We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Powell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
There’s more to shooting weddings than simply photographing the day. First, there’s preparation. I send emails to all brides outlining expectations and ideas for their wedding day photos. I need a wedding day time line so I can begin the outline of what my day will look like – when will I do portraits, photos of decorations, etc? After the wedding, editing begins, and it’s a process as well. I tend to use minimal editing to ensure the photos look exactly like the wedding day as I’m a documentary style photographer, and because of this I’m able to have photos back to clients within a week. For other photographers, that truly enjoy creating works of art during the editing process, I can’t imagine how long it would take them.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets my work apart from others is my editing and customer service skills. I edit my work to look exactly as it did on my clients’ wedding day. I want them to look at their photos years later and remember everything exactly as it was. I attract clients that love this style of editing. Before being a photographer I worked in the customer service industry for ten years, so communication skills and friendliness are now in my DNA. I feel like that is one of the things I did NOT have to focus on when starting my business.
I’m still in the two year mark for my business, so while I’m comfortable with the artistic side of my job, I still struggle with getting my name out there. I absolutely hated the idea of paying for marketing and ads, but when it came down to working or not working, I realized I had to do it. I like to think of my business as three major parts – customer service, business side (book keeping and such), and marketing. I’ve always excelled in customer service, and learning to do my taxes and keep records of past work is something I picked up on quickly, but marketing is a beast for me. I had no idea what to do. I made the decision to pay for ads and exposure instead of paying for other things that may make my work easier, but isn’t exactly necessary, and it was a game changer.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Daniel Menacher, my photography professor. I took a few photography classes at University of North Georgia for fun, and he helped renew my passion for photography and gave me the drive I needed to start my own business.