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.