How did you get into photography & where did you start? I have always had an interest in photography. My parents had a Canon film camera when I was growing up, and I loved looking back through the photo albums they kept. A change in career and the birth of my first child brought me into the photography business fulltime. Although I am still not sold on the “business” part yet. And my business, Teagan Photography, is named after my first born.
What are you shooting now? The majority of my business is photographing newborn babies and their families. But I also photograph maternity, cake smashes/first birthdays and all those milestones throughout the first year. I also love when families also want to include their pets in their portraits.
What inspires you? There are a lot of photographers that I admire, but now that I am in my 9th year of business I have found a style and system that works for me. But if I had to pick something that inspires me, or keeps me going, it would be music. I need to listen to music while I work, drive in the car, or do anything really. I mostly listen to alternative rock, but I am a lifelong fan of U2 and have 20 years of U2 concert logos tattooed on my arm. It’s pretty awesome.
What does a day in the life of you look like? Are you an up all night editor or do you keep a strict schedule? I have 3 children, that are in school (full & part time), so my day revolves around them and their various activities. So I usually sit down and edit when I can. Depending on the time of the year, I do late night editing (September-December is the busiest), but I have figured out a system that allows me to not have to sit in front of the computer for hours and hours. When my youngest is finally in school fulltime, my day will change significantly and I will only do work when they are not home. Weekends will also be for them. No more sessions, unless there is an extenuating circumstance that prevents a weekday.
What would you say is your most memorable shoot? Do you still have an image? If so show us! I have met so many awesome people, it is hard to pick just one. But I will pick a photo from personal project, that came together very quickly. My dog Shadow, whom I adopted from the Humane Society in 2002, was not doing very well. She was 17 years old, which is old for a dog. So we knew we had to say goodbye to her. I took my family out for one last photo session with her. The kids behaved, and Shadow behaved….neither happened at any previous photo session with all of them. So my last photo of Shadow is of her, sitting in some purple wildflowers, with the sunset behind her.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your photography genre? I think it’s the same in all the genres, but the biggest challenge is getting clients (and new photographers) to understand all that goes into photography and why we charge what we charge.
To you, what is Photography? A creative outlet for myself, but more importantly how I put food on the table (and all the fun responsibility and life stuff).
Who are some of you favorite photographers past or present? Amy McDaniels, of Dewdrop Photography, is one of my favorite newborn photographers. I had the pleasure of attending a newborn workshop with her a few years ago. My other top favorite is Jade Gao of Photography by Jade. Both top photographers in the newborn world.
Now’s your time to brag, what achievement are you most proud of in your photography career so far and how do you measure your success? Hmmmmm. That I haven’t ever dropped my camera. Lol. This is a tough question! I think that I measure success based on my clients calling me up when they have new babies or referring my name to their friends to photograph their new additions. If I wasn’t good at what I do, or didn’t make good connections with my clients, my name would never be passed around.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out? I think new photographers have a much easier job when breaking into the business, because of the plethora of information on the internet. You can watch YouTube and learn exactly how to do so much of the editing and posing that some newborn photographers spent years trying to figure out. But my advice to new photographers is to learn how to use light. Because all that posing and editing information isn’t going to do you anything if your light is bad.