Things I've learned since starting my photography business:
1. KEEP SHOOTINGWhen I first started my business, I was under the (bad) impression that, if it was not bringing me money... I should not waste time shooting it. Of course, I do not do everything for free. I do, however, stay creative and inspired. I feel that I've made the most growth in my photography and business by always photographing SOMETHING or SOMEONE-- constantly practicing, and trying new lighting techniques, edits, creating a different moods etc. Trust me, a big shoot with a client is not the best place to start learning your camera and settings.
Earlier work from 2012 (above)
Presets Used: A Quick Clean, Center Light, Contrast from Clean and Creative Advanced Workflow and Flare Horizontal Creamy Sunflare Left from the Luminous Collection
2. YOUR BUSINESS IS YOUR BUSINESS
Meaning, focus on your photography business, and do not worry about what other photographers are doing around you. Some people may charge more money, others may charge less, but price yourself according to your worth and cost of doing business. I noticed that some people are charging way more than me, but I remember that they, too, started somewhere and had to build up the right clientele to charge what they are charging now. I've learned to pace myself, and slowly adjust my pricing as I see fit according to my increase in skill level, equipment, and cost of doing business.
Earlier work from 2012 (above)
Preset Used: Pretty Onyx from the new Summer Limited Collection
3. SHOOT WHAT YOU LOVE
When I first started my photography business, I dabbled in so many things-- weddings, engagements, family portraits, events, nature... the list was endless! If you asked me to shoot it, I would do so willingly. Would the photos be amazing in each area? NO! Would they be acceptable? OF COURSE. It was only when I realized that I absolutely loved photographing children and capturing natural expressions that I began to focus more on child photography. I've seen the most growth in me as a photographer, when I focused solely on photographing children. That is what I loved to do! My creativity and imagination takes over with each photo shoot. I come home from my shoots excited to edit and I smile when I see the joy and innocence in my photos while editing. Instead of sitting in front of a computer, bored, editing a job that I really didn't care to do in the first place, I am excited to edit each of my photo shoots, and a general sense of accomplishment comes over me as I do so.
Presets Used: A Quick Clean, Center Light, and Contrast from the Clean and Creative Advanced Workflow and Fairy Dust from the Bonus Bokeh that came along with the Summer Limited Collection
Presets used: A Quick Clean, Center Light, and Contrast from the Clean and Creative Advanced Workflow
4. Finally, SOCIAL MEDIA IS IMPORTANT
I used to post only a few photos on Flickr here or there, visit my Facebook fanpage a few times a month. Little did I know how detrimental this was in 2015! I am actually a bit late to the game, as I just started getting active on Instagram a couple of months ago. Since then, though, I've had big sites like the Huffington Post collaborate with me from simply seeing my hashtags on Instagram! I've also booked most clients this year through Instagram and Facebook. Social Media is powerful, and it pays to keep up with it as a photographer.
Presets Used: A Quick Clean, Center Light, and Contrast from the Clean and Creative Advanced Workflow
Hi! I'm Kristen Umunna. I am a lifelong Chicago resident, wife to Timothy, and mom to 2 under 2-- an 18 month old baby girl and 4 month old baby boy. I started photography with a very old Kodak superzoom camera that I paid $40 for photographing nature, but I've found my passion to be natural light child photography. I strive to capture genuine images now, that the generations to come will look back on and admire. You can visit me on facebook, view my website or follow me on instagram @ChicagoChildPhotog89.