How do you decide which photographer is the right choice?
Debra here - owner of Abundant Moments - your blogger today!
Abundant Moments Photography was built from the ground up in 2000. Initially, I worked at portrait studios to supplement my income while getting my masters degree. I shot friends and families pictures as "favors" and loved it. Eventually, after enough people suggested "you should do this for a living" I began work at a professional studio. I ended up managing a staff and a number of different franchise studios. A decent job, but honestly not photography. It was management. I loved it though! I did, however, want to get back to what I loved - shooting. When I started having kids in 1996, I quit managing studios and did some home based things to make ends meet. From telemarketing to day care I tried it all. Finally I was in a car accident. It was a bad one and I was laid up for a while not able to do much. After I recovered I used the $2500 of settlement money (really not much) to buy a trailer and equipment and set up a traveling studio. I charged $50 and drove to their house, set up a full studio with props, shot a full session, then developed the film and brought back 4x6 proofs a week later. No one bought pictures. I discovered quickly that they weren't motivated to purchase pictures when I gave them all the 4x6s. From there it grew. So In 2000 I registered my name, and set up the business. 14 years later, we are doing terrific!! And actually the prices I charged then are within 15% of what I charge now - but now you get more for your buck!
Understand though that experience is about MORE than years. I know photographers that have been shooting for years but don't keep their stuff fresh. This is critical. I'm on intstagram and pinterest on on others websites constantly seeing what is "in" and new. I want to know what is out there and what others like. The experience makes my pictures a good quality and makes me quick and efficient, but it doesn't make me GOOD. See "Talent " for more on that.
Here is one of the first shots I ever took in 2000 -
Here's the thing. I love that picture. Still do. And its a good quality. Nothing wrong with it. Do I take better pictures now? Sure, for the most part, but honestly the difference is in knowing when to shoot, how to pose, how to get the expressions, how to treat the client, what to provide for the customer, what would I WANT? I am of course focused on getting "THE" shot, but I also want to create an environment that makes people say - "This was a great experience - I want to come back." This is tough. I live here - my studio is in my home - I have 5 kids. And for 14 years I have worked 40 plus (no kidding - every week) building this business. WORTH IT!!! But tough. I guess what I am saying is that experience is important, but more than that its a feeling - a fit. Are we right for you? Lets talk and spend some time together and we will find out!!
Come back tomorrow for part two!!!