This week, I’m not going to write about me or our business. This week Im going to write about my friend, Amy, from Sun and Sand Photography.
Sun and Sand Photography is an awesome photography studio in Destin Florida. She specializes in family beach photography and wedding photography. Her work always has such a light and airy feel to it.
I met Amy a few years ago in Oklahoma, where we both attended a photography workshop. There was a freak snowstorm while we were there. We got hit with 7 or 8 inches of snow in one day. To us Northerners, it seems like nothing. But, Amy had ever seen snow before. She spent the entire afternoon out in the snow, making snow angels, and a snowman; playing like a little kid. I could tell then that she loved to have fun. If I ever make it down to her neck of the woods again, I’d love to have her do my family’s portraits.
This week instead of me talking about my business, I’m interviewing Amy; to talk about her business.
What made you decide to persue a career in photography?
I work full time in a resort town. I had this moment of realization that instead of working for “the man” I should take advantage of our gorgeous coast and snowy white sand… I love interacting with people and I thought that my photography skills were pretty good – so why should I sit behind a desk at a hotel!? Thus Sun and Sand Photography was born.
Most of your clients are from out of town or out of state. How does this work as far as proofing and purchasing?
This has been the most difficult part of our business. Believe it or not working my website and tweaking my SEO to get clients to find us has been the easy part. Because our clients are here for a short time they aren’t interested in taking ANOTHER day out of their vacation for proofing. We tried last year to do this – hoping that the excitement of the photos would entice them to have a larger order. Guests just want to relax and want to see their proofs at their leisure.
How has the oil spill affected your business?
The oil spill hit our area hard and Sun and Sand Photography was not immune. It’s like we are in our first year again! We aren’t getting as many bookings and even less inquiries. Our business has been trending up each year but between the “economy” and the spill… it’s been hard.
What was the most fun you had at a shoot?
How can we not have fun at the beach!? Honestly, the most fun I had was when we were shooting a couple that booked a session just because. We do so many families and children on the beach – this was just a couple down for their 13th wedding anniversary. They are child free and are so in love. It was so fun to work with them.
If you could tell your brides one thing, what would you say? Relax! It IS all about YOU and your images will reflect that.
What was your most embarassing moment at a shoot?
Ahhhhh… when I sat down in the water thinking – hey my client’s doing it, why can’t I?! Well – I shouldn’t have because my iphone was in my back pocket… It was a sad day.
How do you deal with inclement weather?
When clients book us we insist on 2 things – to schedule our shoot on their first free day – maybe the second. Although clients want to be “tanned” – it always turns out that someone is sunburned and there is someone so tired of the sun and sand that they aren’t very happy – AND we need a couple of days to be able to reschedule in case of rain! Although, we have shot in the rain before!
What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?
Confidence. Sometimes I spend too much time looking for approval from my peers instead of forging through with my own ideas and my own work.
What is your favorite image?
I have so many… I have photographed some other photographers and I have really really loved a lot of those images. I think my favorite one is just because we were in the right place at the right time… we have a family on the beach next to a neat little beach shack and a gorgeous rainbow in the background. Just awesome.
What are some tips that you would give someone wanting to do outdoor portraits?
Turn off the flash!!! You, the photographer – put the sun at your back – the colors and exposure will be so much better.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I see Sun and Sand Photography being a known name in every household in America! Ha! I do see my husband Thomas and I working our photography business full time. That’s my dream.
Name one thing that you wished you knew before you started?
To invest in the right equipment the first time. Don’t start out cheap. Save up and get the equipment you need.
You can see more of Amy’s work at http://www.sunandsandphotography.com/