Twisted Focus began in 2015. After recently graduating with an associates degree for a job I no longer wanted I felt at a loss of what to do. For 7 long years I’d struggled to balance work, home life, and school. Now a huge time gap had been left open. Being in the habit of constantly having no free time for 7 years I went back to what I knew: writing and photography. Two hobbies I’d always loved.
After 6 months of toying with this a family emergency and a 60 mile bus ride I found myself sitting in my sister’s house passing the time chatting with it’s owner. I showed her what I’d been working on. My sister, being a business major, looked at me like I missed something incredibly obvious.
“Why haven’t you started your own photography business?” I had a million answers for that. They basically all boiled down to what had been drilled into my head since I was young: Art does not make money. You can not live off of being an artist unless you are award winning. She read my mind before the words even popped out.
“I’m not talking about quitting your job or anything. Just something on the side. People would pay a lot of money for stuff like this.” The more I thought about it the more I felt like I didn’t have a lot to lose. My husband had already invested in a DSLR for his photography class a year or so ago. Facebook pages were free. Worst case scenario it would end up like my Deviant Art Page in high school: A haunted house that occasionally got people stumbling through the door only to never be seen again.
So away I went. I asked friends to take some extra time out of their day and dress to impress in their latest creation or purchase. At first I took anything and everything that people would volunteer for. Eventually I found myself with a steady paying clientele. If you’ve taken a look at our facebook page or our recent works you’ll notice that I came to specialize in a very particular clientele: Cosplayers.
Soon I was having more clients than I could manage and my income from it was bordering from hobby to business.
It crossed that border last year when I had 3 weddings in two months and I officially made the decision that soon I would file as an official business. At the end of the year I reported all of my extra income and my tax representative told me what I’d suspected, I should file as an LLC in order to help gain tax write-offs. A few months later, in March of 2018 Twisted Focus Photography was filed as an LLC and it’s newly formed counterpart Aperture of the Black Cat (made to house my other works outside of cosplay) as a DBA housed under it.
Also that year several partnerships were formed in the manifestation of some contracted employees.
Naomi Locklin, joined as a photographer shortly after I photographed a mutual friend’s wedding. Shortly after, that mutual friend-John Hampton- also joined as a photographer.
Ricky, my husband, had been with me since the beginning but he’d often asked his friend Ashley Lemin, from school to help when he didn’t have the time or got stuck on something. Thus both our Graphic Design contracted employees formed what I like to call our “Special Effects Division”.
And last to join our team was Lacey Hampton. You’ll notice her name matches John’s. This is no coincidence as she is his counterpart in marriage. John decided to join us in a creative instance and after several amazing suggestions and some really great contacts made in Lansing (not to mentions she’s as cool as the BAU counterpart) I brought her on as a contracted Liason for what I like to call our Lansing branch.
5 years ago I’d have never imagined I’d be where I am today. Just a simple suggestion and a bunch of the most amazing people supporting me both by putting their faith in me as their photographer but also those that put their faith in me as their boss. So here we are. I can only hope to grow in the future and that we will become even stronger and provide even better services for everyone reading this!
Happiness can be found in the darkest of places, if one only remembers to turn on the light. – Albus Dumbledore
The pictures that started it all.