My Photography Journey
Thanks for wanting to learn more about my drive and the reasons I became a photographer.
Photography has always played a role in my life. Started out with a simple 110 pocket camera that I carried with me everywhere I went. Yes, I am telling my age a bit. As I grew up my oldest sister, who was a professional photographer, started teaching me how to use her film SLR camera. Let me tell you that was a big change from the 110 camera, but also gave me a lot of control over the photos I was taking. Needless to say I was hooked from that point on.
Through the years I documented my life and those around me with photography. I look back through my photo albums (yes I have printed photos) and I smile at the memories and sometimes I have tears in my eyes remembering the difficult times. Each one of those photos are precious to me.
When my children were born photography continued to play a role in documenting their lives. My kids like most played sports. Not only did I want pictures of my kids when they were playing, but of their friends too. As people started to see the photos I was taking they started to ask me to take photos for them. At first I didn't mind. It was fun and I was helping someone capture memories of their children. I reached a point that I was doing more and more for others. That's when it dawned on me that I should start a business. Thus my photography career started professionally. Back then I was "Memory Connections". I am still fond of that name, because that is exactly what I do, I capture memories that can be cherished for years to come. For 15 years I did sports photography and had a blast doing it. It was so fun to capture the mild stones of kids playing. I do wander how many of those kids went on to play in college or better yet the pro levels.
I was unique in that I hand made my trading cards. They were a little thicker and more durable which made them more popular with the parents. Back then I made the cards out of need. Now, looking back I realize I was creating something special to treasure.
Fast forward 15 years a new need became more and more prevalent in my own life. The need for family portraits grew. I didn't want the standard posed photos most photographers were doing back then. I wanted something different that showed who we were as a family. I wanted family pictures while we were on vacation at the beach or traveling in the mountains. I wanted portraits that represented who we were as a family, what we enjoyed doing and most importantly it captured our personalities.
The next stage of my photography career was born. I started taking photos of my family using a tripod and the timer on my camera. It was a lot of running back and forth between clicks of the camera, but my kids thought it was hilarious to watch me run and try to get in place quick enough. My kids actually started to get into it as they got older and helped with the camera and saved me a little bit of running. I still take our own family photos. It has become a family tradition and has made for some great memories. Now, I use a wireless remote instead of the timer on the camera. Thank goodness for technology.
This new found love of portraits gave me a new transition from sports photography to family portraits. With each family I work with it is important to me to capture who they are as a family and as individuals. I want them to have the same type of memories I have of my family portrait sessions.
Portrait sessions should be fun and not dreaded events. This is why I ask my clients so many questions about who they are and what they like to do as a family before the day of their session. These simple questions help me get to know them and then I translate that to an image. I feel portraits shouldn't be forced and stiffly posed. They should feel and look natural.
As the use of the internet grows with new websites popping up everyday and social media is growing even faster, standing out becomes harder and harder for everyone. I found myself venturing into unknown territory learning web design, SEO and social media. I have been on Facebook for years personally, but never for my business. Now, I find myself learning Facebook for business and Instagram (I'm sure more will be added in the future). For both social media outlets I wanted to be able to share not just my work, but places I travel and share my story of who I am. What I learned is there are not many photographers that know how to take photos that tell my story and are consistent with my brand. My brand is unique and special to me and I needed to make sure that any image I used represented me and what I stand for.
After much research and a few classes I began the new journey of personal brand photography. People need to understand that a brand isn't just a product it is the person or company behind the product. A person's brand is who they are, what they represent, and their values. That is a great deal to try and capture in an image! But it is possible with the right knowledge, which is why I took courses to learn and go deeper.
In today's culture customers want to do business with people, companies, or small businesses they know and trust. They want to be able to connect with them in some way. With that connection comes a feeling of being understood and trusting the one they are working with.
My goal for personal brand clients is to create images that shows the person in a why potential clients want to work with them. I want to be able to create images that share their journey and stories that are unique to them. Through story telling images potential clients can learn not only about the product or service that is offered, but about the person they will be working with. These images will help make connections.