Finding out a family’s story and documenting it, is what Drew of Drew B Photography does best. She tells stories of couples who were high school sweethearts and are now having their first child, stories of fellow photographers who are always behind the lens and are finally getting a chance to be in the pictures with their kids and stories of families who have shown incredible strength through the loss of a loved one and the birth of a new baby girl.
She documents miracles, joy, love, celebrations of life and good old family fun. Drew tells stories that capture the hearts of the clients she photographs and if you follow her blog, she will capture your heart as well.
Below is an interview with Drew! Be sure to check out her work on her website, www.drewbphotography.com.
Drew also has two, very inspirational blogs, in addition to her photography website and blog. So whether you are a mom with a camera, wanting to learn how to take better pictures of your kids or a portrait photographer looking for inspiration for your photo shoots, Drew has a blog to fit your needs! Be sure to check out www.thelensloves.com and www.momtog.com.
Tell me about you...where are you from?
Hi! I'm Drew and I'm from Orange County, California. I was born and raised here and could never live anywhere without an In N Out Burger :)
Are you married?
I am married to Chuck, my high school sweetheart and best friend. We've known each other since second grade, but really started our friendship when we ran into each other in Maui the summer before our senior year of high school. We have been dating since right before high school graduation (we just had our 13 year dating anniversary!). We were married in Laguna Beach in July of 2005.
We have one boy, Brayden, who turned 3 in February and a baby girl on the way. She'll be making her arrival in August! We also have a furbaby, Hauggy. He is 8.
How did you get into photography?
I've always loved photography, but never thought it could be a career. I took photography senior year of high school (thanks Mr. Leal!) and learned about film and processing. After college I landed my dream job at MTV working in production. It was amazing, but it's a hard life. I traveled a lot and lived out of a suitcase. After 3 years I wanted to move back to Orange County and get married. I got a boring 8 to 5 desk job and it just wasn't creatively fulfilling. After we got married I bought my very first DSLR, the Canon Rebel, at Circuit City for 0% APR. It was SO scary making such a large purchase but my husband was very supportive. I started taking pictures of anything and everything. I got lucky and had a friend who worked for an Orange County magazine and she asked me to photograph their parties and events. From there I made contact with a lot of people who wanted me to shoot their own parties. I started second shooting for a few wedding photographers and started booking my own weddings with the help of referrals from friends. I was able to quit my job in December of 2006 and I've never looked back!
Do you work out of your home or do you have a studio?
I worked out of my home until February of this year. I moved out of my house in order to make room for the new baby! Her room will be in what was my old office!
How would you describe your photography style?
I like my photographs to look like real life, just a little better. I like crisp images and bright colors that reflect my client’s personalities.
What inspires you as a photographer?
My clients are the ones who inspire me. I love to tell their stories. I always put myself in their shoes and think, "If this was my family session / engagement session / wedding, what kind of pictures would I want? What would I want captured?".
What is your favorite thing about being a photographer?
I love meeting new people and becoming a part of their families even if for a very short period of time.
What would be your dream photo shoot?
Just to shoot someone with a story. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or anything with a lot of props…Just something that allowed me to capture the client’s story, whatever that may be. A shoot where I could focus on how a family or a couple connects to one another and show that through my images, would be a dream photo shoot!
What is the proudest moment you have had as a photographer?
The first time I saw my images in print was pretty amazing. But, every time I get a letter or email from a happy client makes me feel pretty proud that I am able to do what I do.
What do you think makes your business so successful?
I'm the type of person who is never satisfied. I'm always trying to learn and grow and better myself and my business. I also have amazing and loyal clients who have helped make DrewB Photography what it is today. My earliest clients trusted me and saw something in me and I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for them.
What has been your best marketing idea?
My best marketing idea has been getting my clients to do the marketing for me. Their referrals get me more business than any ad ever could. Their referrals are priceless. I work hard to give my clients the best experience possible and I love that I end up being friends with many of my clients after we have worked together.
When you first started, were there any workshops or books that were particularly helpful to you?
I did attend a couple of workshops when I first started and was also active in a forum. But, I think it was getting out there and shooting that helped me the most. My pictures weren't perfect, but I told myself as long as I learned something from every shoot I did that it was okay to make mistakes. When I missed a shot that could have been really awesome, but I learned why I made the mistake I did it was worth it because I never made that mistake again.
You started two other blogs, The Lens Loves and Mom Tog, tell me about those...
The Lens Loves is a portrait inspiration blog aimed at parents looking to find their next family photographer or find inspiration for their next shoot. Being both a wedding photographer and a portrait photographer, I read a lot of wedding inspiration blogs. But, I noticed there weren't really any sites devoted to portrait photography inspiration. The Lens Loves also has a photographer directory because I get emails all the time asking if I can refer photographers in other parts of the country with a similar style as my own.
Where did you get the inspiration to start each blog?
When I had my son I was obviously blogging a lot of pictures of him on my business blog. I was scared my clients might get tired of seeing him and wanted a blog where I could write about my experiences in motherhood. I got a lot of emails asking for advice on how to take pictures of their own kids and also running a business and being a mom. So I decided to combine my two passions - photography and my son - and that's how Mom*tog was born!
How do you manage those blogs plus your photography business and blog?
It's all about time management. :) I do my best to write all my blog posts ahead of time and schedule them. I feel I write better when I'm not pressured to come up with something to blog just for the sake of blogging. I also schedule a limited number of shoots (2 per week) so I can have enough time to spend with my family. I do what I do so I can have a life and spend be a mommy first and photographer second. Spending time with my family motivates me to get work done when it's time to work rather than surfing the internet and reading blogs (which is so easy to do!). I also have a great nanny who works for us two half days a week, an extremely supportive husband and family, and a great editor (Krista Secoda with K Sue Photography) over at The Lens Loves who helps runs that site.
How do you find photographers to feature on The Lens Loves?
Pinterest has been huge with finding new photographers! Oh, how I love Pinterest! We've also been getting a lot of great submissions from photographers as well. I love coming across new photographers that I've never heard of before. There is SO much talent out there!
How do you come up with the topics you cover on The Mom Tog?
Some topics on Mom*tog come from my everyday life. I like to blog about things that Brayden is doing that I could forget about in a year. It's kind of an online baby book. Other topics come from reader emails.
What have you learned from each of these blogs?
I'm not exactly sure what I've learned from each of my blogs. But, a happy accident that has come out of starting Mom*tog is that it's given me a place to help raise money for people that need it. I feel that if I have a voice on the internet (be it a very, very, very small voice), it's my responsibility to do what I can to help others in need. I try to do one big fundraiser a year. With the help of my VERY generous readers I was able to help raise just under $4000 for the victims of the Haiti earthquake last year. And, recently, Angie Sandy from the Photo Card Boutique and I raised $3600 to help a single father of 3 with cancer in Joplin, Missouri who lost everything in the recent tornadoes with the help of a lot of extremely generous vendors in the photography industry. I love to help people and I'm happy that my blog has given me and my readers a place to be able to do so.
What is your savvy indulgence?
ICE CREAM! I love ice cream! My favorite is Haagen Dazs. I love it so much I even named my dog Hauggy after it :)
If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?
I asked my husband this question and he said I would be restless. :) That's very true. I would probably own a different business of sorts. I found out early that I am much happier working for myself. Maybe I'd have my own cupcake shop. I love baking!
What is in your camera bag?
I have both the Canon 5D and Canon 5D Mark II, but I prefer to shoot with the old school 5D. Just love the color that comes out of it.
50 1.2 - I use this lens 75% of the time. Love it!
24-70 2.8 -
16-35 2.8 - I use this lens and the 24-70 20% of the time.
70-200 2.8 - I only use my 70-200 at weddings. It's too heavy for me to use for portrait sessions.
100mm Macro - For wedding details!
I also have the 85 1.8 and 28 1.8, but rarely use them anymore.