Emily Dimond, Diamond Elopements
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Emily Dimond, destination adventure elopement photographer, Diamond Elopements.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
The most rewarding aspects of my job include being the only one to witness two people saying their wedding vows and committing to love each other for the rest of their lives. I get to help people plan the wedding day of their dreams, then I get to photograph that elopement day so that they can always look back to remember what an epic day it was. Being the only person to witness a wedding ceremony is a huge honor. I am often photographing through tears because of the intimate nature of what I’m witnessing.
The most challenging aspect of my job is helping people plan the day of their dreams. This includes finding vendors that fit their style and finding a location that fits the picture in their head of their dream elopement location. While these things are challenging, they’re also very rewarding when we get them right! Sometimes I’m helping people plan elopements in other countries. I’m fluent in Spanish, so when the country is Spanish-speaking it’s easy, but when I’m planning something in Iceland, it can be very challenging to communicate a client’s dream. Booking a helicopter tour of Iceland’s waterfalls when I don’t speak the language is definitely a challenge!
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
I look up to Maddie Mae of Adventure Instead. Maddie is an expert and pioneer in the field of adventure elopements. She has released a course about becoming an elopement photographer and is constantly providing free education about being a destination elopement photographer. She has traveled the world photographing elopements and her portfolio is drool-worthy. She runs a successful business and helps other photographers to run their own businesses. She is kind and down to earth. She wants the best for everyone. I can only dream of being as successful as she is.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
The high point of my career thus far has been booking a helicopter elopement in Alaska. We’ll be doing a helicopter tour of the mountains and glaciers surrounding Anchorage to the south and then landing on/near a glacier so that my couple can say their vows on a glacier. I’m beyond thrilled, not only to be traveling to Alaska, a state on my bucket list that I’ve never visited, but to be able to photograph an elopement there. Their elopement date can’t get here soon enough!
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t settle. I think that my 21-year-old self had some self-imposed limits based on what I thought I could or couldn’t do. I wish I had known that those limits came from me and that there aren’t limits on what you can do if you put your mind to it. I am a creative at heart. Being creative fills my soul. It took me until I was in my 30s to realize that I needed being creative in my life every single day. So I went back to school to study photography and realized that it was just what I needed. I started a business and am now following my dreams. I would definitely go back to tell my 21-year-old self that anything is possible and to shoot for the sky.
What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
I love living in Dane County for many reasons. I grew up here, so it’s nice to be in a place that really feels like home. In addition, it’s an easy place to travel from with the Dane County airport so nearby. Milwaukee and Chicago are also close by, so plane tickets are always reasonable, and I can go just about anywhere without having to travel far to the airports because I live in Dane County.
In addition, I have three children, so I couldn’t talk about Dane County without mentioning the schools. MMSD has phenomenal schools. I always know, even when I’m halfway across the world, that my kids will be taken care of in school. That’s a huge plus of living here.
I love the farmers market and the shop-local mentality of Dane County. I love that I can head to Monroe Street to do my Christmas shopping and know that I’ll be supporting local businesses. I think that Dane County is great for supporting local businesses, something that’s near and dear to my heart as a small business owner myself.
Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
I love to sing! I have been singing since I was a young child. I sang with Madison Children’s Choir (now Madison Youth Choir) for most of my childhood and absolutely loved it. Like I said, I’m a creative at heart and singing fills that creative void for me, just like photography does.
I’m a mixed media artist. I got into art as a creative outlet a few years before I discovered that photography was a passion of mine. I love to create, and mixed media allows me to use all sorts of fun and different art mediums all at once.
What are your guilty pleasures?
My biggest guilty pleasure is books, movies, and TV shows about vampires. I’m a total Twihard and have watched Vampire Diaries too many times to count. I get made fun of a lot for this obsession of mine. My family and friends thought I was crazy when I planned a trip with my husband — my very loving and supportive husband — to visit the sites of the Twilight Saga in Washington state. We visited Forks and La Push and it was a highlight of my life, much to the amusement of my family and friends.
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