We are overly excited to share with you one of the best photographers of 2015, Heidi Hope of Heidi Hope Photography. We cannot say enough how much we truly admire Heidi, who she is as a photographer, a business owner, and a friend. Our team recently took Heidi’s online photography workshop, Photographer Rising, and we couldn’t recommend a better course! If you are looking to further yourself as a photographer and are serious about becoming a business owner, it’s perfect for you. Heidi’s upbeat personality, attention to detail, and willingness to teach all there is to know, is such an inspiration.
Business Name: Heidi Hope Photography
Name: Heidi Guerard
Where are you located? In-home, studio, or on-location? Studio
When did you decide to become a photographer? I’m not sure I ever made the decision! In my first year teaching High School Art I had to teach a black and white photography class. That had me spending long days in the darkroom learning the art. 6 years later, when I was on maternity leave with my first daughter, I began taking photos on the side for a little extra money. My side business turned full-time very quickly and I never went back to teaching!
How would you describe yourself to someone you just met? Creative, caring, and fun-loving!
What gear do you have in your camera bag? At our studio we have 2 Nikon D4’s and 1 Nikon D3s. I keep a Nikon 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 35mm 1.4, 70-200mm 2.8, and 105mm 2.8 Macro handy during my sessions.
What was the first piece of equipment that you purchased? The Nikon d700 and 24-70mm 2.8 lens.
Which lens is your favorite and why? What type of session is is it best for? Well my favorite lens is the 85mm 1.4, but it is best used outdoors because of the longer focal length so I don’t use it that often. My most used lens is the 50mm 1.4 because it is so versatile in the studio and a great focal length when you want to get the attention of young subjects.
What advice would you give someone just starting out? If you think you want your photography to become your career, treat it like a real business by planning your business first. Having a strong business foundation allows you to focus your time and talent on what you love: your photography! If you aren’t in a rush to make a career out of photography, then enjoy the journey of learning the craft, enjoy shooting for yourself and enjoy creating photography just for the pure love of it.
What type of photos do you take when not working? Ones with my phone! haha But really, I usually don’t even bring my camera home.
Who are some photographers who have influenced you and your style? The photographers that have influenced me most are really in the business realm. I feel I always had a strong artistic background, but I had no idea how to run a business. Sarah Petty inspired me to take ownership of my business decisions. Through her guidance I realized that I could steer my business in any direction I chose. Barb Uil inspired me as a teacher because she was so kind and authentic. I try to embody those qualities in my teaching style.
How would you describe you style? Colorful, soft, whimsical, joyful
What has been the biggest business obstacle you have had to overcome? Oh gosh, what hasn’t been?! In the beginning it was learning to let go of my perfectionism. I had to let go of control of many things to ultimately have a business that would allow me to step away and have a personal life. Learning to say no to the things that weren’t bringing me closer to my goals was another big lesson. Finally, remembering the original love of the craft that I began with after the first few years of burnout was a big hurdle to overcome. I learned to make time for myself and my family more so that I was truly working for a life I love.
If you had to choose a different career, what would it be? This is going to sound crazy, but I could see myself in just about any career. Through my photography business I have realized I am an entrepreneur… a people person… a teacher… an artist… photography is just one of the tools I use to connect with others. Maybe I would own a little paint shop by the ocean. Maybe I would be a school teacher again. Maybe I would be a professional food blogger.
Have you attended college or had any formal education in photography? I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education, but I could never get into the photography classes!
What do you do to get your clients to relax and be themselves? I’m myself. And I’m a little wacky. So I think people warm up to me quickly.
What are your goals for this year? My studio is running pretty smoothly so I hope to actually push myself a little more creatively outside of work. I’m planning to start blogging and sharing more personal photos on my teaching site http://www.photographerrising.com along with my weekly newsletters and FAQ Friday broadcast for photographers.
What do you do to stay up-to-date and a better photographer? My studio is pretty busy so we’re constantly practicing our craft. We handle about 12-15 shoots a week during our busy months so I feel that I’m always learning and improving. I’m also a bit of a dork when it comes to learning about business. I read a few business books a month. I just downloaded 4 new ones onto my iPad yesterday!
How do you set yourself apart from the crowd? It can be difficult to stand out in studio work. Sometimes it feels like there is only so much you can do to be different. The best way I have found to stand out from the crowd is to give very little of my attention to what is going on around me. I tend to turn inward more then ever for my inspiration and ideas. I infuse my personality into my brand and every creative idea I have for my business truly comes from an inner space of authenticity. That type of creativity is limitless!
Favorite business-related books? Hmmmm so many! some recent favs are:
The War of Art, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, The Slight Edge, The Fire Starter Sessions, Worth Every Penny, Do the Work, and Start with Why
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