Heidi Leigh Photography – Colorado Springs, CO / Myrtle Beach, SC

December 2, 2009

Meet Heidi Hesla of Heidi Leigh Photography.  Heidi is a wedding and portrait photographer who works in Colorado Springs as well as in her hometown of Myrtle Beach, SC.  She shoots in RAW using Nikon Manual mode.  While she uses her right eye to shoot with, her left eye does crazy things as it’s behind the camera.  She likes to use Kubota actions as well as MCP  Blogging Actions.

www.heidileighphotography.com
www.heidileighphotography.com/blog
Facebook
Twitter

Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
The first wedding I ever did!  There is something completely amazing about being able to document Love. I love people, photography and weddings so it seemed like a natural fit for me.  Plus I have been waiting my whole life to do something that I truly LOVE.

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What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
I have to pick one thing? I have to say I have learned A LOT this last year.  But not viewing other photographers as competition would be close to the top. This industry is huge and there is so much to learn, we can all learn something from one another.  Luckily I figured this out early on(thanks Becker) and I believe it has helped my business to thrive.  Check out the [b] school.

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What makes you different from everyone else?
My background is in communications and event planning so I fully understand the importance of details, schedules and thinking on the fly.  I even made bouquets at a wedding once, because of a flower emergency! 🙂  I believe it is of utmost importance that things run as smoothly as possible for the bride and groom on their big day.  Sometimes that means you have to take care of the details.  Besides they aren’t going to need you to photograph the moment they realize all of their flowers are dead.

Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
Jamie Delaine. She is only 19 years old and her work is classic, artistic and just plain stunning.

One item you can’t live without?
My camera or my macbook pro….hmmm

Your best bokeh image and why?

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I love this image because it separates this child from everything around him.  For a moment he just is and I believe it captures the child at this age.  The bokeh in this image helps me to convey that feeling.  For this reason I love bokeh!!

Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?
I think it is really great what you all are doing!  I love learning more about other photographers around the country and I love to blogstalk too! If I can impart any widsom(if I have any) to help you on your journey to a photography career I would be happy to.
Favorite book?
Anything by Jane Austen
Favorite movie?
Sabrina

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Where do you find inspiration?
Anthropologie…haha but seriously I love that store. Such a classic/vintage style all wrapped up into one. But really my greatest inspiration comes from those around me.
What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
I guess me(filled with all of the information that I have learned).  I am offering my clients an experience and the end result is relaxed and beautiful photographs that tell their story, this is my goal.

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Do you use a second shooter?
Yes! I eventually hope to have someone full time, but right now I use photog friends or people that I find through the B school, etc.  I believe have a second shooter is crucial for many reasons and thus I don’t think that I will ever shoot a wedding without one.  If you want to know what those reasons are just ask! 🙂
How would you recommend that someone wanting to second shoot with you go about getting the gig?
Just send me an e-mail!

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If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
I would say Becker because I hear that he has a way with clients like no one else and can make anyone feel comfortable in front of the camera. And Jamie Delaine because I love her style and I would ask her how she became such an amazing photographer AND businesswoman at the ripe old age of 19.

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Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
I am in the process of gaining membership through two organizations. No awards yet, but who knows maybe one day.

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?
I suppose I am still taking the leap. I still work a full time job in addition to my business. But when I started this I said if I was going to do it I would do it right. So I bought pro gear and spent every waking moment learning as much as I could.  There is still so much to learn though.

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Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Shoot, shoot, shoot and learn, learn, learn in order to grow, grow, grow.  This isn’t a song yet but maybe I will right it soon.

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
Social Networking and Facebook have been huge for me!  I don’t know that I have anything super creative yet.

Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?
I purchased paid advertising in a new market that I was hoping to break into and have received 0 return from it. But that was my only experience.  I am a huge fan of social networking, I think it is the way of the future and I am predominately referral based.

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What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
Chatting for hours over coffee and then going out and shooting for fun!

Anything else you would like to share?
I really have learned a lot from the [b] school and the amazing community there.  I would suggest you check it out if you haven’t already.  Don’t be afraid to blogstalk but identify your brand and what you like to shoot from this will come your own style.

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Becca Bond Photography – Charlotte, NC & Fort Mill, SC

September 23, 2009

Meet Becca, a Nikon user who uses both eyes to shoot with.  Becca mostly focuses on kids, babies and families, but has recently ventured into doing boudoir, engagement and weddings.  She uses Manual Mode, shoots in RAW, and aside from some Lightroom presets that she invented, she loves using Sesame Ellis’ presets with some tweakage.

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www.beccabondphotography.com
http://beccabondphotography.wordpress.com/

Describe the moment you decided it was time to pursue this as a career?
I recently found an old book where I had journalled about my decision to become a photographer.  I was 13 years old.  If I hadn’t packed the journals back and put them back in the attic I would copy the excerpt.  Since my school didn’t have a darkroom, I worked with a teacher to set one up so I could be the yearbook photographer and took classes outside of school.  I went to SCAD to get my degree in photography then moved to NYC to work in the industry.  After a while, I left it to do graphic design and have recently reunited my hands with cameras about 2.5 years ago.

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What is one thing you’ve learned so far that has proven most valuable?
how important it is to stay true to yourself as an artist.  Find your own voice and embrace it.  The right clients will find you.  It’s so easy in the beginning to become dazzled by all the amazing photographers out there and emulate what you see.  That is an important learning step, but listen to your heart to know where you should go.

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What makes you different from everyone else?
I think every photographer struggles with this from time to time.  For me, I would have to say that it’s my interaction with my subject that sets me apart.  At least that’s what I like to think!  That and my processing.  It’s a little wacky sometimes.  I strive to reveal a feeling or mood instead of what was in front of me that day.

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Who is your one favorite up-and-coming photographer?
I have to plug one of my best friends, Alicia Williams.   I love watching her evolve as an artist, she is amazing and has a very creative way of seeing.  We bounce ideas off of each other and push each other.  Every time she shows me her work, I am in awe.

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One item you can’t live without?
well, my contact lenses.  I guess that’s two items– the left and the right!  Without them my work would be pretty blurry, and I don’t mean in a bokeh way.

Your best bokeh image and why?

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I almost always shoot 1.8-2.8 when a single subject is the focus.  I’d say my favorite right now is this one of my baby enjoying a popsicle because it’s all about her and it’s summer and what’s not to love about a yummy red popsicle.

Why did you want to be included on The Bokeh Pot?
It’s such a great collection of talent!  There are so many wonderful photographers to discover here.  Why not/?!

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Favorite book?
this month: the Red Tent

Favorite movie?
it changes but this month: Slumdog Millionaire

Where do you find inspiration?
my two Roses: my baby, Willow Rose, and my grandmother, Rose Gaggini

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What do you think is the most valuable aspect of your business?
2 things: persistence and client relationships.  Persistence because I believe the one thing that sets apart success from failure is persistence.  Client relationships because it is such an honor to be invited into people’s lives as their photographer.  They put their trust in me to create these reflections for them, and I approach each session with a huge sense of gratitude.

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Do you use a second shooter?
As of right now I do not.  However, there is a team forming 🙂

If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?
I second shoot with Piper Warlick a lot and love it, she is awesome to work with.  My dream gig would be to second shoot with some of the Australian photogs that I love: Rachel Devine, Sheye Rosemeyer, Jinky of course 🙂

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Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?
Does belonging to the Charlotte Photographer Divas count? 🙂  No awards.

What did you have to do to actually take the leap?  Did you have any hoops to jump through?
Taking the leap for me came naturally.  I have a degree in photography which hadn’t been put to use in a decade almost, the mortgage company that I was working for closed down, and I became a mother in the period of a month.  Picking up a camera again just made sense.  The whole world has gone digital so it was like starting all over again.  There were lots of things to get used to.  But I love the fact that it’s so easy to take a single image in a million different directions.  So much easier than film.  It’s addictive.

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Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?
Learn as much as you can and practice constantly.  Value what you do.

What is the biggest or most creative thing you do/have done to draw new clients?
Hmmm… for my market, being on a Mommy networking board is helpful.  Other than that, word of mouth.

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Are you for or against advertising (paid or free)?  If for, who have you had the most success with?
I’m completely for advertising!  I believe in the “10 foot rule” that they talk about in sales strategies, every person within 10 feet of you should know what you do.  It’s free too!

What’s your idea of the perfect photographer networking “date”?
It involves sharing stories, vino, and image critique.

Anything else you would like to share?
Bokehpot is awesome!!!!  Thank you ladies for doing this!!!!

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David Ziser: Digital Wake Up Call

April 28, 2009

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Visit: http://www.digitalwakeupcall.com/ for more details!!!

picture-3picture-1picture-5Visit: http://www.digitalwakeupcall.com/ for more details!!!

picture-7picture-8Visit: http://www.digitalwakeupcall.com/ for more details!!!


Tracy Turpen Photography- Charleston, SC

March 25, 2009

Meet Tracy, a wedding photographer who enjoys seeking out the best natural light and likes to shoot on both ends of the aperture spectrum.  Tracy and her husband Lance work as a team but do not market themselves that way.  Tracy shoots RAW with her right eye, in fully manual mode and doesn’t use actions.  She currently shoots canon but says it doesn’t really matter (I’ve actually known Tracy since her Nikon days in college and can say that she’s one of the few who have used both;) ).

bio
www.tracyturpen.com
www.tracyturpenblog.com

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

I was working for another photographer and his studio while in school.  I started out doing weddings and very soon clients were requesting me by name, even though I was the least experienced photographer in the studio.

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

It really helps to look at everything from different perspectives and angles – not just photography but everything.

What makes you different from everyone else?

The same thing that makes everyone different from everyone else, my personality and style.

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

My husband, it’s amazing how far he has come along in such a short time.

One item you can’t live without?

From a business stand point I could not live without a camera, any camera.  From a personal stand point I could not live without fresh fruit.

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Your best (favorite) bokeh image and why?

I am still searching for my favorite. I haven’t taken it yet, and I hope I never do because I always want to improve and try new things.
Favorite book?

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
Favorite movie?

Amelie

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Where do you find inspiration?

I try to find inspiring and interesting things in ordinary situations.

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

The personal relationships I form with my clients.
If you could second shoot with anyone, who would it be?

Ben Chrisman

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

It really helps to have an online portfolio and to contact photographers with a similar photographic style.  Even though you might not be a ‘professional’ yet, it helps to look and act the part.  If nothing else it shows you have an investment in being a photographer.
Are you a member of any organizations and have you won any awards?

PPA, ISPWP.  I won First Place in the Emotion category of the WPJAs 2007 photo contest, and Second Place for the Movement and Motion category of the ISPWP’s 2008 photo contest, Honorable Mention in the Wedding Photography Directory’s contest for the past 2 years.

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

I spent 4 months straight (6 hours a day 6 days a week) researching and planning out my business.  I made a list of photographers I really liked, studied their websites, and figured out what I liked about their business, their website, and photographic style.  Then I invested what little money I had in a website and advertising.
Do you have suggestions for others trying to make the transition?

Look at the photorgaphers who inspire you and who are where you want to be when you ‘make it’.  Don’t worry about how long you have been doing it, or ‘how good you are’ – build your business around where you want to be not where you are right now.  Your Top 5 Favorite Photographers are your ‘competition’, not the people who have been in business as long as you, or who charge the same amount as you.

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

I put a lot of my energy and creativity into the photographs that I take because I believe photographs (having a very solid body of work) is the best form of advertisement.

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

Honestly, I don’t do a lot of networking with other photographers or wedding vendors.  I should probably set up a casual pot luck dinner with some local photographers.  Anyone interested?

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Shane Snider StepUp Workshop (Jan 29-31) – Charleston, SC

December 15, 2008

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