Since the fall of last year, I’ve been visiting various Business Network International (BNI) chapters. Only one person from each trade can join any given chapter so you build exclusive referral relationships. Scheduling conflicts and lack of openings for a portrait photographer has prohibited me from applying before now. Fortunately, one of the other chapters I visited forwarded my information to a group that meets early Thursday mornings, and they now have an opening. I submitted my application and the interview process is underway!
I’ve really enjoyed their meetings. They’re a fun bunch of people and I feel the camaraderie. This last Thursday we were instructed to write our name and profession at the top of a given piece of paper, and pass it to the person on our left. Next we were asked to look at the role and write down one question we had about that business. When we were finished, to pass it left and repeat this until there were at least 7 or 8 questions on each paper. When the exercise was over, the papers were returned to the owners.
This exercise showed me there is some confusion about what is “portrait” photography, who I am and what I want to capture. I was surprised. I thought they were going to ask questions about how they would benefit from a photo shoot, but they were much more basic. I learned I need to clarify what I do and be in front of my potential clients. It’s easy for me to hide behind my camera. I guess it’s hard to build a relationship with someone if they’re always hiding. The questions asked are answered below.
- How did you get started in your business?
I was introduced to photography when I was employed by my university paper to work as a web desk editor. I created multimedia web features and taught myself how to use a DSLR. Fast forward 5 years, I was experimenting with different genres and styles of photography when I stumbled upon my now mentor, Sue Bryce. Everything she taught spoke to my soul and I’ve been photographing contemporary magazine-style portraits exclusively ever since.
- Who do you love to photograph most?
I love photographing women of all ages. I help woman regain their confidence by giving them a makeover experience and showing them their beauty in their portraits! Woman are so hard on themselves and I understand being photographed makes them feel vulnerable. I identify with these feelings. I want them to look at their portraits and remember to love who they are today.
- What is your goal in the next 5 years?
My goal is to have 8 photo shoots a month, lease my own studio and have a large web of referrals. I want to give my clients a premium service and make new friends along the way. I continually strive to be the best portrait photographer in the San Francisco, Bay Area!
- Do you do weddings, parties, bah mitzvahs, etc. too?
I do not photograph events or weddings. These are separate genres and specialties of photography. Portrait photography captures the unique personalities of individuals and groups of people in a way they desire to be photographed. Sometimes it’s to honor personal milestones, update business profiles or celebrate important relationships.
- What do you hope to capture in the photographs?
I hope to capture genuine expressions, killer body language, and deliver the very best portrait my client has ever had of themselves. I want to create portraits that will be cherished for generations to come.
- Do you do dual personality pictures – 2 different looks in the same photo, same person?
During the consultation phase, I learn about my client and how they dream of being photographed. All of my portrait sessions include 4-6 unique looks. This means I coordinate your wardrobe with my backdrops and pose you to create the desired mood of each set of portraits. I can photograph the same person, styled and photographed twice, but composited in the same image. The image described has a fine art undertone. This can be achieved with a little extra imagination.
- What area, industry, demographics, events do you focus on?
I focus on photographing individuals and groups of people for personal and professional use. I photograph all demographics of people, and do not make assumptions about who can use and benefit from my services. No one should be excluded from an amazing portrait experience.
If you have any other questions, please send me a message or leave a comment.