I started Take My Photo Ltd in 2002 just shooting in the weekends for myself and contracting to another company. The extra pocket money was great and it was nice to have a creative outlet that I got paid for. After working a full-time job during the week, editing at night, shooting in the weekends I had to make a decision and I decided to do photography full time – best decision ever! MissTpinups started about 2 years ago just for fun. Again another creative outlet. I found a niche in the market and it’s been great for my business overall.
Why do you make photos, what is your purpose?
If I am completely honest, I started taking photos because it was a fun way to make money. Now I realize how much impact my photography actually has on people. I feel like I have a deeper responsibility to my clients and viewers to provide top quality work and service. My wedding photography isn’t just for the couple – it’s a record for their future generations. My product/fashion photography isn’t just to get good clean shots – it’s a tool to sell products and help my client’s businesses be a success. My pinup photography isn’t just to get pretty photos – it’s to help inspire and awaken confidence in all of the lovely ladies I have the privilege to work with.
How do you decide between using color or black and white?
I don’t always know what the final image will be when I take it. I usually change more emotive images into black & white. Black and white simplifies a message and takes away clutter. I don’t really have any rules with this – just what ever suits the image the best.
Explain your relationship with the people you photograph and what makes your work different than the typical photographer-model relationship.
There has to be an element of trust and rapport when working with models (of any sort). It is quite an art to get people to relax in front of the camera in a short amount of time. I think having confidence in myself helps them have more confident in me. Also it’s experience – trial and error.
Looking back, knowing what you know now, is there anything that you would do differently?
Yes and no. I would learn more about business before getting into business. I would have found a mentor earlier. But since I didn’t have much knowledge about business and no mentor early on it forced me to get some real life experience. So I wouldn’t trade what I have learnt from doing it all myself.
What tips or words of advice would you give others to help them start out?
Learn business before starting a business. Get a mentor – someone who is where you want to be in the future that you can learn from.
Did you consciously decide not to work in a ‘normal job’ or is this a label you feel is ridiculous and unfounded??
I could never go back to working a 9-5 job! The amount of freedom I have by being my own boss suits me to a tee. I am doing what I love and being paid for it. This is my ‘normal’.
Have you ever struggled to get what you do taken seriously?
When I first started out I felt like people didn’t take me seriously because I was fairly young. But it turned out to only be a barrier that I set up for myself. Confidence is key. If you believe you can do it – others will too.
What is the biggest, most exciting project you’ve worked on / are most proud of?
The thing that I am most proud of is that my clients keep coming back (more so the commercial clients than the wedding clients of course:o) It’s a huge complement that they have the confidence in me and my service to keep delivering the goods. I am also proud of being the Chairperson of the NZIPP – Auckland Region (New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography). It’s pretty cool.
Have you got anything exciting in the pipeline that you could share with us?
I am off overseas for a few weeks to work on some personal projects and for a well deserved holiday.