YEDaily: Ellen Ho

Ellen Ho is an international photographer who runs a top boutique-style photography studio based in Vancouver. Ellen graduated from University of Victoria with a Bachelor degree in Visual Arts, focusing on Photography, Painting, and Digital Media Art. After university, she started a small fashion line and worked as a web site designer and photographer. Realizing that her true love lies in photography, she decided to pursue this passion. With the background of art and fashion, Ellen incorporates her innate sense of design in her photography and gives something fresh, chic, and unique to her photos.

Ellen’s work has been well recognized and published in various wedding magazines, newspapers, TV shows, radio shows, and blogs. Her latest addition, Allure Boudoir Photography, has also defined her as one of the most inspiring Boudoir Photographers in North America. Her latest features on Allure Boudoir Photography include Living Vancouver on CBC, CBC Radio One, Ming Pao Chinese Newspaper, Best Health Magazine, Wedding Belles on Shaw TV, Design Aglow and many other online blogs.

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I am an International wedding photographer who runs a boutique-style photography studio based in Vancouver. My main focus is Wedding and Boudoir Photography, which I have been able to do in Vancouver as well as overseas.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Photography has been a passion of mine since high school. I majored in Fine Art in university, focusing on photography, painting, and digital media art. Creating art has always been the source of my energy, and I feel that producing artwork is a way for me to enrich my emotions and express myself. Initially after graduating from University, I tried silk-screen printing in combination with fashion design and web site design. However, my passion for photography went unsatisfied, and so, inspired by my sister’s wedding, I started wedding photography and fell in love with photographing people. I love being present in such joyous environments, while discovering and capturing people’s emotions through my lenses. Every person and scene that I photograph is unique, and the opportunity to express myself and exercise my creativity is a gift that I treasure every day.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is starting each day knowing that I am my own boss, with my own schedule, and that I get to combine this empowerment with my passion for creativity. I also love knowing that my artistic energy is directed towards producing art that will allow my customers to re-live and remember their fondest occasions.

The most challenging part is that my workload becomes extremely stressful during certain times of the year. Managing my schedule during the peak wedding season is always very challenging because I handle every aspect of my business myself. I put heavy pressure on myself to make sure my customers are happy with their photographs. Sometimes I wish there were two of me!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Another passion of mine besides photography is traveling, so I am working towards opportunities to travel around the world, photographing destination weddings and prestige weddings.

What does success look like to you?
Success to me is to achieve what I plan to do, being recognized by the industry, and most importantly, making customers happy. Success in this industry also requires one to constantly re-invent oneself, and to respond creatively to ever-changing customer needs and trends.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The most memorable milestone was a trip to Paris and London for my clients’ pre-wedding session, and then on to Koh Samui for their destination wedding. This trip was so inspiring that I see this as a model for how I’d like my future business to unfold.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Positive thinking. Anything is possible. Do what you are passionate about and believe in yourself. You’ll encounter people that tell you what you are trying to do won’t work. But don’t get discouraged. If you believe in yourself and work hard you can achieve anything you want.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Yes! I love dogs and I support the SPCA. I have a passion for animals’ well-being and can’t tolerate any injustices towards dogs and other pets. I also support the Breast Cancer Foundation. In the future I would love to be involved with a women’s mental health or self-esteem program. This could involve a photography campaign incorporating our Boudoir Photography to raise awareness for women’s mental health and self-esteem and empower women.

What to you is notable?
Persons who are able to combine a strong mind, determination, integrity, kindness, and authenticity are notable to me.

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