• Featured Friday

so excited about this post!! Why you may ask? Well because it’s a post about one of the sweetest gals in the industry!! I’m serious! I met Debbie a WHILE ago at my FIRST WPPI! She made my DAY when she turned around in Jasmine’s FIRST WPPI session and said “Oh, are you Katelyn James?”.  I pickd my jaw off the floor and responded with a “Yes?”…. because I didn’t think ANYONE followed my work! Well Deborah kept following my work and last fall she flew me up to her adorable home in Boston and we did an amazing shoot on the coast!!  I just admire Debbie so much because she’s so driven and I’ve literally watched her business explode the

last 3 years. The reason I wanted her to share is because I think she has so much to offer newer photographers in the industry that need some motivation to keep going!! I love her story, her beautiful images and her NEW BRANDING! Woohoo!! Check her out!! Straight from Deborah Zoe herself!! :



Here’s a little bit about me: I’m Deborah Zoe, a quirky red head who also happens to be a wife, dog mom, best friend, only child, lover of chocolate, coffee drinker, bookworm and storyteller. Oh and I’m obsessed with all things pink, Downton Abbey and New England!

1. When did you begin your business and how did you get started?

I get asked this question a lot and I always respond with “Well, it’s complicated.” ;) I started my photography journey when I was a kid and decided early on that was what I had to do with m life! So I went to school for photography attending Northeastern University and majored in Art and Journalism. I started my career as a news photographer shooting sports, politics, breaking news, feature stories, natural disasters and more! It was a crazy life but at the time I loved every minute of it! I would also shoot weddings here and there, but I was never serious about pursuing anything wedding related. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Jasmine Star’s blog four years ago that I felt like MAYBE, just maybe I could be a wedding photographer. I went to WPPI in 2010 and well the rest is history. There I made the decision to work towards being a full time business owner and photographer. At the end of 2010 I quick my full time newspaper job and jumped head first into being a full time business owner! It’s really fun to look back on it all and see just how far that early dream four years ago has taken me!

2. Have you ever experienced a season in your business where you felt “Stuck” or “in a rut”? What did you do to move forward? 

I think EVERYONE goes through either a day, or a month or a season where they just feel “stuck”. For me I have my days where I feel so discouraged. And I truly believe that the only way to move forward is to push through! Just like a hard workout you get what you put into it. When I  workout and get tired and want to give up, I know that if I push through one more pushup, one more sprint, one more rep, I’ll be so much happier and satisfied in the end. I try to apply the same attitude to my business, especially on those days when I feel “stuck.” I have to remember to keep pushing through, ignore the nay sayers and continue to work towards my dreams!

3. What have been your top 3 BEST business decisions?

First, the BEST decision I have ever made for my business has been to cultivate relationships with other photographers. Many fellow friends and colleagues, like you Katelyn, have done SO much to help me grow and gain confidence in myself and my business! Without these friendships I would certainly not be where I am. These friends have mentored me, encouraged me, pushed me and just believed in me. That has to be the single greatest thing that has helped me grow over these past years.

Second, working with a business manager who takes care of my finances, taxes and legal issues has been a HUGE help. I love the confidence I have knowing that this area of my business is done correctly. My manager is great, knows the industry and the specific demands we face as business owners. The peace of mind I have from not worrying about this area of my business is HUGE!

Third, developing a unique and custom online presence has been really important to me. Working with a designer I created my website using SHOWIT and worked with Infinet Design to build my custom blog. My website and blog are tools that I use to differentiate myself and to share a little bit of who I am as a photographer and person with current and potential clients.

4. Where have you gain the best information and training? WPPI? Other photographer? Just experience? A combination?

Like I mentioned above I’m all about relationships! And the relationships I have built with other photographers has given me unique access to ideas, advice and information, all of which has helped grow my business. My goal and hope is that I’m able to give back the way that others have given to me! I’ve also loved going to WPPI. I’ve met some amazing peeps, (oh hey Katelyn James!) heard some amazing speakers and spent a little too much of my pennies on the slot machines;).

5. Is there a dream venue where you would love to shoot one day?! 

In New England I would LOVE to work at the beautiful The Crane Estate. My absolute dream location however would have to be a destination wedding in Paris or a tropical affair in Maui. Whose getting married? My passport is ready! ;)

6. If you could go back to your first year, what would you do differently? 

If I could go back in time I would take myself by the shoulders and shout “JUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!” I spent too much time doubting and worrying about what others thought of me. I let those doubts and worries keep me from taking risks and pushing forward. When put those doubts aside and just GO FOR IT, that’s what crazy things start happening, that’s when I start to grow.

7. LOVE your new blog!! What gave you the motivation to have a custom site made?

Ever since the inception of my business I knew that I wanted to create a custom blog with Infinet Design so it was literally a dream come to to be able to work with Dave and Brock! Blogging is a HUGE part of my business and the biggest way I connect with potential clients. I knew I needed a blog that was new and completely unique to help differntiate me from all the other blogs out there! But before I jumped into a huge custom blog project I had to make sure I had a solid brand. Thus began my rebranding process. I worked with a designer, recreated my SHOWIT site and developed a blog with Infinet that is just ME! I’m all about pink, letterpress, classic elements and intimate and iconic images. Dave and Brock took all the things that I love and put it into a blog. I still swoon every time I visit!:)

Find her here!:
And here are some more pretties!
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