Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Look at a bunch of different sites for photographers around you and get a sense of an average price and quality. Choose your top 10 and call your top 5 for availability. if some are unavailable, call more from your list. Schedule consultations with at least 3 photographers before making your choice. You want to be sure you will comfortable with your choice following your around for a significant amount of time.
Know that digital files are more expensive than prints because they are easier to move and copy. If there is a style you like, or several photos you like, bookmark them or write down the URL and show them to the photographer you hire to help with ideas. They can also help you narrow down choices because the photographer can tell you if they can do that type of photography. Make sure you know what it is you like about each photo.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Photography is a lot harder than pointing the camera and clicking. There is a lot to know about a camera and settings that will make a huge difference in the quality of the pictures you will get.
Make sure you like the photographer you choose. They will spend a significant amount of time with you for your session/wedding so you want to be comfortable with them. Comfort with the photographer will yield better pictures in the end.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. They should have a date in mind for portraits, and a date/venue set for weddings. They should also know what they would like to get out of the session. Do they want pictures to hang on their wall? Do they want to cronical their wedding day? Do they want pictures to put up on facebook or to share some other way? They should know how important it is for them to receive digital files vs. printing through the photographers. There is a lot to know and think about, which is why photographers are usually the 2nd thing booked for weddings.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. My beautiful quality, excellent customer service, and easy going attitude is what seperates me from my competition. I are frequently doing price and package comparisons to keep myself competative and give you more value for your money. I also have embraced the digital age and offer digital files for a good price.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Sharing the emotions, especially love and joy, of people's special occations and helping create beautiful artwork are what keep me in this business. I love helping new couples begin their lives together and watching as their families grow. Even a simple family shoot can be full of emotionally treasured moments and those are the moments I love to preserve. I don't have "standard shots" or gimmiks, I take each session as a new adventure with my goal being to help my clients preserve their memories forever.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I have always loved photography. My father has been a photographer for almost 50 years and I have studied at his side since I can remember. I started with landscapes, mostly waterfalls and beach/lighthouse scenes, and portraits of friends. As I have grown so has my passion for beautiful photography and I discovered that I love wedding photography as well. I was asked by friends to photograph their weddings because they could not afford professional photographers. The pictures turned out great and I have only gotten better from there. Now I try to focus on weddings because I love the atmosphere and getting the beautiful shots of the couple.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. Yes, I am frequently attending seminars, reading books, and speaking with other photographers about what is happening in photography and the business of photography. I am constently finding tidbits here or there to help me grow as a photographer and to keep our costs low.
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Don't expect it to be cheap to get into this field. To get all of the appropriate business licences, insurance, equipment and space you should expect to spend around $10,000 your first year in business. Then there is advertising on top of that. Don't underprice your work and don't give your work away unless you have an extremely good reason to do so. Underpricing hurts the whole industry. Work under someone if you can for awhile and make sure that you love portrait/wedding photography. It isn't for everyone and if you don't absolutely LOVE what you do you are not going to stick out of the crowd of photographers anywhere you set up shop. Portland/Salem/Eugene are all very crowded with photographers with more starting up every day.