How I connected with Nat:
I’ve been following @risingtidesociety for quite some time now and absolutely love the mission behind the brand-community over competition. I love connecting with babes who are like-minded and are doing GREAT things so the second I found out Nat was one of the founders of Rising Tide Society along with her hubby and two beautiful friends; I just knew I had to reach out and share her story with you!
In high school, she met her hubby rowing along the Severn River, where they fell in love and dated for seven years before tying the knot.
Over the past six years, Nat has photographed weddings from Seattle to the Caribbean, and has had the honor of laughing and crying beside hundreds of couples on their wedding day.
"I believe in long-time loves, in growing old together, discovering the world together. I know that there is a soulmate out there for each of us, and when we find ‘the one’ we have to hold onto them with everything that we have. I will forever cherish the memories of my childhood, the sweet embrace of my grandmother, the framed photographs, of loved ones past and present, that cluttered our mantles and decorated our walls. And it is this nostalgic appreciation that inspires me to capture the world in a timeless and romantic way." -Natalie Franke
Q&A with Girl Boss, Natalie Franke.
1. What inspired you to start your own biz? Do you feel like you’ve always had the girl boss gene?
Excluding the wildly successful lemonade stand I operated in the fourth grade, I was in high school when I fell in love with photography and started my business. From the very first minute that I experienced the creative autonomy of entrepreneurship and the exhilaration that came alongside building something I was passionate about… I knew that I was born to be an entrepreneur.
At first, I was inspired to start a business because I was passionate about being an artist. I was seventeen when I first held a DSLR in my hands. A simple little camera, with a kit lens attached, that opened my eyes to the beauty of photography. It was my senior year of high school, almost six years ago, when I realized that I needed to be a photographer. From that very moment, I felt this excitement and hunger to learn everything that I could about the camera. Not just how to properly expose images – but how light traveled through three-dimensional space, how we see the outside world, how the visual system works, and how images have the power to change lives.
As the years went by, I fell in love with aspects of running a business that had nothing to do with the art I was creating. Marketing, understanding consumer behavior, and studying neuroscience + psychology in college opened my eyes to an entire world I never knew existed. These passions have played a huge role in how I’ve contributed to new projects and initiatives like RTS.
2. What’s the most challenging thing about being a girl boss? And how do you cope or stay motivated?
There are so many aspects of entrepreneurship that are challenging. Comparison forces you to constantly question your own accomplishments, while the fear of failure can be nearly crippling at times… Regardless of the challenge, the way I cope is always the same. It comes down to community.
Surrounding myself with other creatives who understand what I’m going through and who genuinely want to see me succeed has been the difference between throwing in the towel and building up the courage to push through. Being able to return that favor and help others achieve success in their businesses has been even more thrilling.
3. What advice would you give to a babe who has a passion for photography but still works a full time job?
If you want to go full time as a photographer and leave your job behind, you are going to have to hustle. You need to develop an unstoppable determination in your heart to make it happen… A drive and passion that cannot be deterred. This goes for anyone starting a business, but especially someone who is trying to take that leap.
4. Take me back to that moment right before the concept of Rising Tide Society was born. What triggered the idea? What was going through your mind at that very moment?
Oh, gosh! We tell this story quite a bit… You know the one about the glass of wine around a kitchen table between two competitors turned friends. The idea was genuinely triggered from a place of loneliness… We were working hard every single day, succeeding and struggling in isolation. We wanted to connect with others. We wanted a place to belong. And when we couldn’t find one that met our needs so we created one.
5. What do you believe is the most important factor in creating/building an authentic and successful brand?
Successful brands have a strong foundational purpose and mission statement that extends beyond the goods or services they provide. The logo, the color palette, the website… think of it as clothing and accessories that simply communicate who a business is. It can be changed, it can evolve with time, but it’s the heart and soul of the person underneath that always remains. Finding your purpose early on will dictate the longevity of your business.
Don’t become a photographer to take pretty pictures… become a photographer because you have a passion for empowering women to see themselves in a new, more beautiful light or because you want to inspire couples to fall more in love through the emotional connection they feel to their wedding photographs. Once you understand your true heart for your business, the rest will fall into place.
6. What’s the best advice you’d give to a soon to be Mrs. who’s looking for an amazing wedding photographer? What are some things she should definitely keep in mind?
Find a photographer that you fall completely in love with. You should love their style, their personality, and their approach to business. Your photographer is the person that you will spend the most time with you on your wedding day and trusting them to document your day is an important part of the process.
7. Do you have any exciting projects or collaborations in the works?
Oh, why yes we do! Without spoiling too much, I’m personally working on rebranding for the late autumn with an entirely new direction for my business. This isn’t a little logo change that I’m talking about… It’s a 180 degree turn at full speed. It’s a huge step for me professionally and I’m so excited to show y’all what I’ve been up to. We also have some big projects in the works for RTS including education around Snapchat as a new strategic marketing platform and even bigger plans that may just light the creative world on fire.
P.S. I’ve rounded up 3 blog posts from both of Nat’s websites down below that I think you'll LOVE (it was extremely hard to choose just three, there's so much valuable and ah-mazing content on both her gorgeous sites).