Capturing Life in Art

What is your name? Holly

What is your business name? Simply Life Photographs

How long have you been doing photography?

Oh Gosh, I guess since Santa Claus brought that turquoise polaroid when I was 7 or 8. Still love film and still love polaroids.

How did you get started?

I have always been fascinated with capturing life in art, and because I cannot draw I needed a new medium, and photography made that work for me.  And bending light, or capturing it became so interesting to me when I took a snap shot while my brother was being photographed by a professional when I was a kid. I won a blue ribbon at the county fair with that very strange shot because of his studio lights and my flash.  I could not learn enough about lighting then, and I might have been 12 at the time. I took classes off and on for years but always as a hobby and for personal reasons. After my kids were born, people started asking me to photograph their kids and one thing led to another.

Why have you chosen the particular type of photography you do?

I have to laugh, because I think it chose me.  My husband’s work has taken our family all over the United States and portrait work came simply by word of mouth, but moving to Dallas Texas was not the same as other places, seems like anyone with a DSLR has a photography business and competition is high.  Although we  do have huge differences in business practices.  But I have met several people in the local industry and have started more event work and product work that I really enjoy.  Objects never complain about wrinkles or how much they weigh.

Do you have any favourite shoots you’ve done? Or perhaps you want to share on one that was a disaster?

My favourites are always photos that capture something  important to someone.  I love a parent who comments that “I really love that expression, she only does that when she is very happy”, or the parent of a child with Autism who cries because they have never had a photo of their child looking at the camera.  It is in those times that I feel the weight of the importance of the job that I have the honour of performing.  And as for disasters… I cannot shoot moon pictures… EVER. But I never stop trying.

Do you have any hints or tips you’d like to offer to budding photographers for your field?

First and foremost, learn… never stop learning and I am not talking about new equipment.  Find a good photographer that is willing to mentor you.  I have a 17 year old that works for me at my events.  She has a great eye and wants to be a photographer, but for me, she schleps gear, runs errands, changes lenses and batteries, runs the printer if we are printing onsite, and helps tear down the lights and pack it all back up.  She understands the work behind it all and why we do what we do.

Secondly, join a professional organization.  In The U.S. I cannot recommend Professional Photographers of America, enough. They have ongoing training, certification, support, and a plethora of other info just waiting to help you run the best business possible and of course make sure you are competing in photography competitions so that you keep working on your skills.

And finally, do not undercharge or give your work away.  It is your work… and you have education, skill and time involved.  Be proud!


Please provide your website address so that I can encourage readers to visit your site.

Do you recommend this vocation to our readers, as a great way to earn a living? I know that some will be interested to know whether they can consider it as a full time vocation.

I love doing what I do… and I have the luxury of choosing what work I do each month because my husband is the primary bread winner, but I could do it full time and make a good living.  I get to travel, and take my family with me, I capture people in times that they want to remember or cherish.  I have been with parents to photograph their child, who was dying from cancer; I have captured adults who returned to school graduate with a degree.  I create images of families that rarely get photographs made all together.  I would not trade it for anything in the world.

Underwater Photography

I met David via a LinkedIn Photographer’s forum and asked him if he’d mind being interviewed.  Below are his answers.

What is your name?

David Bryant

What is your business name?

Seapics Photography

How long have you been a photographer?

20 years

Please tell us how you got started

I got started after I finished my apprenticeship as a Compositor. I photographed my first Wedding when I was asked by diving friends if I would shoot their wedding day, so I borrowed a Nikon F60 with 20mm lens and pop-up flash and shot the whole day. It was so successful I took up wedding photography and 10 years later I also started photographing Real Estate, Wildlife, etc. I also started scuba diving in 1989 and it was natural to want to take underwater photos, so I bought my first underwater camera, a Hanimex Amphibian, then a Nikonos 2, then a Nikonos 3, twin strobes, wide angle lens and lots more.  In 2002 I bought the Olympus 5050 and housing and all my UW shots on my website have been photographed with this over the past 10 years.

 Why have you chosen this particular type of photography?

I chose this particular style of photography because I like to show my family (initially) and nowadays the World, what I capture when I dive. There’s just so much lovely stuff under the sea and people are always amazed at what lies beneath the waves!

Do you have any favourite shoots you’ve done? Or perhaps you want to share on one that was a disaster?

I’ve done many shoots but most were for fun – I almost photographed an Underwater wedding at the Melbourne Aquarium but that was called off, bugger!  Most of what I do with my photography is for fun but I do make a living doing  Real Estate, Weddings and other things….  none of these I would consider as ‘memorable’ though!

Do you have any hints or tips you’d like to offer to budding photographers for your field?

Hint and/or tips…..  Just get out there and push that trigger, and don’t be afraid to point the camera UP occasionally – most of us look at the world horizontally and very rarely ever look up, especially under water! – Also shoot using Natural Light…  just because we have a flash doesn’t mean we have to use it every shot!

What is your web address?

Website:  My website is linked to a gallery of 1,000+ images on Flickr, which can also be accessed just by typing in seapicsdavebryant once you are on Flickr.