This New Venture Has Been More Fulfilling Than I Ever Imagined

This New Venture Has Been More Fulfilling Than I Ever Imagined

Heather Vanek is a professional photographer by day, farmer and night! We chatted with Heather to find out how she manages to run her business, her farm and her homestead!


I’m Heather Vanek and I live in Las Vegas, NV (no, not in a casino. We have houses here too ). Actually, I’m not quite what you would expect to find in Sin City. Three years ago my husband and I bought a house with enough land that we could raise chickens (for eggs), goats (for milk), and an organic veggie garden. Even though I pretend to be a farmer, I still love makeup and high heels.  I have two children that are growing up way too fast, but that’s {sort of} OK because I get my baby fix by photographing newborns babies and children. I’ve been a professional photographer for 12 years and am fortunate enough to have my studio in my backyard (right next to the goats).

Tell us what you do!

Six months ago I decided to take everything I know about sales and marketing in a photography business and teach it to new and struggling photographers. There are so many options (classes/workshops/degrees/you name it) for photographers to learn how to take better photos, but there really isn’t much for them to learn how to make a successful career out of it. Marketing and sales has always made my nerd-heart swoon. What most people find really boring gets me excited. So I decided to share that excitement and knowledge with others in my industry. This new venture has been more fulfilling than I ever imagined. I love seeing photographers make huge transformations, not just in their bank accounts but in their beliefs about themselves and what is possible….. and I get to do it anywhere. Whether I’m in my office or on vacation.

Latest project

I’m currently working on a new course for photographers centered around pricing. One of the biggest struggles I see with female photographers is not just understanding the equations behind figuring out what to charge, but actually believing that they are worth it. This course will cover both of those issues.


“Expect the best, prepare for the worst, capitalize on what comes” Zig Ziglar


Because life never turns out the way you expect it to. All you can do is be ready and prepared and keep. moving. forward.

Most inspiring person you have ever met so far and why?

I haven’t officially met Tony Hseih (CEO of Zappos), but I have seen him speak so I’m going to say that’s close enough (for now). In his book Delivering Happiness, he explains that having a successful business (and meaningful life) is about so much more than your product. It’s about your process and your people. He is changing the way businesses treat their customers and their employees. Hseih is also making history in my beloved hometown by revitalizing downtown Las Vegas with his Downtown Project. He has done more in 5 years than politicians talked about for two decades.

One piece of advice you would give your younger self

Don’t get that big fancy retail studio. It’s a waste of money and it won’t increase your business. You can do everything from your home office that you can from a retail space, and no, it will not make people take you more seriously to have a brick and mortar.

Bravest thing you have ever had to do?

Start a homestead. I’m a city girl and know nothing about this sorta stuff… luckily you can learn how to do just about anything on Youtube.

heather vanek thriving spotlightHeather Vanek is an entrepreneur and professional photographer in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can check out more on what Heather has been up to via her photography website or Facebook!




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