Meet Amy Cupp of iheartpix. Amy shoots Nikon using her right eye. She shoots mostly RAW in Manual Mode and edits in Lightroom.
Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
That moment came recently. For the past 2 years, I have pursued photography gradually gaining more business and more confidence along the way. Back in high school, I took photos as a hobby and then when my kids were born (ages 5 and 3) I finally had free models!!! Ha! I was scared to death for the longest time to take photos of people. I hid my talent for fear of failure. Big mistake.
When I finally did start taking photography seriously…. I soon realized I had ALOT to learn. I didn’t know the first thing about an f stop, iso, etc. I am an artsy fartsy person by nature, not a techy person so that was a learning curve for me. I learned as much as I could. Read every photography magazine and book I could get my hands on. Studied tutorials online. Blog stalked amazing photographers and just practiced practiced practiced.
Eventually, my hobby evolved into a business. I could see the potential of growing my business, but my 9-5 was really holding me back. No vendor wants to meet with you on the weekend and as a single mom, the “mother’s guilt” was overbearing… Imagine coming home from a long day at work, getting your kids from daycare, and then having to face a long nights worth of work ahead of you…. That was my world for a while.
It seems odd to say it, to write it, to even think it outloud but today….. TODAY!!!! my notice is turned in at the 9-5. I am so excited, I can hardly stand it. I guess the turning moment is just realizing that I need a career that allows me to really be here for my kids. I wasn’t willing to give up my dream of photography and stick with the corportate world. I feel I have more amazing things calling me 🙂
ISO 200 50mm f1.8 1/400
What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
Patience patience patience. It never pays to just go into a shoot or a wedding and just click away. Look for the light, feel the moments, take it all in and get THE shot.
What makes you different from everyone else?
Hahahahaha. Well, I am just your ordinary girl who happens to be passionate about her family and photography so I guess I am not that much different. …. I like to have fun. Always. I will more than likely break it down for a few at a wedding. I have to enjoy what I am doing!
Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
Oh my goodness! I have a lot. Up and Coming… well at least for me, this person is already there, but Sarah Quiara really helped me. When I first stumbled my way upon a photography site and started trying to really pursue this a few years ago, she really had some great advice. Her work is amazing and she always has wonderful ideas. She didn’t blow smoke up my you know what when I needed criticism but she had a way of giving so that you were inspired!
One item you can’t live without?
Okay, I am addicted to the internet.
Your best bokeh image and why?
I love this one with the hands together. There is just something about all the wonderful color in the sweater and the hands together to pray… I just love it.
Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?
I love bokeh! I almost always shoot with my 50mm at 1.8. I just love the feel of an image with nice bokeh and wonderful light.
Hahaha I am not a big reader. I loved the Twilight series. For kids, I like the Drama Llama ones. I am not sure if that is the exact name, but they are silly!
I have a few… Gone in 60 Seconds, There’s Something About Mary, Dirty Dancing
Where do you find inspiration?
My kids 🙂
Do you use a second shooter?
Not usually… well not yet anyway.
How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?
Just hit me up via email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will talk.
If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
I have never 2nd shot for anyone so I would love to do that. I think it is a great learning opportunity. I would bend over backwards and do splits to 2nd shoot for alot of the peeps I mentioned above…. Really though, I would love the opportunity to 2nd for a lot of photographers in my network.
Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
Not any organizations… I won many different awards in amateur photography contests, but haven’t entered any professionally.
What did you have to do to actually take the leap? Did you have any hoops to jump through?
Oh goodness. See above. Of course. I am leaving the corporate world… a job that I have had for 7 years (my entire adult life)…. to pursue my dream and spend more time with my kids. Big leap but majorly worth it.
Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Don’t rush things. Take time to learn, experiment, and when it starts to feel like work, take a break and don’t forget to shoot for yourself.
What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
This is my area of focus right now. As of now, I haven’t really done that much marketing.
Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)? If for, who have you had the most success with?
I guess I am neutral on it. Free is always good! I have spent money on advertising and so far not really a big return on invesment. The best advertisement is happy, ecstatic customers who gush about you! It is a wonderful amazing feeling when you get repeat clients and client referals.
What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
A group shoot. I think everyone could learn a lot from each other that way and it would really get the creative juices flowing.
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