I am so excited to be in charge of finding and interviewing amazing photographers for Colorvale’s weekly Featured Photographer. To start things out and give you a preview of what is to come, we thought it was only right for me to introduce myself! So, I am Jenni Grace. I’ve been in business for 11+ years and am just falling more and more in love with photography and the entire wedding industry every single year. I am in the process of branching out and really developing my destination portfolio that was put aside a little when I had my three children. I am so excited to share more with you and to learn more about you in the coming weeks! Please reach out if you would love to be featured!
How did you start in photography?
Freshman year of college I took a film photography class simply as an easy elective. Little did I know that time in the darkroom would literally develop the rest of my life, (haha get that little photography humor). One of our projects was nature and equipped with my trusty F100 I trekked cross country with my family to Yellowstone National Park. I can absolutely say that is where I fell in love with photography and some of the photos from there are still some of my favorites. It didn’t take long before I branched into photographing people and portraits and eventually weddings. My heart absolutely lies with weddings now, but I can’t help but pull over on the side of the road sometimes for an amazing field of wildflowers or a gorgeous sunset.
Canon or Nikon? Film or digital?
Nikon and a bit of both. I got my start in film, have switched to digital, but like to dabble here and there!
What is your greatest strength in running your business?
I am a major people person. I think my biggest strength is the connections that I am able to form with my clients and other vendors. I have many couples that stay in touch years after the wedding and I am honored to photograph them again as their family grows.
What is the best way you have found to promote your photography business?
Instagram! What better platform can you use to promote your photography business then a program built completely around photographs! It is amazing the people that I have been able to connect with just through using relative hashtags and the business relationships formed by sharing other creatives’ work!
What 3 tips would you give to aspiring photographers?
- Never give up. Honestly, running your own business is not going to be easy. There is so much behind the scenes that goes into running a profitable business, but with hard work it can be done.
- Never be afraid to learn. It would be easy to say you know what you are doing and stop evolving, but this business is all about change. Editing styles can change and adapt, trends change, your marketing should progress. Always be striving for something bigger and better. My favorite quote is “If your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough” The motto I live by.
- Reach out to fellow photographers and business owners. Some of my best friends are my competition, but I don’t live my life with that school of thought. Encouraging those around you, sharing your successes and crying over failures together are absolutely what gets me through some of the tough days that go with running a business. Reach out to those around you!
Where do you see your career in 5 years?
I have lofty goals. I am only going up from here and working hard to get there. I am based in Pittsburgh, PA, but in 5 years I want to be photographing 80% of my weddings on the road. I am working hard to grow my destination portfolio this year with some amazing locales already on the books. I can’t wait to see where we end up in the next couple of years!
What is the most important step in your workflow?
Backing up my photos 3 times before even formatting the card. If I have shoots back to back I don’t touch used cards until the images are completely edited and uploaded to three separate places. You can never have to many backups!
What is the most important piece of equipment that you own?
I honestly could not live without my Nikon 70-200 lenses. Those babies are amazing for wedding and portrait photography. That bokeh!
Tell us one thing about you that most people do not know.
I have three kiddos under the age of 5 including a set of identical twins! They keep me on my toes, but honestly push me so much harder to really make it in my business. I do all of this for them. I love that they love to take photos like their mommy as well. I hope it is something that I can share with them as they grow older.
Can’t wait to see who we meet next week!