Welcome Savvy Workshop 2012 speaker Laura Winslow to the Savvy blog! We have fallen in love with the fun and colorful style that Laura displays in all of her work. She is a photographer from Phoenix, Arizona and has also created a popular blog which is a favorite destination for photographers with her wall art inspiration and packaging ideas!
Will you share with us how you started your career in photography?
Like many photographers, I feel I have always been interested in photography.
I would secretly take my mother's old cameras--the first was that kind with the flash bulbs that you could see melt right after each use!--and photograph anything that I thought was fun. I made my little sister pose on the ottoman in front of the open door, asked her to jump off the diving board countless times so I could get her hair just the right way in motion...it makes me giggle thinking back on how I really have loved photography for so long. When our son was born, my husband bought me my first DSLR and he became my new muse. When we moved to Arizona and I stopped teaching, I longed for something to do creatively. My photography business was born and really blossomed.
Did you attend any workshops or seminars that made a big difference in your business?
I studied World Politics and Spanish in college, and have taken a number of classes on diplomacy. This background, coupled with the fact that I have moved 17 times, helps the most with my business. You can certainly develop your technical and artistic skills with so many wonderful workshops out there, but one of the most important things about running a business is how you interact with people. There is a certain amount of diplomacy that goes with that--whether or not you are successful depends a great deal on how you react to people. Can you stand your ground and get your point across while at the same time making people happy? How do you deal with uncomfortable situations or situations where clients have questions? Being able to remain professional and have happy clients in the end is all about diplomacy in a way.
What do you think makes your business stand out from the other photographers in your area?
I think if you are true to yourself, your style and vision, then really it doesn't matter who else is out there. There are so very many wonderful photographers in the Phoenix area, and I really do think there are plenty of clients for everyone. I have found that each of my clients have a similar sense of style to me, which is so fun and a reflection of what I put out there. I am fortunate that my clients give me creative control and really trust me. This allows me to create what I love, which in turn attracts clients with an appreciation of what I do. We always have fun and they feel like--and in many cases become--friends. I also think it is important to, after a certain point, not visit other blogs too much as it can really get people down. To remain different and true to what YOU want to do, try not to compare yourself to others.
Who or what inspires you as a photographer?
Everyday color and objects really inspire me, as can a new location--or even being able to see different things in an old location to make it new.
What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
I am so drawn to photographing the innocence and curiosity that children naturally have. Each session is different and I love shadowing them, seeing where our session will lead...
What are you favorite products that you offer your clients?
A popular product that I offer are Image Boxes. My digital collection is presented in a custom image box from MpixPro with the custom DVD and a 5x7 print of each image in their gallery. Clients love them--they are beautiful, personal, unique and they like collecting them from each session.
Your blog has become one of the most well known photography blogs and we love visiting to read and see all of your great ideas... where do you find that inspiration?
Wow, that is too sweet--thanks! I still see my blog as just a fun little spot where I like to share sessions, things that I find inspiring and interesting and fun little perks for my readers in the form of giveaways. I really feel it is a reflection of me and of my personality and what I love. It's my cozy little corner of the vast internet, and I am always dreaming about what I will do next. I value being different and fresh, so I just try to find things that maybe are slightly new from what has been done before. I just try to think of what I like, then share it!
Do you shoot with Canon or Nikon?
I shoot with a Canon 5DmkII
Favorite thing in your camera bag?
My Canon 50 1.2 L lens
What's your Savvy indulgence?
I love my manis and pedis! I am slightly boring with my fingernails and tend to go through phases where I get the same ol' color--for awhile it was french manicures, then black (even though the ladies at the nail salon tried to talk me out of it every.single.time, saying I was "too happy" for a color like that), now it is a summery and fun hot-pinkish. I like to have fun with my toes, though. I love a little "flower power" added, I've tried zebra stripes (hated those after the first day!), polka dots and funky colors. It's a fun way to express yourself and I looove the massage chairs! Oh, and pretty, fluffy and colorful pillows!! I have waaay too many!
Will you share with us the proudest or most memorable moment of your career?
Really, if you love what you do and have dreams for what you want in life, things that happen are completely amazing, awesome and exciting--it is always lots of fun when a new opportunity emerges and I am so humbled when I am offered new projects. They really are all so memorable, but as a photographer, one of the most exciting things that can happen is when a client returns year after year for a session. It is an incredible feeling to know that your photography style and perspective is fully understood and appreciated. I also had the opportunity to photograph a sweet and special little boy, Broxton. Broxton and his family are my next-door neighbors and they possess a strength and courage that I am sure they wish they never had to have. I photographed Broxton fewer than three months before he was to pass away, just after his second birthday. The session was incredibly difficult for me in the sense that it was so emotional and important and you just don't want to break down when you know their pain is so great and profound. When Broxton passed, his mom asked me to photograph his funeral. It was a beautiful celebration of his life with so many poignant moments and I feel so blessed to have been able to capture those moments for them. His brother will have those to look back on for what he won't remember, which was one of Kristi's intentions. As a photographer, it really brings home how very much photographs mean and you see the greater picture, so to speak.
Thank you for joining us at the Savvy 2012 workshop...can you give us a summary of what you will be speaking about and teaching the girls?
I am so excited to meet everyone! It is going to be a total blast! I look forward to sharing strategies for finding and interacting with your ideal client, product offerings and fun ways to package them to further promote your brand. We'll discuss ways to develop your business and keeping your clients happy.
Thank you so much Laura for joining us!!!
You can visit Laura's blog here~ Laura Winslow Photography.
To learn more about the Savvy 2012 Workshop, visit the blog~ The Savvy Sisterhood 2012.