We are going back to our roots over here at Colorvale.
One of the great things about our industry is meeting all the talent. So we are bringing back our Featured Photographer interviews. This is where we will find fresh new faces, ask them questions that can helps others in our industry, and showcase their work.
Meet my new friend Korie. Dive deep into her story, it's an awesome one that many can relate to.
Given all the hard work and hours involved in the photography business would you choose this line of work again?
I am a wife, mother of 5 adult kids and grandmother. All of my life has been about raising, loving and capturing every special moment with children. For my ‘career’ I chose working in a school as a paraprofessional to help some of the kids who had troubled home lives have a better future and by helping them graduate High School. I waited until I turned 39 before pursuing my dream in photography. I have seen God open so many doors for me to meet and be a part of over a hundred people and their special memories in just one year. I can’t think of a better calling for my life and would definitely choose this path over again.
Lessons learned from your years of experience, what mistakes have you made that you would never repeat?
I think the biggest thing I have learned is to not compare myself to others. When I first began, I joined every local group I could join and quickly became so unconfident in my own passion and work. I enjoyed learning from others in my area but it was not until I removed myself from those groups and only remained in groups from other areas that I began to grow. Now I can join local groups and know why my style is important to me and feel like I am a part of the photography community.
If you could change one thing about the industry what would that be?
One thing I would change about the industry would be impossible to change. I received my certificate in portrait photography from New York Institute of Photography last Spring. I learned all of the rules and basics to focus in on my technique. But I believe the one thing I would change would be for photographers to not be so black and white on who they have to be in the photography world. I do a wide range of photography. From First year birthday cake smash sessions to weddings and maternity sessions.I give each session its own unique style and every person I speak to like the fact that I am flexible with my editing. I think there are some in the industry who believe things have to be one way and I get bored with that too easily.
What types of shoots have you vowed you would never do again?
I will never do a newborn shoot again. I have fibromyalgia which affects my nerves and muscles. The last newborn session I had was miserable. The parents were amazing and the baby was perfect. But I learned real fast, newborn photography was not going to be something I would focus on.
Do you have an absolute favorite photo you have taken that you feel you knocked the socks off of? If so, please provide and describe why it moves you.
I have a few portraits I LOVE so much, but my favorite happens to be of my daughter. She was almost 9 months pregnant and miserable. Her entire pregnancy was a horrible experience for her. So when it was time for her session I wanted her to feel extra beautiful. I bought a gorgeous red dress and we spent a few hours playing in the woods in our local park. She is just stunning in this photo.
What do you do to make sure people identify you with your images, and I don't mean watermarking, I mean putting your own personality to your photographs? Is it editing, shooting style, sass or other?
This question is hard. My editing style depends on the session type and location. I ask my clients what is it you want to see when you look at your images. Some just want a natural look, like a family portrait at a park. While others want something completely original like a family portrait dressed as zombies. During the shooting process I have several prompts to get clients natural reactions and look for ways to make each session original.
What is a real day like in the world of you? Be honest, are you in jammies til 2pm like me?
A real day for me right now is a little different than it has been over the past year. Hurricane Harvey destroyed my home and all of my photography props, files, lighting equipment etc. I am currently living in my daughter’s guest bedroom sharing computer space with her husband. Most of the time I don’t know what day it is. I spend most of my time looking for new social marketing techniques or preparing for my next session.
What is the number one piece of advice that you would give to someone just starting out?
Go for it. Do not hold back and whatever you do don't stop learning to improve. This business is about showing your own creative style but everyone can learn a little bit to improve what that style should be.
What changes have you had to make over the years to stay at the top end of the industry?
I've learned to be very flexible with my time. I have quit my day job to do photography full time and I know I will have some months of earning more than others. I have learned it is okay to increase my prices over time. I started out charging a base price that was the average for my area and am now slowing increasing in sales and feel confident in raising my prices just enough to make a profit on my end.
Would you change your style if given the opportunity or do you feel boxed in to what you have always done?
I am proud of my technique and style. Over the past year I have changed a few things for the better and there are some edits I look at today and am completely shocked about how bad it was knowing I really liked it at the time. I think it's important to stay flexible but also true to what you do and who you are.