVE THIS POST!!!! Such a great read, thank you! <3

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