Elyssa Kivus

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Reify Spotlight Series
The Reify Spotlight Series amplifies the authentic stories of women and underrepresented groups in tech, entrepreneurship, and leadership.


I tell stories (of couples in love and of businesses on a mission) through amazing, colorful imagery.”

Elyssa KivusWedding & Brand Photographer
What is the greatest struggle you’ve overcome, and what did you learn from it?

"A brain cancer diagnosis at 26."

"I learned that our time is really valuable. And not in the hustle culture sense that time is money. I learned that our time is really valuable because it is finite."

What's your mantra?

"One day at a time."

"Long term goals and plans are incredibly important, but I don't want to get so hung up on them that I exhaust myself mentally or get stuck in the spot of not knowing how to take the first step. By focusing on one day at a time, I can appreciate the now without worrying too much about the future. It also encourages me to break plans/goals/projects into smaller chunks that can be achieved one day at a time."

Where will we find you in retirement?

"Living off of my retirement income, but working a couple hours a week at Disney World and putting that paycheck right back into Disney World. Also volunteering at Give Kids the World Village and reading a lot."

What’s the last thing you rated 5 stars?

"I'm moderately obsessed with the podcast 'Unf*ck your Brain'. The host is a former lawyer (like me) but is now a coach and her analysis of thought and how we control our thoughts is so interesting to me."

What's one of your goals?

"Professionally, I'd love to book a $10,000 photography job. That means I've connected with a couple or a business that truly values not just photography in general, but my work in particular."

How do you support other women?

"I think the most important ways I support other women is by listening and challenging. A listening ear is something we all need at many points in our lives and careers. And sometimes listening is all that's called for. But in certain situations, the challenging is the followup to that listening. I think challenging can be as simple as offering a fresh perspective for a woman to consider or as complex as helping to outline some sort of goal or plan that seems impossible at first glance."

Elyssa Kivus

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