Our interview today is with one of our very own here at Learn Shoot Inspire. I am sure you all will recognize her gorgeous work from being our “one-a-day” winner multiple times. Tami of Tami Wilson Photography is super talented, super sweet and super humble…couldn’t ask for a better combo in a photographer! I know Tami from a couple different online forums and I have seen her business grow like crazy over the years! She has such natural talent and an obvious knack for the business. I just know you all are going to love her!
Please meet Tami and her adorable family…
What Tami wants you all to know about herself: Hello! My name is Tami and I live in Denver, Colorado with my husband and 7 year old son. We moved here from California about 6 years ago and just fell in love with this beautiful state. We love to go hiking, have nightly mario cart races on the Wii and go to the movies. I opened my photography business aobut three years ago and work mainly with newborns, families and high school seniors.
1. If there was one thing you would want us to know about you, what would it be?
Just one? Wow, this is tough. I guess it would be that I’m a complete goof. I love to have a good time and make others laugh even if I look like a complete idiot in the process!
2. Share with us your favorite image and why.
I’m in love with this image of my son. It completely captures his fun little personality and spirit.
3. What inspired you to be a photographer?
Becoming a mom inspired me to pursue photography. Like many other moms out there with a camera I just wanted amazing pictures of my son and before you knew it I was fully obsessed with photography. Turning this into a career has been a dream come true.
4. How long was the transition from hobbyist to paid professional and how long have you officially been taking paid clients?
I purchased my first “real” camera in 2005 and starting portfolio building in 2008 and opened up my business in 2009. I’ve been in business for nearly three years now.
5. What type of session do you look forward to the most (maternity, newborn, child, family, senior, wedding, engagement, etc) and why?
Definitely newborn sessions! I love interacting with the families and being a part of one of the most amazing times in a family’s life. A newborn baby just melts my heart and I seriously can’t get enough.
6. On average, how many sessions do you have a month?
I average 4-6 sessions a month but during the busy fall season it’s much more than that.
7. What has been your most memorable session and why?
Wow, such great questions here! My most memorable would have to be a family session this past year on Halloween morning. Everything just clicked with the family. They were so absolutely comfortable in front of the camera and I was able to capture some wonderful moments. I left that session with a full heart and knowing without a doubt photography is what I was meant to do. (http://www.tamiwilsonblog.com/2011/11/01/denver-family-photographer-hey-sunshine/)
8. Are you formally taught or self taught? And what has been the best source of information along this journey (workshop, online forums, classroom, mentor, etc)?
I’m self taught and have learned all that I know thanks to the internet, online forums, books and good ol’ practice. One of the best projects I ever started was taking a photo every single day for a year, otherwise known as Project 365. The first year doing this really helped me think differently about photography and fueled my creativity. I made an album with all of the pictures and to look back from the beginning of the year to the end you can see a huge growth in my photography skills. I am planning on taking a few workshops in 2012 and am really looking forward to continuing my education.
9. What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
Yes, it’s cliché to say but it’s the 100% truth. My son is what inspires me. He is not only a wonderful model for me and up for any of my crazy ideas but because he is so used to my tricks and antics I always have to step up my game with him. So, I know if it works on him it will most likely work with my clients.
10. Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Canon and my favorite lens is the 85mm. I love this focal length!
11. RAW or jpg and why?
RAW because that is what I learned to edit on and now when I try to edit a JPEG I have no idea what I’m doing!
12. Do you use Lightroom, Photoshop, both or other?
I just recently started using LR to cull through my images and fix white balance but I do all of my edits in CS5.
13. What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Don’t be in a rush to open up shop. Do the research into opening up your own business, get a business plan in place and start taking on clients when you have all your ducks in a row and can offer a quality product. Don’t skip the portfolio building stage, it’s so important!
14. What is your favorite and least favorite part of owning your own photography business?
My favorite part of owning my business is interacting with clients and creating relationships with them. I have become friends with many of my clients and am so thankful they are in my lives now. The least part is record keeping. I am awful at this and each new year I vow to be good and stay on top of this. So far so good this year…of course it’s only January!
15. Who is the most inspirational photographer in your life?
Oh, I have so many favorites but if I had to choose just one it would be Shannon Sewell. Her work amazes me every time I look at it. The creativity of her sessions and use of light is outstanding.
16. Do you see yourself as a photographer many years down the road?
17. And finally, please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
My photography style is warm, fun and emotional. Nirvana to me is shooting right around sunrise/sunset while capturing a child running around laughing.
A few fun questions:
1. what is your favorite food? anything from a mexican restaurant
2. what is your favorite beverage? coffee
3. your favorite item of clothing? worn out pair of jeans
4. your go to pair of shoes? flips flops (In the winter it’s uggs. Apparently I have something against socks.)
5. what is one word you catch yourself saying too often? Okay. When my son was around 3 years old anytime someone asked him a question he would say okay, okay, okay, okay over and over. It was hilarious. Then I started realizing how much I use the word myself.
Thank Tami, from the bottom of my heart for this awesome interview, getting it back to me so quickly to share with our readers and for the obvious outstanding imagery. I adore your work and I am sure you will gain tons of new fans today!
Please follow Tami on Facebook as well!