I have had been in business for 5 years. Before doing boudoir, I was a wedding photographer for 5 years. Before that I was a licensed dental assistant in Canada.
I am self taught after countless hours of online learning, and a lot of money spent attending different courses and conferences around the country.
I was shooting photography with an SLR and film as a hobby 25 years ago. But as soon as I got my first digital camera – a Canon 20D, I began to shoot weddings on weekends. It evolved for me from there.
Currently, I only shoot boudoir and beauty head shots. I feel that you do your best when you are focused in on one genre. I used to shoot weddings and was good at it; but I haven’t done one in years and I would be rusty and out of practice so I would not consider myself the best option for a wedding now. When you are constantly doing something you get VERY good at it. So I think that specialists at any trade will be the best one to go to for anything that you need. I was doing weddings with my spouse, but he also has a full time job. With the studio, I don’t need his help because two shooters are not needed at a boudoir session. That has worked out best for my personal life.
If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?
Prepare to spend countless hours learning and perfecting your craft. And to realize that any business requires A LOT more than 40 hours a week to be successful. You have to really LOVE what you do, to put in the time necessary.
Have you ever done a boudoir session yourself, if you are a female (sorry guys 🙂 ? Do you think it’s something that is important for female boudoir photographers to do?
Yes, it helps to understand what your client is experiencing when they are in front of your lens. And it is fun for yourself!
How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?
I see amazing work from male photographers whom I deeply admire and respect. If a woman is a fairly open individual and her significant other wouldn’t be upset if she was in her underwear alone with a man, and the male photographer has a female assistant present – there is no problem to me. I do see a lot of women who do tell me that they would not feel comfortable to do this sort of session with a male, and many tell me that their spouse would be furious if the photographer was a guy. Sorry guys.
What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?
Every 4 months I take a week off to focus on family, home projects, perhaps travel. I have never felt like throwing it all away. I do sometimes wish I just worked 9-5 and had more personal time. I spend most of my time working.
What do you love about the business?
I love making women happy, and seeing them so thrilled with their photos is fuel for my soul. I love it when a gal who lacks self confidence gains a ton after she sees herself through my lens!
What do you hate about the business?
The long hours spent in post production, accounting, taxes, cleaning the studio, marketing. It would be fun if someone else did all the other stuff!!
Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI? What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?
I am a member of PPA, WPPI, and AIBP. I learn a lot from all 3 of these. AIBP gives so much support and encouragement. It’s my favorite for sure. PPA is important to me, as I do use the insurance from them too.
Do you compete and do you have any opinions on it? AIBP runs contests regularly. Do you participate? If not, is there a reason you don’t?
I am not competitive in nature, so I tend to shy away from contests. But I have entered and won with AIBP. I am trying to be better about putting myself out there!
SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:
Dark chocolate and grass fed cheese!!
One guilty pleasure in life?
Pizza. Don’t have it often, but really enjoy when I do!
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
My yoga pants from Fabletics!! I may or may not work out while wearing them! My husband has nick named me “Workout Angie” to make fun of me because I may be wearing work out clothing while editing photos. They are so comfy and so cute!!
What’s one song on your playlist?
Work B**ch by Britney Spears Motivation in my music keeps me moving!
What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?
Drama. My favorite movie is still Shawshank Redemption after all these years!
Favorite shoes to wear?
My Clarks flip flops are the comfiest things I own! Now if I could just move to a warmer climate where flip flops were appropriate 365 days a year! Although I do have some sexy boots for a date night…
What are you currently reading?
Just finished “You Are a Badass” audiobook. Now I need to buy the actual book so I can highlight everything I learned. Great read!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Italy. My sister and I are planning our girls trip! I am sooo excited!
If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?
I would change how I behaved when my ex husband and I separated. Hind sight is always 20/20. Hurting people hurt people. If I could go back and be kinder I would. And I would let go faster. Life is short.
If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?
I don’t desire to photograph anyone famous. I consider each one of my clients a celebrity to me, and I am excited to get to know each one of them. I love hearing each individual story and what has made each person who they are. To me, my clients are just as interesting as someone who is well know in media.
What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)
Balance, and making time for fitness. I am always going to go to the gym…tomorrow.
Are you married, single, have kids, husband? Is life a juggling act for you?
I am married to a wonderful guy, and have two amazing step kids. I am blessed beyond what I could have ever hoped for!
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?
A lot of the ladies on AIBP inspire me daily. Some of my closest girl friends in Canada are a huge inspiration for me because of the integrity and generosity that they have. And I am always inspired in my work by Sue Bryce.
If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be
Your life has such incredible potential, and that all could be lost if you get addicted to any substances which take over your life. Don’t ever try any of them. Life is beautiful without them. Drugs and alcohol will never make you happy. That comes from the inside, from knowing that you are loved and special – no matter who you are or how you look or what has happened in your life.