Thursday, June 25, 2009

The V-Spot: Photography by Valerie

Hi Everyone! This is a new feature (partial reason why this blog was started) that I'm trying out here at Chocolate Rose, The V-Spot aka The Vendor Spotlight!

At the V-Spot you'll get to know a little bit about the vendors available to you out there as you plan your wedding and your life (family portrait shoot, maybe?). It's meant to be helfpul, informative and inspiring.

I'm happy to say our very first V-Spot feature is Photography by Valerie! Read a little more about Valerie's story and her photography below.

{Photo Credit: Portrait shoot via Photography by Valerie}

+ Please tell us a lttle bit about your business and what you do.
Photography by Valerie services the DC Metropolitan area and various destinations, specializing in weddings and custom portraiture.

+ What and when was your "aha!" moment (if one) that you discovered photography was something you wanted to turn into a profession/career?
I discovered my love for photography after I had my daughter. It was very important for me to capture every single important moment in her life. Looking back, I did not have many photos of me under the age of 4, and that was something I wanted my daughter to have. I decided to pursue photography professionally as my creative outlet. I have a different perspective of looking at things and believe that makes me unique in my own right. This is something that I thoroughly enjoy.

+ How did you get your start in this industry?
I started professional photography in 2008 after several months of studying and practicing on my own. I never had any formal lessons, but have been blessed to have so many local photographers willing to provide helpful information and constructive feedback if needed. I have always wanted to start my own business and there is nothing I enjoy more than being behind the camera capturing those irreplaceable moments in people's lives. I am so fortunate to have positive individuals in my corner supporting me.

+ What is the passion that drives you to do what you do? In other words, what is it that you wish to express to your clients and the world through your work?
I am very passionate about what I do. The memories I capture can be held onto forever and passed on from generation to generation. I view photography as creating history.

+ Have you had a moment where you wanted to quit? If so, what made you want to continue? If not, what would you say to encourage someone who has?
Starting out was very difficult in that I was (and still am) very hard on myself. I tend to scrutinize every details and point out things that needed to be done better. I am no quitter and will keep striving to be on the same level as some of the world's best. I say to anyone wanting to pursue photography - have tough skin and take criticism well. It will only make you better at your craft and more experienced to embrace any challenges set before you. Keep studying and keep pushing!

+ What has been your most memorable (good, bad, funny, etc.) experience so far?
My most memorable experience was at a family session, where the 2-year old subject firmly stated "No more pictures!" and stomped away. Well, I ended up winning that battle because candy bribery goes a long way!

+ What is one thing you know now that you wish someone had told you before you started in this profession?
I wish someone would have told me how expensive photography equipment was! I swear, my husband is going to kill me if one more lens order shows up at my doorstep. Totally worth it though!

+ Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
I'm going to the Beyonce concert tonight - do you think they will allow cameras? :)

+ Random Fun Question: What is your current addiction or guilty pleasure
I am a blog-stalking, reality show-watching, chocolate-loving fool! I am also very into vintage items and have been vigorously surfing the web for possible purchases (shhh....don't tell my husband!).

Check out the rest of Valerie's amazing work here.

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