Turning a hobby into a successful business
by Aimee robinette
The Bolivar Bullet
Cleveland resident, Hadonica Murphy finds contentment and fulfillment one click of the camera at a time. Owner of Hadonica’s Photography, Murphy is an American success story, one whose path remains open to life’s possibilities. She photographs people in hopes of helping them find the beauty and wonder in who they are.
Born in Jamaica but raised in the Bahamas, Murphy migrated to the U.S. as a child. She had drive and ambition and remained focused on attaining a life where she was happy and prosperous.
“I received my GED at 16 and became a registered nurse,” she said. “I practiced ER nursing for several years and then went back to be a family nurse practitioner. I practice as a provider two to four times monthly to continue to give back to those in need,” she said. “Photography is my main profession, I’ve done this for four years and love it! I love working for myself.”
Photography first became a way to escape the stress from working in an emergency room.
“Working in the ER became depressing, and photography just fell into my lap,” said Murphy. “I loved taking pictures of flowers and nature as a way to relax and decompress. One day, I photographed my sister, and after that, it was history. I realized I loved making people feel amazing and helping them fall in love with who they are and I can do that through photography.
“I decided to proceed with my photography full time over being a full time nurse practitioner. I am a firm believer that life is short and I didn’t want to spend most of my life in a hospital 12 hours a day watching people die. It took a toll on my mental health so in small increments I practice, but full time it’s my photography that keeps me going and allows me the freedom to travel and enjoy life,” she added.
Murphy said her husband, Craig, supported her new endeavor, even when it began to take over their home.
“It’s funny my business started in the dining room of our home, then it took over my living room and spare bedroom,” she said. “It blossomed into so much more than I ever thought I now have my own studio downtown.”
The space lends itself to her business which includes women’s portraits, senior portraits, and personal branding for businesses. “I also offer boudoir for those who would love an extra boost in confidence,” she said.
Murphy also chooses exciting new projects to keep her photography fresh.
“We are currently doing an Empower 40+ women campaign to allow them to tell their stories and showcase that women over 40 are amazing, beautiful, and confident. Hopefully we can now host our exhibit to showcase all of these wonderful ladies,” she said.
For a woman who continues to transform herself, it isn’t surprising that is one of her favorite aspects about photography.
“Personally I enjoy the way my clients transform, it’s almost as if they can finally be themselves and actually see who they are. They realize their beauty, not just in the image but within themselves,” she explained. “Often many women and men go through life not thinking they are beautiful or worth it, they sometimes lack confidence. I see my clients leave with their heads held higher and feeling better about themselves with a new found confidence and that makes me happy! I’ve seen men and women cry after viewing their portraits because they can finally see themselves differently.”
And, that is most important to Murphy.
“I just want to remind people to practice self-love and self-compassion,” she said. “We only have this one life and one body. Spend more time loving yourself than criticizing yourself. Don’t focus so much on your flaws. Love them because they are a part of you and you are wonderfully made.”
Outside of photography, Murphy enjoys diving, Crossfit, and spending time with her husband, their two dogs, Shadow and Raven, and their cat, Storm.