After building up a successful photography business shooting everything from weddings to fashion purely on location, Angela is taking the next step to open her own studio in down town San Antonio. By the time this is published her studio will have been opened.
Tell us a little about yourself?
As a kid I was mesmerized by the way light would change a scene or an object. I used to love to sit on a partly cloudy day and watch the light transform a place from something mundane to something spectacular…years later I’m a photographer. My name is Angela Michelle and I run my company Raven Red Photography in San Antonio, Texas
What made you get into photography?
My first encounter with a camera was in front of it. My dad was a professional photographer before I was born. So needless to say I had a camera stuck in my face quite a bit growing up… I hated it. But I didn’t realize I was just on the wrong side. I picked up the camera in high school. I think I was drawn to the idea of the perfect moment that could immortalize and celebrate the subject.
How did you get started?
I took a photography course in high school. I took tons of photos of local and touring bands and developed the images old in my bathroom turned darkroom I made in my house. I continued school studying photography and journalism meanwhile I picked up odd photography jobs here and there such as driving across Texas taking portraits of kids up for adoption and photographing signs for brochures. I also started working weddings and being asked to take portraits so I started my company in 2008 After several years running a successful photography business strictly on location I am launching my studio this year.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
Weddings, portraits, fashion, bands, anything really. Lately most of my work is portfolio development for models and weddings.
What gear are you using?
Canon 5D. I think it’s more about the photographer than the gear they have. Sure it’s nice to have nice stuff but it’s more important to know how to use what you have.
What’s your favorite lens and why?
50mm 1.8 sadly I don’t get to use it unless I’m shooting film but I love using it in low light and the shallow DOF you get with it. The photos have a very intimate feel.
Realistically, my favorite everyday shooting lens is the Canon 24-105mm. I like to travel light for maximum mobility when I’m shooting. This lens is lightweight and I hardly ever have to switch it out for another lens. I love to shoot on location and find a way to incorporate the environment in the shot. The wide angle allows me to do that and also I am able to zoom in for some tighter shots.
How are you marketing yourself?
Word of mouth and Facebook have been huge for me. Almost all my bookings come through Facebook. I also have lots of repeat customers. I think it is important build a good relationship with clients; when your clients are comfortable you get the best moments.
What’s your favorite photo you have taken?
Gahhh, this is a hard one. It’s like asking my favorite song. It’s always changing and because I am always trying to top myself I often am disinterested in an image that weeks before I loved. But if I picked one that I loved when I took it and I still love today… well here it is.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Shoot lots and lots. Follow your on vision; you will develop a unique style in time. Know the value of your work and charge for it. Always working for free hurts yourself and the industry you want to be a part of. Learn the business side of things. If you want to be a successful in this industry being business savvy is a must. Although, it is of course about the image remember there is more to it then just that. Ultimately clients come to you for your unique vision and the way you make them feel. Always strive to make that connection with them and you will be rewarded with intimate images and loyal clients. Lastly… enjoy the ride.