Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. The most common photography sessions that I shoot are: EVERYTHING!! Of course one has to be more popular for me than others, so if I HAD to list them, it would go as follows: Couples/Weddings, Boudoir, Children (toddlers and up), Family, Pregnancy, Models/Seniors, Babies, Pets/Animals, Landscapes/Wildlife. whew! I love them all, but as far as what I get booked for, that would probably be the order of most popular. If I had to pick my favorites, that would be extremely hard...but I CAN say that I absolutely LOVE love love working with my Couples, Boudoir, and Toddlers!
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Check the QUALITY of work! Most of the time (with Photography) you really get what you pay for...so be leery about the quality of work you'll receive with photographers who have those "too good to be true" rates...ESPECIALLY with weddings! Check out the lighting and posing; make sure both are appeasing to the eye. Then make sure your photographer is trustworthy and credible (experienced). Nothing scarier than a photographer showing up to photograph a wedding and it be their first or second time. EEK! and lastly, don't be scare to ASK THEM QUESTIONS! That's what they're there for, and an excellent photographer will be able to answer anything you throw at them! :)
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. 1) Did you intern with a professional level photographer before you started shooting? (versus, did you just buy a camera and start calling yourself a "professional"??)
2) Do you shoot on automatic, or are you comfortable in your knowledge of shooting in manual? (this can explain a TON about a photographers skill level, and really separate out those who just buy expensive camera's but have no training or skill level)
3) Do you print from a professional lab?
4) Are you comfortable shooting outdoors during the daytime, as well as indoors during nighttime? (these are the hardest times/places to shoot. It's important that you're photographer understands lighting properly)
5) Are you a licensed business through the government with a sales tax ID number? (this will show you who is an actual business and legally pay their taxes, vs those who are hobbyists and just pocket your money)
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. A budget, (especially for wedding clients). Make sure you have figured out a "ballpark figure" of what you are looking to spend. You want to make sure that your wedding package includes EVERYTHING you are wanting, and you wont get 'surprised' later on with large fee's and adding items. If you know you want to print images later, add a discounted Print Credit into your package from the start to allot yourself a budget for images orders later! This is a fantastic way to really budget your money and get everything you want!
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. My work stands out from other people who do what I do because of my level of excellence. I work hard to be original and different. My clients are my TOP priority and I'm not out to make money as #1...my CLIENTS are #1. I work with couples/families who are on a budget and make sure they get everything they are wanting with what they have to work with. The images are what is important to me, and I want to make sure that everyone gets to have them and keep them to look back on forever. My lighting and posing show the PROFESSIONAL level of training I have, versus amateur photography that seems to be so prevalent. I feel as though my work speaks for itself!
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. What I love most about my job is...nothing! (hold on, keep reading!!) It's NOT a job to me!! This is a way of life. A fun and exciting adventure full of meeting new people and making new lifelong friends through clients who hire me. I am in regular contact with my clients and absolutely LOVE hearing what's new in their life, and being there with them as they go through changes to photograph everything for them to hold dear as memories. My FAVORITE part about my "job" is not only meeting the new and wonderful people, but also SHARING their life with them through what I see with my camera. It's an amazing feeling to share an image I have taken with a family, or a child, or a bride and groom and have them instantly laugh, cry, or smile at the captured memory!
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I wish more customers knew how many people buy expensive camera's, call themselves 'professionals' (I use that term loosely), and really have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what they are doing. It's sickening and scares me when couples hire one of these 'professionals' for their wedding and they have no idea what they are getting into, they were just looking at dollar amount. I wish more customers were able to obtain the information they need to have a truly amazing experience with whichever photographer they hire (from the consultation, to the appointment and shooting, to the end results and getting their images back).
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. ABSOLUTELY! I travel throughout the United States and regularly attend seminars, conventions, and courses. I also continue education in film class, which keeps me sharp for when I switch back to digital! I take one-on-one training sessions with worldwide well-known professionals and strive to exceed their high standards. I also network and meet local photographers and keep great relationships with them. We discuss different labs, shooting locations, and tips/tricks we've learned along our journey! I feel all of these factors keep me on top of my industry!