Interview

Photographers Who Inspire | Melissa Wells

We wrap up our 2012 Photographers Who Inspire series with an interview with Melissa Wells.  Melissa is truly a grass roots success story; she got in to photography just for fun and now has been successfully running her business for four years.  Please welcome, newborn photographer, Melissa Wells!

 

Who or what was your original inspiration when you started your business? Who inspires you now?

Besides of course my children :) Carrie Sandoval!! Before she was Baby as Art. Her work was and is still amazing but what really got me when I was first starting out and I was awful, she took the time to actually respond to my emails and help me out… little ole me. I would sit and stare at her images all night in awe!
Carrie still inspires me to this day but most recently the person who inspires me most is Kristen from SonKissed Photography. I have never met her in person but her work alone is just stunning and always perfect! I just love her and would really love to meet her! There is so much negativity is this industry but I have never heard one bad thing about her! She is so sweet and so willing to help and share!

What was the hardest part of starting your own business? What do you wish you would have known?

oh!! so many things! FIrst of all just learning the whole business side of things! It looks so easy.. just take pictures.. NO think again! So much more goes into taxes etc etc. Once I got all of that down it was so much better. I wish I would have know all of the rules before hand!

You specialize in photographing newborns. What has been the biggest challenge in capturing beautiful newborn images?

I think if I didn’t do this job I would want to be a labor and delivery nurse. There is something so special about being a part of the most special time in someones life! The start of your family… a new beginning and I am lucky enough to freeze that moment in time so my clients have that forever! How cool is that??
In my opinion everyone can’t photograph newborns! It takes so much time and patience! It really has to be perfect! There is no re do.. they are only a tiny newborn for so long!
The biggest challenge is making every session perfect! Making every baby look happy and peaceful. ALso I am big on making sure the babys face is showing and not squished up, and getting those fingers straight :)

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Photographers Who Inspire | Laura Brett

We are again honored to have such an amazing photographer on the blog to continue our Photographers Who Inspire series.  Laura Brett is truly one of the modern day trailblazers of newborn photography.  Her popular Newborn Goodness photography workshops are almost always full and that is no surprise as many photographers have taken notice of her creativity and professionalism.  Please welcome Laura to IMB!

 

Who or what was your original inspiration when you started your business? Who inspires you now?

My original inspiration and my continued inspiration is my children. I missed out capturing them as newborns and would give anything to go back and capture those fleeting moments. Now I document everything and anything they do!

What was the hardest part of starting your own business? What do you wish you would have known?

The hardest part of starting your business….is starting your business. :) Its had to know how to begin, I wish in the beginning I would have attended a workshop on being in business to lay the ground work. Its that important! That’s why I’m such a big advocate on learning the basics of business before diving in. 90% off you work will be related to business.

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Photographers Who Inspire | Julie Paisley

This week in our Photographers Who Inspire interview series we are happy to have the creator of the wildly successful Let’s Click Workshops, Julie Paisley!  She is a true teacher at heart and her proudest moments in life are seeing her past workshop students grow to reach their potential.  Please welcome the humble yet incredibly talented, Julie Paisley!

Who or what was your original inspiration when you started your business? Who inspires you now?

When my children were 2 and 4 we were gifted a lifestyle session on the beach. It was not posed, just played with the kids and the photographer snapped away. After that session I knew if I could ever just “have fun” and follow my dream, I wanted to give someone else that gift…the gift of just being natural and having those moments captured. That inspired me then and it still does today.

What was the hardest part of starting your own business? What do you wish you would have known?

PRICING! Hands down! I had no idea what goes into running a photography business! I seriously worked for pennies for the first two years of business. I wish someone would have been honest with me and helped me in that area.

Many know you as an incredible newborn photographer, but recently you announced that JPP will shoot weddings exclusively. Can you give us the “shortened” version of how and why you came to this decision.

This was so hard! I LOVE newborns but I know that my passion is in weddings. They are so different and it’s really hard to put 100% into both. I will still be doing a select number of newborn sessions a year but it will be lifestyle and outdoor “newborn art” sessions. No more studio work. My business is so busy and I constantly struggle to find balance between work and family. By concentrating on weddings and workshops and limited portrait work, I am hoping that will give some peace and I can give the time and attention needed to both family and clients.

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Interview and Giveaway with Jen Carver

Although it isn’t part of our official Photographers Who Inspire series, we have a special interview this week with Jen Carver from Jen Carver Photography along with a one of a kind giveaway for a chance to attend her online workshop for free!

 

Who or what was your original inspiration when you started your business? Who inspires you now?

Definitely my kids certainly pushed my hand in moving forward with my business, there is no question about that…but I had been in the industry in some capacity most of my career.

I started out in visual merchandising, then became Director of Marketing for a few retail companies and Brands. I spent many years directing and managing our advertising campaigns. However, I was not behind the camera I was beside it, spending lots of time with creative agencies, models, producers, makeup artists , stylists and very high end commercial photographers. When I left the industry after having my second daughter, that is when I decided to take that experience and start a business.. I am a 100% self taught in terms of my camera, but I have many years of experience working with so many talented people learning the art of lighting, styling, marketing and concepting.

I knew when I left the industry, I would have to find something as creatively challenging to feel that void. One of the former commercial photographers that i had worked with suggested I try this. I recall hanging up the phone that day, making a large purchase on Amazon and the rest is history!

In terms of who inspires me now, so many people, I find inspiration in so many different places, through day to day experiences mostly, I also really admire work outside of my own specialty, when I feel I can step out of the area of children and look at other areas of work it really helps me push the envelope creatively. I try to take little pieces of how I might interpret that particular image and apply it to what I do with children.

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Photographers Who Inspire | Keri Meyers

 She probably needs no introduction with the IMB community as she is arguably the most well known newborn photographer in the U.S.  She is the 2010 winner of the National Association of Child Photographers Image Competition in the newborn division.  She has personally mentored over 200 photographers from all over the world in just the past two years alone.  She has undoubtedly influenced hundreds, if not thousands, more through her work.  She is a teacher, a mentor, and completely passionate about her photography.  She is Keri Meyers.

Who or what was your original inspiration when you started your business? Who inspires you now?

It all really started back in 2007 in between the births of my two sons (14 months apart). I have always had a love and eye for photography. Before having children I loved photographing landscapes and nature. After the birth of my first son in October 2007 my passion really shifted to children. Go figure. After photographing several local children and families I decided to start my business officially in the October 2008, just before my second son was born in December. Crazy? Sort of.

Today, many different people inspire me and they aren’t necessarily photographers. I am inspired by men/women who work hard and reach for their dreams. I really try to surround myself with positive people that encourage each other to reach their goals whether it’s achieving a new business goal or running a half marathon. We all need people in our lives that inspire us to be better in all facets of our lives.

What was the hardest part of starting your own business? What do you wish you would have known?

The hardest part in starting my own business was balancing time between work & family and learning the business side of owning your own business. When you are first starting out you want to put everything you have into perfecting your craft and growing your business. It is easy to allow work to eat into precious time with family and friends. I have to admit, this is something that I continue to work on, but I am getting better and better at this juggling act between work and family. While it would have been wonderful to have a mentor to share these nuggets of advice with me, it has been a wonderful journey and I truly believe you cannot learn unless you are allowed to make your own mistakes along the way.

When it comes to the dreaded “business side” of things I was a mess in the beginning. I didn’t have a clue what I was getting myself into in terms of taxes and bookkeeping, etc., etc. Knowing what I know now, I would have consulted with an accountant and bookkeeper before starting my business. That would have saved me many headaches and really helped my business get off on the right foot. I kind of flew by the seat of my pants in the beginning… something I don’t recommend doing. :) It is incredibly important to have a business plan and schedule to keep you organized for tax season. I have found great relief since using Accounting for Photographers tools. Now, I am *more* organized and don’t sweat it (quite as much) when taxes are due.

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