I started my business in 2009. I was a Pharmacy Technician for hospitals for 8 years before that.
Mainly self taught but I always loved photography and took classes in college as electives.
I always dreamed of being a photographer but when I went to college everything was still film and I didn’t want to work in the dark room all day. When photography went to digital and my boyfriend game me my first digital camera and lens kit in 2008 I started going to workshops and taking classes and then decided to start a business!
I specialize in boudoir and do about 150 boudoir sessions a year. I also shoot everything else but weddings. About 30 high school seniors, and 30 family, maternity, headshot type sessions. The reason I love boudoir is that there is no better feeling in the world that showing a women her beauty. I struggle with self confidence so I think this is a way for me to feel good about myself when I can show other women how amazing they are.
If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?
Go to photography conferences and talk to as many successful studio owners that you can and soak up as much advice as you can. You will never stop learning in this business and you have to invest in your business in order to grow. Also, don’t go into debt getting the latest and greatest gadgets. Purchase your needs as you make money and only buys things that will make you money. Once you are in the green then splurge every once in a while for that fun stuff.
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?
I finally did my first one in January this year! When I went to Imaging in San Antonio, Red Raven Photographer reached out to me and asked if I wanted to trade sessions. At first I thought, hell no! Then thought, why not….I need to embrace my body the way it is the way I tell all of my clients. I absolutely love my images and it was such a great (and scary) experience for me. I highly suggest all photographers go through the experience so they know how their clients feel!
How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?
I never knew there was a male/female debate… if a woman is comfortable with a male doing their photos then good for them! I’m the type of person that like female doctors, masseuse, ect so for me I wouldn’t choose a male photographer because I know I wouldn’t be comfortable but I know a lot of amazing male boudoir photographers so go for it!!!
What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?
I really don’t have burn out because I keep my schedule the same each week. I also travel a lot so that is a big stress relief for me.
What do you love about the business?
I love being my own boss. I love making my own hours, can change my pricing when I want, can try new marketing…just everything about having your own business!
What do you hate about the business?
Keeping up with all of the social media. It seems like once you think you have one figured out the algorithms change or a new one comes out that everyone is using. I try to use Hootsuite to schedule a lot of my posts but I feel like I’m on social media way too much.
Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI? What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?
I have been a PPA member since I started my business. I absolutely love the organization and can’t say enough great things about them. They stand behind you, offer insurance, education and everything you need to run a successful business. I wouldn’t be where I am today with out them!
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 compete weekly on the AIBP site. I sometimes enter on the professional level. I think it’s a good way to challenge yourself and push yourself to try new things. I also think that judging can be personal so if one judge doesn’t like your style it can be difficult to take the criticism but I think you can always learn from it!
SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:
One guilty pleasure in life?
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
What’s one song on your playlist?
I don’t have a playlist…depends on my mood I listen to a lot of country or pop.
What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?
Action/Adventure I love The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, etc..
Favorite shoes to wear?
What are you currently reading?
You Are a Badass
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?
So many places on my list… right now I’d choose Bora Bora
If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?
I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life but I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am at without making them so I wouldn’t change anything!
If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?
Ellen Degeneres she is such a positive light in what is most of the time a negative world we live in. I love her motto, Be kind to one another!
What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)
Are you married, single, have kids, husband? Is life a juggling act for you?
My boyfriend, Josh of 9 years is my life partner. We chose not to have kids or get married, don’t fix what’s not broken! We have 1 fur baby, Flex who is a Boxer Cattledog.
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?
I tend not to get too caught up in comparing my work to others. There are absolutely insanely talented artists so I think I’d drive myself crazy if I followed people too closely that I admire. I tend to try to keep challenging myself to keep learning and growing and just trying to be a better person in general all of the time.
If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be
Always follow your dreams and passions. If you do what you love you won’t work a day in your life!