Jenni Marie Photography – Winston Salem, NC

February 22, 2010

Meet Jennifer Pinkerton of Jenni Marie Photography.  Jenni focuses on weddings and portraits and her sister helps her with styling, shooting, and prop-handling.  She’s a nikon girl and uses her left eye for shooting.  She shoots RAW in manual mode and has just started dabbling with some of the Totally Rad Actions and MCP Actions.  So far she really adores TRA’s LUX action and MCP’s SEVENTIES action.

Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?

I was sitting on an airplane from Phoenix to Raleigh. My life was in pieces after some devastating transitions in my life and I had spent a therapeutic weekend with friends, shooting (almost non-stop) the whole time I was out west. I boarded the plane dreading my return to a boring reality but exhilarated by all the camera time. So I sat on the airplane and made a list of goals; deadlines for myself for the coming year. Almost all of them involved my camera, equipment to buy, and shoots to do. Five months later and I am on track (and ahead of schedule!) in my photographic goals for 2009-2010. Definitely evidence of God’s power in my life.

50mm, 800iso, 1/1250, f/1.8
What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
Its silly, but I think of  Hillary Duff’s line in Cinderella Story: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” I am most often challenged by a crippling fear. “I can’t do this!” or “I’m going to fail!” or “No one likes my pictures!” or “I’m not really a photographer!”  But camera-in-hand is who I am. I can’t deny that. And even if I’m never a super star photographer, I can own my zip code and be the best Jenni Marie possible – falling or standing, succeeding or failing, living and learning. I’ve learned (or *cough* am STILL learning) that it doesn’t matter what other people think. If I’m happy, if I’m learning and growing, if I’m doing my best…then I can’t let someone else’s opinion stop me.

50mm, 400iso, 1/250, f/4.5

What makes you as a business person different from everyone else?

Goofiness!  When I’m with my camera, I do the. stupidest. things. ever. so that my clients will laugh and I will get a genuine smile — none of this cheesy grin stuff. And the great part? It works! (Even if I do look ridiculous in the process.)

50mm, 200iso, 1/400, f/2.5
Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
Up-and-coming? As in amazing-but-not-quite-world-famous? Kristen Leigh ( Except that she’s already fabulous, so maybe she’s already up-and-gone beyond the world of up-and-coming?

50mm, 1000iso, 1/1000, f/11
One item you can’t live without?
My running shoes. Me ‘n the pavement and the endorphins wipe out many a stressful day.
Your favorite bokeh image?
50mm, 250iso, 1/1250, f/1.8

I think this is my favorite. Emphasis on the hesitation in naming it my favorite. I love playing around with Bokeh — in fact, when I first stumbled across Bokeh Pot over a year ago, I had to go google a definition and try to figure out what in the world all these photographers were talking about – and then realized I was already doing it, even if I didn’t know the technical term! But in this image, we have bokeh on both sides of the focal point and, wow, that eye pops, eh?

Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?

Its super duper exciting for me to realize that there’s a  network of talented, fabulous photographers outside of the mecca of California and NYC; and, hey, I want part of the fun!

50mm, 200iso, 1/2500, f/4.0

Favorite book?

“The Harvester” by Gene Stratton Porter.Favorite movie?
Anne of Green Gables
. Its amazing. Beautiful, funny, whimsical… and Anne Shirley is a little too much like me.

Favorite songs to work to?
I’m all over the spectrum. Christian to classical to jazz to country (in very small doses) to pop to musicals. See? Eclectic!

50mm, 1/320, f/2.5

Where do you find inspiration?

I have a blog roll of over 150 photographer blogs and wedding planning websites to read weekly and I have Vogue magazine, Anthropologie catalogue, and wedding mags to round out my reading list. Plus, everything I look at — and I do mean EVERYTHING — I’m evaluating for lighting, composition, and posing.

Aside from yourself, what do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
My sister. She listens to my crazy ideas, helps me implement the schemes, tells me when I’m insane, reminds me to dream big, and makes me laugh.

85mm, 800iso, 1/125, f/8.0
Do you use a second shooter?
Occasionally. Definitely try to have a second camera going at weddings, and sometimes I let aspiring photographers control one of my cameras and practice out their skills at a portrait shoot.

How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?

Ask! The worst that could happen is I say no! 😛 (Cuz I definitely don’t bite. Promise.)
50mm, 125iso, 1/80, f/2.8

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?

Sigh. Do you have to ask all the hard questions? Can I pick two or three? Well, I’m going to because I simply can’t pick one. =) Jasmine Star, Jamie Delaine, and Kristen Leigh.

Are you a member of any organizations?

In the process of joining, but not yet!

Have you won any awards?
Wedding Wire named me Brides Choice 2010! I got the email and literally deleted it, thinking it was a scam or a “make everyone feel special” scheme. But it looks legit! =)

50mm, 200iso, 1/200, f/1.8
What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?
For me, “the leap” has meant viewing myself as a photographer and taking the associated risks. Don’t get me wrong — I am still light years away from being anywhere near where I want to be. But I had to overcome self-doubt, fear, and insecurities before I was willing to spend thousands of dollars on the computer, software, lenses, and camera body necessary to begin the transition from “loving photography” to “photographer,” from “laptop-and-Picasa” to “beastly computer and Photoshop.”

50mm, 500iso, f/100, f/8.0

Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?

Word of mouth, word of mouth, word of mouth! Nothing says “wow” better than a happy client. Seriously. Nothing.

How do you go about networking with other wedding vendors?

I’ve attended wedding shows, emailed local folks, made friends at weddings.

50mm, 200iso, 1/125, f/1.8
Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Ohmyword! So many things come to mind. Mostly facts and questions I’ve only very recently struggled with. But definitely surround yourself with a solid group of cheerleaders, people who will tell you the truth while still providing encouragement to keep improving and to keep plugging along.  And don’t be afraid to fall. Use failing as a learning opportunity and make sure to keep on going.

24mm, 1600iso, 1/50, f/1.8

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?

Nothing says “JenniMarie” better than a happy client. Nothing. In fact, add happy client with the viral epidemic of facebook, and big things can happen. Just saying.

What does an overview of your typical workflow look like?
1. Download to computer.
2. Cull images in Lightroom
3. Tweak exposure/blacks in lightroom then — as necessary — open in Photoshop for more detailed tweaks.
4. Add watermark to blog/facebook picks.
5. Upload web preview album for client.

50mm, 1000iso, 1/400, f/1.8

How do you stay organized?

Lists, lists, and more lists! I keep a notebook for shoot ideas and inspiration clips. Gmail is my bestest friend and keeps all my lists, bookmarks, emails perfectly organized. Sticky notes are my weakness. And – oh yeah – did I mention lists?!

What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”
A couple photographers, their cameras, a couple models, and everyone’s creative genius working together to create some fabulous images. Throw in some coffee and a glowing sunset. Whew. Does life get any better than that?

50mm, 200iso, 1/1000, f/5.0

***Enjoy this feature? Leave a comment to let us know!!!***


Spreading the word for the Spread the Love Tour

November 24, 2009

<a href=””>Justin &amp; Mary Marantz</a> are coming to Charlotte in January for their Spread the Love Workshop and on Black Friday, seats will only be $50!!  After Friday, seats will be $150, so make yourself a reminder to do a little quick shopping online before heading out to shop and wait in hour long lines.

Here’s what they had to say about the workshop:
<em>Spread the Love is not a photography workshop…It’s a LIFE workshop. So you don’t have to be a photographer to attend! Florists, planners, basically anybody who owns their own business can benefit from Spread the Love. In this seminar, we’ll cover everything from marketing, branding, building relationships, business 101, financial health, balancing life &amp; business, creating systems that stick. and so much more. This is the time for a fresh start, and what better way to kick it off than getting inspired to get back to what you love about not only your business, but more importantly…to what you love about your LIFE again? </em>

For each city to remain on the map, at least 50 people will need to sign up for that city, so help them spread the word and invite all your friends to come along!

We’ll be kicking everything off in our own backyard: Beantown, aka Boston on January 5th!

Spread the Love Boston: January 5th
Spread the Love NYC: January 6th
Spread the Love DC: January 7th
Spread the Love Richmond: January 8th

***We’ll be heading to Nashville here to be in town for Imaging/DWF. For any of you guys that are planning on coming to Imaging and can’t make any of the other stops (or just want to come twice!!) we’ve planned the Nashville stop to be the day after the conferences end, just for you!! Well….and all the Nashville people! 🙂

Spread the Love Nashville: January 14th
Spread the Love Charlotte: January 15th
Spread the Love Atlanta: January 18th
Spread the Love Jacksonville: January 19th
Spread the Love Houston: January 22nd
Spread the Love Austin: January 25th
Spread the Love Dallas: January 26th
Spread the Love Phoenix: February 2nd
Spread the Love San Diego: February 4th
Spread the Love LA: February 5th
Spread the Love San Fran: February 8th
Spread the Love Seattle: February 11th
Spread the Love Salt Lake City: February 15th
Spread the Love Denver: February 17th
Spread the Love Kansas City: February 19th
Spread the Love Chicago: February 22nd

***We’ll be taking a break here to get ready for WPPI 2010 where we will be speaking for the very first time! Bleh….I feel like throwing up already!! 🙂 🙂 And then we will wrap up the tour after WPPI with our Maine stop, when hopefully it will be a little warmer up that way!

Spread the Love Maine: March 24th

Dan Glasgow Photography – Raleigh, NC

October 21, 2009

Meet Dan Glasgow of Dan Glasgow Photography in Raleigh, NC.  Dan’s focus in on-location modern children and family portraits.  He uses Canon equipment, shoots RAW with his right eye, in manual mode and uses TRA and Kubota actions as well as his own created actions and presets.


Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?

When I realized I couldn’t do this and give everything away! If something interests me I throw myself into it — I want to learn all I can, experiment, improve, create. It took me a while to recognize how much I was drawn to photography, but once I really got started I knew I was hooked. It’s been a very natural progression for me.


What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?

The importance of understanding the business side of things; someone told me that when I was just starting to consider phootgraphy as a career, and I’m grateful for that advice.  I’m always learning something new about this art, but that’s one of those things that has really stuck with me and helped me grow.

What makes you different from everyone else?
Great question. I like to ask myself the same thing about my clients…what is it about this baby, these siblings, this family, that make them who they are? I try to answer that question with my images, so when you look at them, you feel connected to the people in the photograph.


One item you can’t live without?
I really do like coffee. I’ve given it up before, because I don’t like to think “I can’t live without it”, but I really like it. Especially Peet’s. And Illy.

Your best bokeh image and why?


this one of they little boy in the woods. I really love the warmth and the way the light and the leaves just wrap around him and create this magical golden background.

Favorite book?
I’m really enjoying “The Creative Habit” by Twyla Tharp right now. And “The Lovely Bones” — powerful story and so well-written.

Favorite movie?
That depends on the day of the week! The Dark Knight, Kill Bill Vol. I and II, Ferris Beuler’s Day Off. My kids have discovered Star Wars, so I get to watch those all over again!

D48E6290 8x12

Where do you find inspiration?
It’s everywhere. movies, art, commercials, music, magazines, being around people, driving. It’s rare that I’m not out somewhere and making a mental note of something that I saw or heard. It doesn’t have to be visual. For me there’s different kinds of inspiration — there’s the kind that makes me want to pick up my camera right now and go shoot, and there’s a more abstract and emotional experience or idea that I collect and let it blend with everything else in my head, and I think that shapes what I do in the future.

What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
my creative eye and my clients. Without those two things my business wouldn’t exist.

Do you use a second shooter?
no, it’s just me.


How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?
Be confident and show that you’re passionate. If you want someone to give you a chance, you need to be sure of your abilities.

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
I’ve admired Susan Stripling’s work for a long time, and was fortunate to get some good advice from her when I was starting out, and it would be cool to work with her. For kids, I think Audrey Woulard or Barb Uil. All three of those photographers have a real distinct quality to their work… you know it’s theirs as soon as you see it.


Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
Not yet!

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?
Convince myself that I could do it!

H_109 copy

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Having a business plan is so important. Moving forward and growing is difficult if you’re unsure where you’re headed.

Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?
I’ve been most successful with word of mouth and referrals.


What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
It has to be fun, right? Ideally everyone involved should be able to walk away feeling like they gained something.

Anything else you would like to share?
Shoot for yourself. Work hard. Try to be different, and create amazing images. Push yourself.


**Enjoy this feature?  Leave a comment to let us know!**

Joel Rotunda Photography – Greenville, NC

September 30, 2009

Meet Joel, a wedding, portrait, and commercial photographer who uses Canon.  Joel shoots RAW with his right eye and uses mostly Av and Tv modes, but will occasionally use Manual.  He is a big advocate of Nik Software’s set of actions for Aperture and owns the complete set which includes Color Efex Pro and Silver Efec Pro (the main ones he uses for the “artistic” feel) and Dfine, Viveza, and Sharpener Pro which helps with images that need an extra boost.

Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?

I have always loved photography and maybe five to six years ago I invested in a – wait for it – Sony Cybershot! I was one of the fortunate ones that captured some stunning photographs with that relatively inexpensive camera, the best being a photo of a Volitan Lionfish in Cancun, Mexico. As I posted the pictures on sites such as flickr and my own personal website, I garnered more and more comments and requests for different types of photos which eventually lead me into Digital SLRs starting with the Canon Rebel XT and to my current gear, a Canon 50D.

jrpllc10Lens: N/A
Focal Length: 7.9mm
ISO:  200
Shutter: 1/13
Aperture: f/2.8

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?

There’s so much conflicting information out there today for the aspiring photographer, telling you to do this or do that to become a “pro.”  While technical knowledge is important – especially the exposure triangle – the cameras today are so much smarter than we give them credit for and just understanding basic techniques can create stunning photographs. In saying that, I found the most valuable piece of information I received was simply to shoot everyday.  In doing so, you have so much more opportunity to understand how aperture or shutter speed settings affect your photograph than you ever would reading about in a book.

jrpllc1Lens: EF-S60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
Focal Length: 60mm
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/60
Aperture: f/4

What makes you different from everyone else?

I think my background and ability to connect with clients is what separates me from your average photographer.  I consider myself fortunate to have had parents who ran a photography studio as I was growing up and because of that I had the chance to learn so much about photography – albeit on film at that time. Their experiences and encouragement has been tremendous as I have built this business and even though they don’t have the studio anymore, their insight into my current work has always resulted in better images. My company is also very customer-orientated and it’s a gift to be able to connect with clients on a much deeper level than “just the photographer.” I treat my customers like a friend and I make sure they are taken care of even if it doesn’t involve photography and that’s why a majority of my business comes from previous customer’s referrals.

jrpllc3Lens: EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Focal Length: 28mm
ISO:  400
Shutter: 1/160
Aperture: f/14

One item you can’t live without?

My iPhone – it’s my mobile business.  I update facebook and twitter during shoots, I can post to my blog, I check and respond to e-mails, and update my booking calendar with new dates all on the fly.  How did I ever live life without this thing?

Your best bokeh image and why?


Lens: EF-S60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
Focal Length: 60mm
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/1600
Aperture: f/2.8

I love bokeh and answering this question is like asking a father to pick his favorite child! But, I think my favorite has got to be an engagement picture I took in Greenville, NC with a lovely couple.  My artistic side kicked in and I thought the nearby railroad tracks would be perfect for some shots. Once there I decided to take one of my two signature images which resulted in a beautiful bokeh shot.  I especially love this photograph because the railroad tracks actually lead the eye and frame the ring.

Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?

I have surfed this site for a while to see the profiles of the different photographers and I figured it was about time I submit a profile!

Favorite book?

I have three – Winning by Jack Welch, Fast Track Photography by Dane Sanders, and Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy.

jrpllc4Lens: EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Focal Length: 28mm
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/250
Aperture: f/9

Favorite movie?

As anyone that knows me can tell you I am a huge movie buff with nearly 1,000 DVDs and Blue-Rays at home.  If I had to pick a single movie, I would say Vanilla Sky.  The movie is awesome because it explores the variety of human emotions but is very deep in doing so, it’s one of those movies you either love or hate and I’m one of the few that absolutely love it!

Where do you find inspiration?

I found it odd when I first started in professional photography that many consider it a faux pas to admit they feed off other photographers but I’m proud to admit it.  There are millions of photographers out there and seeing different perspectives or different styles of taking a photograph forces me to constantly examine and evaluate how I take photos.  Sometimes I honestly prefer my style; however, in the beginning I found that those different styles really helped shaped the way I framed and took photographs (in terms of settings).

jrpllc6Lens: EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Focal Length: 25mm
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/400
Aperture: f/2.8

What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?

Without any doubt or hesitation my clients.  Starting out in photography it was those clients who catapulted me to my current success and were willing to trust my judgement in lieu of a “formal’ portfolio. Accordingly, I setup my business to be very customer-centric and I believe in working with my clients closely to make sure that the photography I provide them lives up to everything they ever imagined!

jrpllc7Lens: EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS
Focal Length: 154mm
ISO:  100
Shutter: 1/320
Aperture: f/9

Do you use a second shooter?

I haven’t recently but I’m always receptive to helping out up and coming photographers because we all been there before and it’s great to have a helping hand!

How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?

Make Contact!  I won’t necessarily know you’re out there if I never hear from you!  Just send me an e-mail, let me know your experience, and what you want to accomplish with second shooting.  I’ll always respond back even if it’s not for a particular job!

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?

Although it’s a stretch, I would absolutely love to second shoot with Mike Colón.  He has an incredible reputation of helping the photography community and seems like such a down to earth guy despite his incredible success.

Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?

Previously, I was a member of the PPA and I have been considered joining WPPI sometime this year.

jrpllc2Lens: EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Focal Length: 50mm
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/100
Aperture: f/4.5

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?

The most important thing I found is that you have to believe in yourself and your talent.  People aren’t always receptive to new ideas or a new way of doing things but it is that new perspective which will constantly drive innovation and, if successful, put you at the forefront.

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?

In the beginning, reaching out to couples my wife and I knew or had met became an important source for clients.  A vast majority of those sessions were done for free but provided a valuable starting place for building a portfolio and attracting paying customers to my company.

jrpllc5Lens: EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Focal Length: 45mm
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/200
Aperture: f/2.8

Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?

If for, who have you had the most success with? In general, I think advertising is well worth it; however, I think you have to make sure it fits your branding and will generate new clients.  After all, it does you no good to spend all this money on advertising if at the end of the day you don’t have any new clients to show for it.  Similarly, when considering advertising give yourself a few days to think it over after you speak with the advertising agency and, most importantly, be honest in your assessment of the results you will generate through this particular advertisement!

jrpllc8Lens: EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS
Focal Length: 225mm
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/1250
Aperture: f/5.6

**Enjoy this feature?  Leave a comment to let us know**

Patrick Makes Photographs – Raleigh, NC

June 2, 2009

***READERS… once again, we’re bringing you a special feature post on a photographer with a slightly different focus:)  enjoy!  also… we’ve gotten such a great response from photographers wanting to be featured, that starting this month, we’ll be featuring 2 photographers each week!  but that doesn’t mean we don’t need more submissions… we are always looking for new photographers to feature, so don’t be shy!  email us and get featured!  thanks!!!***

Meet Patrick Emmons, a manual RAW canon shooter who uses his right eye to capture mostly musician press, promotional photos and commercial photography.  His personal business is Patrick Makes Photographs, but he also works full time for Jimmy Williams – a commercial photographer in Raleigh, NC


facebook – add me!

Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
I started out photographing bands at concerts, that is pretty much what got me into photography. As soon as I started the photography program at App and began receiving positive reaction from the photos I was taking, I knew that I wanted to at least try to do this for a living or at least make money on the side doing it. It was after I got through all of the film developing, alternative processes, and artsy photography classes that I started to realize I could work in the world of commercial photography and actually make a good living.


What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
There are actually two things I’ve learned that I think are important to any photographer trying to make it in the industry. First is that you need to create a “brand” out of your photography. You want people to know you for your unique style and come to you because of it. If you’ve got a style that is truly unique and your name is out there, when you advertise your services people may already know of you or see that you’ve got something others don’t and choose you because of that. The photographer I work for at my 9-5 job has such a distinct style that people come to him because they want his “brand” of photography for their job, not just because he is a good photographer. The other thing I’ve learned is the importance of the business & production side of being a photographer. In commercial photography, you can’t just show up and shoot – there is a whole lot more involved and if you don’t have someone to manage all of that you’ll go nowhere.


What makes you different from everyone else?
I would guess my style would make me different from other photographers. I light and retouch my photos in a way that I created, not mimicking anyone else. I’m sure I do certain things similar to other photographers, but my end product doesn’t look like anyone else’s stuff for the most part. I retouch all of my photographs personally and that is what helps give my photos their personal touch.


Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
I honestly don’t really pay attention to other photographers. I’ll see specific photos I like here and there, but don’t really have time to look through magazines, books, and the internet at what everyone else is doing.

One item you can’t live without?
Probably my canon 16-35mm lens. I use it on almost every press / promo shoot I do for bands and 16mm is always interesting no matter what I’m photographing. I do hate fisheye lenses though, I like wide but not incredibly distorted.

Your best bokeh image and why?


I think my favorite one is a photo I took back when I had a Canon 85mm 1.2L. It was during the week we spent at the beach before my wedding, I photographed one of my wife’s best friends from Seattle sitting in a tree in Corrola, NC. The way the bokeh effects the leaves and the highlights coming through them looks awesome to me.

Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?
I like to talk about the stuff I do and show people what I make. Hopefully I can get some feedback from a totally different crowd than normal.

Favorite book?
Don’t really have a favorite book, although the one I am currently reading is awesome – “Perpetual” by Brian Huey, one of my friend’s dad.

Favorite movie?
I don’t really know what to pick for this.

Where do you find inspiration?
I’ll look through music magazines and see how other photographers are shooting bands. The main way I get inspiration is usually from random thoughts and ideas that come into my head while working. A lot of my photo ideas come from the location that I shoot at, so I’m constantly looking around when I drive anywhere just in case I drive by something that I think would be perfect for a photo.

What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
Having a portfolio of images that creates a style that people want and can only get from me. Band photographers are a dime a dozen and most will shoot bands they like or that are bigger for free. You’ve got to get past the “fame” that the band has and charge them what you’re photos are worth regardless. If they chose someone else because they’ll do it for free, then they’ll likely get images that reflect what they’ve paid and maybe in the future they’d come back to you.

Do you use a second shooter?

How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?
Wait until I do this full time. But even then I’d only want an assistant, never anyone else shooting.

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
I honestly would only want to shoot as a 1st shooter, doing what I am doing now. I should become a 2nd shooter for my current boss eventually though, and I would enjoy that for sure.

Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
I am not a member of any organizations and haven’t won any awards. I rarely submit my work to anything, just the Communication Arts Photo Annual pretty much.

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?
I was lucky enough to not have to take a leap. I started doing everything on the weekends as I was working full time and didn’t have to rely on getting work as a form of income. Once I contacted the publisher of Alternative Press magazine to show him my work, he started to hire me to do shoots every now and then.

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Focus on promotion and marketing of your style and branding, and send it anywhere you can think of. Pay for ad space in important magazines, do direct mail stuff, etc. Use myspace too to spread the word. Try and get a full or part time job that is similar to photography in some way so you can stay focused while you are waiting for the photography stuff to be at the level it needs to be in order to do it full time. I’m not even there yet so I can’t say much more.


What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
Nothing yet, but I am working on a direct mail piece that looks pretty amazing so far. Hopefully it will catch the eyes of some record labels and magazines I haven’t worked with and I’ll get more work.

Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?
100% for advertising. Word of mouth is great, but some people just aren’t going to know who you are and what you do until you reach them somehow yourself.


***Did you enjoy this post?  Leave a comment to let us all know!***

Amanda James Photography – Charlotte, NC

April 29, 2009

Meet Amanda James, recently turned Amanda Byrd (she recently got married and she’s currently in the processing of recruiting her husband to be her second shooter!).  Amanda currently focuses on children and family photography, but recently has had the opportunity to branch out to do maternity, engagements, and pups, and will also be shooting her first weddings this year.  Amanda uses Nikon equipment, and her left eye.

my-photophoto by the Husband

Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?

I have a full time job, and do photography as a second career.  It can be very time consuming, but I think that there are some things in life that you just know are right, so you don’t mind spending your time doing it.  Photography is just one of those things for me.

2-bokeh-pot50mm, 50mm, ISO 640, 1/100, f4.5

What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?

Be patient and believe in yourself.  Things just don’t happen overnight.  I am so incredibly lucky to have an amazing husband that supports me through it all and has more patience than anyone I know.  He is a great role model. Oh and one more thing-  step away from the computer when you get frustrated, things always seem to look better after a good night’s sleep than at 1 o’clock in the morning.

What makes you different from everyone else?

I’d like to think that I have a style that is unique to Amanda James Photography.  Plus, post processing is very important to me-  I spent countless hours there to get my images looking just right.  At the end of the day though, I hope that my clients not only come back because they love their images, but more importantly because I treated them as if they were my only customer.

3-bokeh-pot17-55mm, 55mm, ISO 400, 1/160, f2.8

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?

Hmmm, that’s a very tough question.  I am discovering new photographers all the time and am constantly amazed at their skills and creativity.

One item you can’t live without?

My 50mm 1.4.  It doesn’t seem to matter what other lens investments I make, I always go back to that lens.  I love primes.

Your best (favorite) bokeh image and why?

1-bokeh-pot-bokeh-image85mm, 85mm, ISO 200, 1/1250, f1.8

I just absolutely adore this image for a few reasons.  First and foremost, because it is an image of my nephew when he was just over a year old.  I’m pretty sure you can see right into his soul in this photo.  In my biased opinion, I think he was born to be a Gap baby:)  I think the Photography Gods were smiling down on me when I took this image.

Favorite book?

I hate to admit it, but I haven’t read a book in it’s completion in quite awhile.  I’ve never been much of a reader.

Favorite movie?

I’m a huge fan of chick flicks!  I think I’ve recommended “Knocked Up” to everyone I know 🙂

4-bokeh-pot50mm, 50mm, ISO 800, 1/60, f2.0

Where do you find inspiration?

I’m always inspired by other great photographers (Audrey Woulard, Jesh de Rox) but it seems that I get the best images from interacting with the wonderful families I get the privilege to photograph.  No matter how many ideas I’ve prepared the night before, the images I usually end up loving the most are the ones that just sort of happen at the session.  It is really great to see the love a family has for each other come out through an image.


50mm, 50mm, ISO 1600, 1/4000, f2.8

What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?

I’d have to say my dedication.  I try to be very accessible to my clients and go above and beyond what they expect.  If I tell them I’ll have their images in 2 weeks, I’ll make sure I bust my butt to get them those images.

8-bokeh-pot150mm, 50mm, ISO 400, 1/1250, f1.8

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?

Anyone that is willing to share their knowledge and experience openly.

How would you suggest that photographers wanting to second shoot/assist/shadow you or others go about getting the gig?

Shoot me an email or call me-  I’d love to talk to you!

9-bokeh-pot50mm, 50mm, ISO 200, 1/500, f1.8

Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?

No… but I do have an image on a billboard on I77 in Charlotte!  I felt as though I had won a prize when I saw it for the first time!

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?

I’ve been slowly easing in to the business, as I do have a full time job.  I think there will always be obstacles, but you can’t be afraid to really put yourself out there.  That I find is the most difficult thing to do, but the customer won’t know that they need your services if they don’t know that you offer them!

10-bokeh-pot50mm, 50mm, ISO 400, 1/60, f1.6

Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?

Go for it!

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?

To build my wedding business, I have been offering a free engagement session, to get to know me and my style of photography.  This has been a great way to form a relationship with my clients and gain their trust in me as a photographer.

5-bokeh-pot50mm, 50mm, ISO 1000, 1/125, f2.8

What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?

Wine and photo talk 🙂

6-bokeh-pot50mm, 50mm, ISO 1600, 1/100, f3.5

David Ziser: Digital Wake Up Call

April 28, 2009


Visit: for more details!!!

picture-3picture-1picture-5Visit: for more details!!!

picture-7picture-8Visit: for more details!!!