Women You Should Know: Tomi Thompson, Owner, Tomi Dawn Photo

Written by: Ladyboss Lifestyle

Meet the owner of Tomi Dawn Photo, Tomi Thompson, the creative force behind enchanting wedding moments that turn into timeless memories. In this exclusive interview with Ladyboss Lifestyle, she shares insights into her journey, style, and the joy of connecting with people through her lens.

Capturing life’s magic through a lens

Thompson discovered her passion for photography as a child and it has been a lifelong hobby. After college, Thompson was hired as a brand and marketing intern for the Green Bay Packers football team where she found herself immersed in capturing the excitement and energy of tailgating events and other activities at Lambeau Field. What started as a hobby evolved into a thriving business, officially starting in 2018 as a wedding photographer and beginning full-time as a business in 2020.

Although primarily a digital shooter, Thompson finds joy in the mystery of film and offers it as an add-on package. Thompson mainly shoots in the Midwest and around Fargo-Moorhead, but as she continues learning to go with the flow, her portfolio spans diverse settings, taking her from indoor to outdoor events, including captivating destinations like Arizona, North Carolina, Mexico, and Colorado.

Choosing Canon as her go-to brand, she emphasizes the importance of the 35-millimeter lens for its ability to provide the closest “real-life view” offering a flexible look to documentary-style photography.

Having shot over 150 weddings, Thompson attributes her success to her entrepreneurial spirit, a trait she developed during her Go!Team internship at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM). Associate Athletic Director for External Relations Jon Wepking, a mentor who helped shape her professional growth and love for the development aspect of her work, was a significant influence on her career.

Discovering creativity in every situation

When asked about challenges, Thompson emphasizes the importance of continuous creativity and networking within the local photography community. She values the camaraderie she has found in Fargo, fostering a sense of connection and collaboration.

“In a career where there traditionally are no coworkers, I am lucky to have a network of other photographers in the area who feel like coworkers and have become great friends. We are in the group chat every day talking about our wins, difficulties, goals, and daily lives. I’m thankful to have people like that in my life,.” Thompson said.

What sets Thompson apart from others is her genuine love for people and their stories. Her compassionate approach creates a loving and wholesome foundation for her business and future goals.

Create your own “perfect”

No day is the same. Thompson is also a co-owner of Odie Booth, a modern + minimalist photo booth with her husband, Anders Johnson. She also runs Common North Studio, a space that offers rentals to other photographers and creatives in the area with Sophie Smith. Both businesses allow Thompson to continue her creative expertise in ways other than behind the lens.

“Success in this industry hinges on making friends and connections. I would not be the photographer I am today without Ashley Ham from FloraPine Photography and Sophie Smith of Sophie Grace Photography. They are two of the people that I was so inspired by when I was starting out in Fargo, and now they are two of my best friends in the industry,” Thompson said.

In her fulfilling schedule, Thompson finds joy in everything she does. “Every week looks different, and I genuinely keep all parts of my business in motion. Being a photographer is so much more than just taking photos. As a business owner, I have the flexibility to structure my week around what works best for me. My time is filled with editing, administrative tasks, managing social media, and working on creative career development. I attend workshops a few times a year to keep me feeling creatively fulfilled and refreshed. I am a strong believer that you should never stop learning,” Thompson said.

Become your best lady boss

For aspiring professionals, Thompson encourages networking and reaching out to the community for support. You’re never alone. Her advice for entrepreneurs and those starting in photography is simple: Find a great mindset, start shooting, connect with people, and stay committed to constant growth and learning. She passionately discussed how, “Fargo is so unique because we are a small town, making it so easy to network with people. There are huge advantages to being an entrepreneur in a town like this where you can find great mentors and friends just a DM away. I’ve loved working in the wedding industry because I’ve had the opportunity to connect with so many other business owners outside of photographers as well. It’s fun to have florists, venues, videographers, planners, and more in your network of people lifting you and supporting your business.”

Tomi Thompson is not just a wedding photographer; she’s a storyteller, capturing the magic of life through her lens. The best part of her job? Thompson revels in the diversity of running multiple businesses, forming friendships, and sharing the joy of success with others. Her best advice? “Enjoy the highs and celebrate all things, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people that inspire you.”

Tomi Dawn Photo

[email protected]
Instagram | @tomidawnphoto

Odie Booth

[email protected]
Instagram: @odie.booth

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