This Entrepreneur Makes Vacations Picture Perfect
Nicole Smith believes that memories are the best travel souvenir and she wants your vacation to be picture perfect. “Photos are important to people because they are tangible reminders of the memories we’ve made together with the people we care about, and the places we’ve seen that matter. I think there’s just something magical about photos.” Her company, Flytographer, matches travelers with experienced photographers from all over the world to capture memories in candid pictures that capture the mood and experiences of a special holiday.
Nicole’s idea for Flytographer came from her own personal experiences of being disappointed with awkward and unflattering travel photos taken as selfies or by strangers. “I knew in my gut that I had to do this. For me, it wasn’t even a choice I could make. I just knew I had to go down this path.” She left her stable, full-time job working for Microsoft to turn her idea into reality. “I ended up selling all my stock, draining my savings, and living off of that to get the business off the ground. I was sort of funding my own personal life, paying my mortgage, and as well, trying to invest all my free capital into the business. I ended up selling my car at one point, just to keep going. Being an entrepreneur, you’re constantly trying to win. You’re trying to keep going, even with all of these obstacles being tossed in front of you, and there are constantly obstacles, but for me, there’s never even a consideration of letting it stop you, or giving up. If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you’ve got to get comfortable being bold, being brave, and taking risks, because they’re inherent.”
Nicole launched Flytographer in 2013 and has built the company into an international phenomenon that has helped over ten thousand happy customers capture priceless vacation memories. Flytographer has partnered with leading brands like Fairmont Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels, Starwood, Hyatt, Expedia, Virtuoso, Luxury Retreats, Zola and Context Travel. Conde Nast Traveler who called the business “The Future of Travel Photography”. TripAdvisor and Forbes listed Flytographer as a top holiday gift of 2015, Oprah.com called us an “Ingenious Travel Hack.”
“If someone were to ask me for advice on starting a business, I’d say, number one, you need to solve a real problem, and something people are willing to pay money for. And number two, you need to be crazy passionate about it, because you’re not going to survive the ebbs and flows, unless you really, really love and believe in what you’re doing.”
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