No, really you are a star Michelle! Your work is such an artform! It's an honor designing with such spectacular gal. Here's a little more about this Arizona-based Portrait and Style photographer. Tell us a little bit about yourself? I grew up in Northern California and moved to Arizona in my early twenties. Shortly after moving to AZ, I met my (future) husband, Scott, and have since had 3 amazing kiddos (our younger 2 are actually twins so my husband thinks we really only have 2 kids since one was a bonus…the nerve! ;-) I have always been into photography…always with a camera for as long as I can remember. I honestly got into photography because I loved taking photos of architecture and still life… but I quickly learned how incredibly lonely and boring that can be so I decided photos of people might actually be more interesting. After my first styled model photo shoot I was hooked… Fashion and editorial photography is my BIG passion and about 2 years ago I made the switch to that being my primary niche, with a secondary (and equally as fun) niche in high school senior portraits.
Where is home? Home is in Mesa, Arizona…a small suburb of Phoenix. How long have you been a photographer? I've been doing this as a business for 5 years… but a photographer for MUCH longer :-) How would you describe your style? This is always a tough one. Ask someone else to to describe your style and they'll nail it in about 3-4 words; describe it yourself and it will usually cause you to have an aneurism. But, for my photography I do like to think of my style as clean, editorial, and with lots of fashion inspiration. For my own personal aesthetic I am more simple, modern, and with little of hints of retro. How has your new brand changed your business? Well I am just releasing the new logo and brand look this week so only time will tell, but what I hope it will do is elevate my business to the next level. For a while now I have wanted…errrr, needed, a cohesive brand look that matched what I do. I offer amazing, high-end, fashion images for designers, models, HS senior clients, businesses, editorial magazines, etc. and to me it's important that my brand sell that.
What do you enjoy most about being a photographer? I love being able to work through a challenge and/or getting to come up with some creative, clever way to approach either a simple subject, or something dramatic and interesting. And beyond that, I really LOVE meeting new people and networking and making connections.
Can you give me a fun, random bit of trivia about yourself? This isn't so much about ME, per se, but about my heritage. My great-grandfather was one of 2 photographers/cinematographers aboard the first expedition to the South Pole. He worked for Paramount Studios and ended up winning an Oscar in cinematography for his work documenting the journey. I knew all this growing up, but it wasn't until last week when I went through bundles and bundles of his old photographs that I could see how this stuff is in my blood.
What is your best business tip for photographers just starting a business? Ready for it… DON'T. SHOOT. EVERYTHING! You will confuse yourself and worse, confuse clients. I tell beginners to take the first 6-12 months shooting everything to find out what they like, after that narrow it down to 1-2 subjects/niches. Those are the niches to go after, to promote, to build a brand around. Then if something comes your way that's out of your niche you have 2 choices: refer the job to a peer (who will appreciate you for it and then return the favor…see what you just did there…building a strong network) OR, do the job because you need to put food on your table and gas in your car, BUT you don't promote it, blog it, or tell anyone about it. Those jobs come in, you do great, amazing work because it's a paycheck to get you to the jobs that you REALLY want.
How can Silverbox readers find you?