“I absolutely love using the Double Glass and Sweet 35 Optics in my Composer Pro…the selective focus gives my images a unique and cool effect that has taken my senior portraits to a whole new level!” – Holli True
When did you decide to become a professional photographer and how did you get started?
I have always said that I didn’t choose photography, it chose me. I turned to photography to help me through a traumatic time in my life, when I was feeling lost and unsure of what direction I needed to go. My husband and I lost our baby girl when I was 5 months pregnant, it was the hardest thing I have ever had to cope with. Being around children was so hard for me after losing her and I didn’t want that. So, I decided to apply at a local children’s portrait studio, so that I could be surrounded by them. It was exactly what I needed.
The moment I held the camera in my hands, I fell in love and instantly knew that I was meant to be a photographer. Several years and 2 children later, I decided to leave the portrait studio to pursue photography on my own. Three years ago, fate intervened and I met a man who changed my life, David Jay…his inspiring words changed everything for me. I created a website and I focused on branding my business, nourishing the areas of photography I was most passionate about: High School Senior girls and Weddings. Choosing to specialize was a huge turning point for my business, it was one of the best decisions I made. Since then, my husband Jeff has also been bitten by the photography bug, so it has become a family affair!
What type of camera and gear do you use?
Jeff and I each have a Canon 5D Mark ii. Our Canon lenses include the 70-200mm 2.8L IS, 100mm 2.8 macro, 85mm 1.8, 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.8. We also love our Lensbaby Composer Pro with the Double Glass & Sweet 35 optics.
What keeps you inspired?
Inspiration is a huge facet in my business. My goal is to let the things that inspire me breathe life into my photography. I work with High School girls, so I also love to look at magazines like Seventeen and Teen Vogue for inspiration with senior shoots. I work with everyday people who want to have a model experience and look gorgeous in their images, so I turn to magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and Rolling Stone, as they often use musicians and actresses for their covers, as opposed to models. Seeing how they connect with their photographer and create gorgeous images- that inspires me. I strive to connect with my clients in the same way. When they own their confidence and rock out a shoot, there is nothing more gratifying or inspiring than that!
How do you market yourself and your business? What do you do to set yourself apart from your competition?
I actually don’t spend any money when it comes to marketing. There are three components that I use for marketing and all three work perfectly together: my website, my blog and social media. I’ve never paid for advertising or had a booth at a bridal show or anything. My photography is my marketing. We don’t do cookie-cutter photography, our clients decide the look and overall feel of their shoot. We want their session to be as unique as they are, so we cater the session to who they are as individuals. It’s not about us, it’s about them.
Do you have any tips for those learning to use a Lensbaby?
Take time to practice and be patient. At first it’s a little tricky getting used to it, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. I shoot a few extra images when using my Lensbaby lenses, adjusting the focus a little bit each time, just to ensure I’ve got an image with both eyes in focus. And my biggest tip: have fun!!