Exposed: photographers who developed their love for photos into a profession
This month we’re excited to put the spotlight on a few photographers who shared their business dream with us as part of our Dreams advertising campaign. May celebrates the creativity and drive that inspires photographers with National Photography Month. In recognition of this, we’re pleased to share the stories of these Hiscox customers who developed their passion into a profession.
Kdmorris – Photographer and studio owner: Candlelight Studio 215
Kdmorris was a hobby photographer who turned his talent into a career. He shared with us his journey to becoming a professional photographer. His story is touching and motivates any aspiring entrepreneur to never give up on their dreams – even if others try to make them reconsider.
“I was five years old when I realized my dream. My mother had taken a photo of me on my tricycle, and I mimicked her doing so. While I was in college, I was told by a college professor that I didn't ‘have an eye for photography...’ His statement motivated me to prove him wrong, and that I did, by becoming a respected professional concert photographer, studio owner, and teacher of photography, and I donate my services to various charitable causes. I use this mantra to motivate my students: Don’t think about the shots you need to get; think about and get the shots you don’t want to miss.”
We asked Kdmorris to share with us what he considered to be one of the most significant challenges photographers face nowadays; his response was insightful and genuine:
“With today’s advances in camera technology, almost anyone with what clients refer to as a ‘good or nice camera,’ sometimes they don’t have the work ethic and commitment to the craft, will call themselves ‘a professional,’ but are lacking patience and sometimes rarely practice or study the craft to actually learn how to be in business as a photographer. For seasoned veterans, obtaining the consistent and ideal clients is a challenge due to the changes in the economy.”
In addition to being a photographer, Kdmorris loves sharing his gift through teaching photography, traveling and teaching poetry; he is a music producer and has been on tour as a spoken word artist. A true renaissance man, for sure.
William & Jennifer Chavis – Owners of Paramount Memories
Photography was a hobby that started with William’s cell phone. He would use it to take photos and videos of his son playing football and then create hype videos that everyone loved. His wife, Jennifer, decided to buy William his first DSLR camera as an all-in-one Christmas and birthday gift. Upon opening the gift, William looked at his wife and told her, “This camera is going to make us money one day.”
Here’s the dream story William shared with us:
“My wife and I (William & Jennifer) turned a thought into reality when we sat down one day and asked one another, ‘What can we do that brings life, joy and creates memories for people?’ As we bounced different ideas back and forth, we landed on the photo booth business.
“Ever since our dream came true, we've expanded our business into an entertainment company that can provide our clients with services that include Photography, Videography, Photo Booth, DJ & Emcee, Event Planning, and Podcast Production. We have a brand our client base can trust, we're loyal to, and know they will receive 100% customer satisfaction that ultimately brings them security, comfort and happiness.
“As a result of our success, we've inspired friends and family from New Jersey to Florida to open up their own businesses who we love to collaborate with for different types of events. Our brand reputation has opened up many opportunities for us to become a celebrity photographer, work with different people, and work with well-known brands in the media/entertainment industry.
“We both talk about how this all started with a dream to run our own business. Then came the idea and although we didn't know much about the industry we knew that staying stuck wasn't going to help us grow so we took massive action.
“When we created the business we committed to give back to a non-profit organization every single year. Thus far, we're happy to have been part of numerous events raising awareness for suicide prevention, PKD, and autism.”
William and Jennifer are on such an incredible journey with their photography business. They shared so much with us through their story, but we did ask if they had any fun or quirky facts about their photography business they’d like to divulge; their reply was regarding the name they landed on for their business:
“The business name was founded by my wife and I. Each one of us literally named half of it. It went something like... I was saying something about creating ‘memories’ ahhh I like Memories. But what kind of memories? ‘Ummm,’ she said ‘Paramount’. We both said, ‘That's it... ‘Paramount Memories.’ For our slogan we bounced around different ones from ‘Create yours today’ to ‘Memories are created, we capture them.’”
Related: 3 Ways to protect your business name
Sydney Sherman – Owner and Photographer of Sydney Sherman Photography
Sydney describes herself as a fine artist, lover of life’s insignificant details, spontaneous traveler, daydreamer, professional perfectionist, and Thai food fiend/fanatic. Those certainly are attributes that would define a creative genius.
“I was born with art embedded in my DNA (in the most literal sense since my mother is an incredible artist) and entrepreneurship in my anatomy. My creative imagination, paired with a keen understanding of people, perceptions, and the bigger picture has led me to a unique position in the corporate world.
“There are many masks, hats, and personas to be worn in professional identities so I have found a way to tap into the deeper layers beneath these labels. The power of taking an angle of authenticity transforms imagery into invaluable assets that speak their own language.
“Today, online impressions have just as much influence as in-person meetings. Humans are at the heart of every company’s success story and every family’s unforgettable event. Your impact lies in expressing the truth of who you are which is why I focus on capturing your unique characteristics and expressing them through photography that does the talking for you.
“I have a deep desire for every person I meet to realize the beauty they inherently hold within them. I feel truly connected to the purpose of giving others a glimpse of what is beyond their surface layers. My desire is to gift you with a reflection of your soulfulness that will inspire you to love where you are in life and all the facets that come along with it.
“With 19 professional years and counting in the photography world, I have been classically trained in portraiture. I hold a degree in Fine Art Photography from The University of Arizona along with extensive experience that has refined my style. I look through my lens and see beyond your surface layers - so that others can too.”
Sydney is such a great example of the kind of people we need more of. Seeing the beauty that lies within each of us – that’s a gift in and of itself.
Digital or film? People or places?
We asked each of the photographers featured if they preferred digital photography over film and were surprised to learn that they all shared a similar sentiment – they prefer both! They like to use the medium that will best deliver the outcome their clients are seeking.
We also asked if there was a preference for photographing people and pets or landscapes and nature. Again, the responses were similar among them. Generally speaking, people won out, primarily because those are the gigs they’re being hired for. However, when on vacation, they get to delve into their hobby side and shoot the scenery surrounding them.
Did you make your dream come true? Please share it with us!
The talent up above is admirable, indeed. These photographers not only excel in the art of photography, but they are living their dream by running their own businesses. We admire what they have built and are proud to be who they’ve partnered with to protect their dreams.
Are you a small business owner with an inspiring tale of your beginnings? Please share it with us. We’d love to hear from you and may include your story in a future blog post.