What is the typical process for working with a new client?
Depending on the service my approach is generally to connect very quickly with whoever is interested in knowing more about me and my work. I believe in clear communication and getting to know one another, for me getting to know who I'm working with is integral to the shoot being successful. No-one feels comfortable in front of a camera and I will have succeeded when you forget that you're having your picture taken and actually having fun!! For weddings I always include a complimentary engagement shoot. This is for all of us to have the opportunity to hang out in a non pressurized environment, and figure out what makes you feel comfortable. Its a time to experiment and play and for couples a rare time where they are fully focused on loving on one another...It’s my favorite thing to see couples opening up to one another as the shoot progresses and watching as all the silliness comes out...and ALLL the kisses ;)
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I'm originally from the UK and was trained in fine art black and white photography. My days were spent in the dark room and I learnt what it really means to tell a story through an image. When i was training there was no digital photography so I would painstainkingly spend hours and days on just one photo. That project would become my baby and I was committed to bringing it from a concept and idea to a fully realized image. Portraits have always been my passion and the direction that I organically transitioned into as a professional.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I trained professionally but also have pursued an acting and producing career alongside my business. My first professional job was a friends wedding, I think i got paid $500, but I wasn't doing it for the money and to this day it is one of my favorite weddings as I took on this role I’d never experienced before of documenter and facilitator, there is an innocence and delicacy in my work that I always notice looking back at those photos.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Ha this question is a funny one.....I have worked with EVERY type of person imaginable but I am continuaally blown away by the people that step in front of my camera. Every person at the end of the day is a human with the same struggles and insecurities that we all have and my time with every person is a very unique experience that is not your day to day interaction. A shoot is intimate and vulnerable and I often have some very deep conversations with people that you wouldn't expect to have when you've only just met!
Describe a recent project you’re fond of. How long did it take?
I recently was asked by the organization REVEAL to shoot a very special event that was later covered internationally in the Daily Mail. The event was created to give women who are survivors of sex trafficking a day of beauty and pampering. I had no idea what i was stepping into that day but when i entered this massive space with racks of designer clothes and make up and beauty products with high level pros giving there time and talent to serve these women I was overwhelmed to be honest. The women came to have their photos taken after being made up and after picking out clothes worth thousands of dollars and when they stood before me in the studio I was greeted with so much grace, humility and joy it was utterly humbling. That shoot is one I will hold very dear to my heart.
What advice would you give to someone looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
I’ll change this question around...what would I look for when looking for a photographer? First and foremost I would want to fall in love with their work and the energy it emitted, immediately. Does it give you butterflies? Are you jumping out of your chair when a photo touches you? This is a big sign for me about who the photographer is, everything is energy, so if you're feeling good at this point then you're very likely to connect with the pro and for me thats the icing on the cake... I want to feel like I'm investing in a quality product not a cheap knock off and I want to feel like I could be friends with this person I'm going to work with, are they warm? are they interested in me? do I feel safe and led through the process? At the end of the day your intuition is key and you will know.
What questions should you think through before talking to professionals about their project?
It really depends on what service you are requiring but when it comes to weddings, a sit down conversation over coffee is how I work. Asking the practical questions like: What does the package include? Doe it include all the digital HR images? Are the images retouched or is that extra? Are their two shooters? Who is the second shooter? You want to know him or her too. What is the turnaround time for the finished product? How much is the deposit? Do they require the full amount on booking? What types of weddings have they shot in the past? How many? Are they trained? How did they get into photography? How many years shooting professionally? Thats just a few... :)