How I Discovered My Talent For Photography Chapter 2

How I Continued My Photography Journey

 

Bride at wedding with bridesmaids

In my last writings I was talking about the struggles I had encountered trying to get my life’s passion into a business where I could make money and be my full time career. I left off saying I was getting photography jobs but not making money or just at the break even point. This was hopefully soon to get better. The wife was talking about how I may have to find a regular job to support our monthly income needs. She was working but it was barely enough to keep us floating each month.

I began to get a little braver, I increased my prices for wedding photography. Yes, I was getting calls for higher priced weddings. I was dealing with a different clientele of brides getting married at upscale places. I decided it was time to get more camera equipment as I was only showing up with one camera and one flash. I was working without backup equipment. If anything went technically wrong with the only camera I had, wow, I would be in big trouble. Would hate to explain the bride and groom I wouldn’t be able to finish their wedding photos. So, I found some inexpensive cameras and lenses along with an extra flash I could rely on. Might as well be fully prepared for anything. It’s better to take too much photo gear than not to have enough in case unusual circumstances came up.

 

 

How I Met My Photography Mentor

Family Portrait Photographer San Antonio TxI was into year 4 of shooting weddings. It’s the only type of photography I knew at the time. I was trying to get better and learn better techniques for lighting and posing. One day I was a the photo lab I used. I briefly talked to this older gentleman photographer who seemed to be very experienced. We discussed the picture I was having printed. I showed it to him and gave me some pointers on how I could improve. I listened very carefully and asked a few questions. We could have talked all day but we both had to go. He handed me his business card and told me to call him. About a week later I decided to call him. I told I wanted him to train me and teach me everything I needed to improve my photography skills. We discussed a fee for his instructional classes and I was good with it.

I arrived at his portrait studio and he sat me down at a table. He handed me a pen and paper and told me to write down everything I knew about cameras, settings etc. I froze in my tracks. I was drawing a blank. All this time I was shooting my camera in program mode. This where the settings including shutter and f-stop are decided for you instead of you telling the camera what the settings should be. Wow, I had a lot to learn.

After a couple of weeks of on the job and hands on training we became good friends. He was much older than I was but we really bonded. I now was armed with a lot of confidence, a huge understanding of how a camera works plus I had better posing and lighting techniques under my belt. I felt confident to photograph a wedding and provide awesome photographs for the bride and groom.

I was doing such a good job for my wedding clients that started to go give some good reviews. This really helped out our photography business. Word of mouth and referrals play a big factor to staying in business and attracting more people. Another key factor to retaining customers and getting referrals is to be the best you can be at customer service. If you’re not a people person you won’t last at any business you run or own.

You’ll find Our business on a map

Portrait Photography Was My Next Niche

business portrait taken outside san antonio locationI was now interested in getting into portrait photography. I mean getting the client into the studio and use professional lighting and props. I made the investment into some good studio strobes and stands. I also bought a few old master backgrounds , elegant chairs for posing and seating customers. Back then formal portrait work was the in thing. People liked to dress up for their photo sessions. We had women showing up in super nice formal dresses. Yes, this was the way to do an outstanding portrait. Dress for the occasion and the results are our of this world.

My photo journey lead me to photographing high school seniors. These are kids in the 12th grade graduating from high school. They would dress up in a cap and gown which we provided for them. A bookcase background was used for this type of photo. Mom and dad would insist on a picture of their kid with a school related backdrop and demanded their kid wear the cap and gown. That was the way high school seniors pictures were taken back then.

The Next Phase of Senior Portrait Styles

Well the studio style of taking the portraits of high school kids started changing. Now they all wanted outdoor portraits. They wanted to in the wide open spaces by trees and flowers. As a photographer I had to adapt to the changing styles and times were now in. We built up our backyard area of our studio. We spent $100’s on buying plans, flowers and small trees. We got it looking nice and thick so you wouldn’t know you were in someone’s backyard.

 

People were actually shocked that the images they saw on our website were from shooting in the backyard. They were good with it. In fact they wanted to skip the library background and go outdoors with their cap and gown. Mon and dad had no option but to agree. Their kid was in charge and at least they got them to take photos. They learned to accept the situation and just let their kids choose where and how they wanted to be photographed. It was all a matter of accepting the changing times. No problem! We adjusted to please the client.

 

black and white studio headshot San Antonio business womanIt’s now 2017 and things have really changed. Kids taking selfies, other kids with cheap digital cameras taking photos of each other. We feel there are still customers out there that want a professional photographer to take care of their photography needs. This is what we’re good at. This is our specialty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Headshots Woman With Glasses Big Smile San Antonio Texas

 

We have a few videos showcasing our new senior portraits on Youtube.

Have a look. The video posted here is one of our high school sessions of a young boy that wanted to just wear his fancy suit with the red tie. We took all of his images outside at our studio. The most interesting images are of the ones of him out in the street. He looks totally GQ like he belongs on the front of a magazine cover.

See what our customers have to say about us on Yelp reviews.

 

Maps to Our Location

 

We certainly you enjoyed my little story. I have so much more to say. Thanks for reading.

Richard’s Photography, San Antonio Texas.