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.
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.
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.
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?
50mm f1.8 iso 100 1/160
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.
Anything by Jane Austen
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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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