Holland Studios is a successful, award winning photography business in Portland, Oregon. We spoke with founder Eric Holen recently about how he got the business on it's feet and what he thinks photographers need to do to stay on top in this competitive market.
You own a successful wedding photography business in Portland Oregon. Had you always been interested in the field and what made you decide to start your own business?
Originally I was interested in architecture photography but soon realized people in front of cool buildings was a better business choice.
What do you like most about shooting weddings?
The clients are always happy and fun! Weddings happened to work really well for me: I love doing something different everyday and a wedding is never the same.
How did you break into such a competitive wedding market?
I gave everyone and their dog a really wonderful, free wedding album! It was expensive but totally worth it.
What are your "go to" lenses?
I use Canon gear and my lenses include the Canon 70-200mm 2.8, 16-35mm 2.8, 50mm 1.2 and the Composer Pro with the Edge 80 Optic.
What do you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?
Hire a GREAT accountant and bookkeeper.
What do you like best about the new Edge 80 Optic?
It reminds me of a tilt shift. It is small and easy to use and the selective focus is a great way to enhance an image.
What are the biggest challenges that portrait and wedding photographers face today ?
Encouraging your clients to actually see the value of your work and not just ask for a price list. You really have to focus on making sure you and your work are heads and tails above the rest. The market has many talented artists and you must never rest.
What have you found is the most successful way to reach potential clients?
Wedding shows, referrals from past clients and keeping vendors updated with your current work have all worked for me.
Do you think attending trade shows such as WPPI are important for a professional photographer?
I do think that attending tradeshows is a great idea. It's important to see the lastest and greatest products and make a choice for yourself. It is also great to meet new people and see what they are doing across the country.
See more of Holland Studios work at hollandstudios.com