Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. Teach For America annual fundraiser. Trulia annual awards. Various elite events
I also have my own photobooth company, called lightworks! We recently completed events for AFAR magazine, soulcycle, Union Square NYC, and Google! You can check us out online!
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. I constantly keep up on the average market price for event photography. I do believe that you get what you pay for (to a certain extent). I price my services fairly. I am not a budget photographer, but I am willing to negotiate within reason.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. An expensive camera does not equal a professional photographer.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Asking about previous experience is important. It's good to know if a photographer has experience with your particular photo needs. Also, don't hesitate to negotiate pricing! I realize that thumbtack has very broad pricing, and sometimes consumers are working with a strict budget. If you like a photographer's work, and they like you, ask if they'll be willing to negotiate on pricing! We won't bite! :)
Also, I find that clients often forget to ask about photo delivery. Some clients want a CD, others want a zip file, while others just want a link to an album that can be shared with others. Make sure you know how you want the images delivered so the photographer knows what to expect. Also, if you would like the possibility of making prints from the photo files, be sure to mention that as well. The photographer will shoot in a high(er) resolution.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. A big difference in my work is how I relate to people. I'm not shy - I will go up to anyone and ask to take their photo. Event photography, especially, is very social and you have to communicate with your audience to do a good job. I have a knack for making people feel comfortable, and that shows in my images.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. I love the fact that every job is different. A different location, different clients, different atmosphere. I've met people from all walks of life, and that is a beautiful thing.
Everyone has a story and I'm thankful to be able to capture a little piece of it with my photography.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. When people send me messages, emails, cards after I've worked with them, and they express their gratitude - there's nothing that humbles me more. Sometimes people will fuss that they aren't photogenic, but once they see their images, they are pleasantly surprised. I love capturing people in their best light. And that's more than just fancy lighting!
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. Photography is so multi-faceted. The work starts from the moment we book a job. We have to figure out logistics, plan the shoot, shoot the job, complete post-production, and deliver the images to the client - all in a timely manner.
The work doesn't end there. We spend a lot of time on marketing and client relations. And let's not begin with editing the images! Depending on the job, editing can take hours upon hours.
Photography is a great career, but there's SO MUCH more to it than making beautiful images. We do it all because we love it. :)
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I knew I wanted to pursue photography as a profession when I took a film photography class in high school. I was amazed by being able to create and develop my own images. My parents weren't to keen on the idea of me being an "artist", but I never lost sight that vision, even after completing four years of college in a much different field.
After college, I began shooting events part time here and there while working at a non-profit. After experiencing a devastating personal loss followed by losing my nonprofit job, I began taking photo classes at City College of San Francisco. Photography really helped to pull me through a tough time. Through networking and client recommendations, I was able to build up my business to a full time career. I love what I do and I'm happy to be where I am.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. I occasionally attend photo conferences such as WPPI. I maintain a network of photographer friends and we're constantly in discussion about work, equipment, business development, client relations, etc. I also read up on a few photo blogs.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. More and more photographers are getting into video. Most new dSLRs come equipped with full video capabilities, so it comes as no surprise. I'm excited about it but also terrified at the thought of video post-production! Guess I'll have to delegate that task. ;)
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Just ask me!