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Conversations with Erin Boone

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Boone.

Hi Erin, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I started photography when I was 14. My grandfather had given me a camera he wasn’t using, and I quickly became fascinated with finding new perspectives of objects around the house. Later that year, I took my brother’s high school graduation photos, and soon friends started asking me to take their portraits (shout out to everyone who took a chance on little Erin!). That’s when I realized I might be able to do a business out of my passion. I took a three-hour photography class and read a portraiture book, but I mainly taught myself about settings, lighting, poses, and editing. I took a gazillion photos of my friends, my dog, and anything else that caught my eye in the backyard and learned on the job as my business took off. Since then, I’ve constantly been finding new ways to advertise myself, improve my style, and simplify the flow of my process.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Playing DI volleyball and studying business at UNC-Chapel Hill limited the time I could dedicate to my entrepreneurial vision, but I loved the challenge. I did consider minoring in photography, but the in-studio hours weren’t compatible with my student-athlete commitments. Photography is a seasonal industry; the busiest times were usually right around final exams and deep into the volleyball season. I don’t know how I found the time to balance those three responsibilities. Still, my photoshoots and editing hours served as a creative outlet and gave me a reason to “productively procrastinate” the less exciting work. I like to believe having that outlet made me more efficient with schoolwork, or maybe that was just the pressure of the fast-approaching deadlines. Given how young and inexperienced I was when I started, another piece of my journey was figuring out how to run a business. Learning to use my voice to communicate, guide, and make suggestions to clients proved to be my biggest learning curve. Over time, I’ve also solidified my photoshoot flow and simplified my editing process. Looking back, I can see how adapting to many different situations has made me a better photographer and business owner. That confidence has carried into other parts of my life, as well.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
The specialty I love is photographing people. As much as I get excited about traveling to beautiful new landscapes with my camera, my favorite part of photography is capturing emotion and bringing out the most genuine side of my subjects. I specialize in graduation and family photos, but I also love to photograph newborns and engagements, and I’ve done a few small weddings.

Proud Of
While I’m proud of the photos I take of my clients, I’m most proud of how I’ve learned to communicate professionally and personally with clients, whether or not I’ve met them before the photo shoot. I was timid when I was younger, and conversing with anyone for longer than 2 minutes (or at all, depending on which phase we’re referencing) was a struggle. My passion for portrait photography gently pushed me out of that shell and beyond. I love learning about my clients during photo shoots and leading them to feel comfortable and authentic.

Set Apart
I think both my calming demeanor and my straightforward business model set me apart from others. Because I used to be a super shy girl, I understand the nervousness anyone would feel in front of a camera. It can feel unnatural and awkward, but by encouraging and connecting with my clients, I put them at ease, which results in better portraits. As for my business plan, I only charge an hourly rate for the photoshoot and then send a link to 20-30 well-edited digital images to download. I offer a printing service, but knowing most people prefer to share images online, it’s not required.

Can you talk to us about happiness and what makes you happy?
One of my favorite things is getting the (usually) all-caps texts from clients who just opened their link and are so in love with their photos—sharing that excitement for the product I’ve delivered means more than any money I make. The next best thing is getting a new email from someone who wants me to take their portraits because I get to start the whole process over again. I genuinely have fun meeting new people and photographing old friends. And it can’t go without saying that using that golden hour light to create interesting and flattering photos makes my job so exciting because no two photo shoots are ever the same.

Pricing:

  • $250 for a one-hour photoshoot
  • $400 for a two-hour photoshoot

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Erin Boone Photography

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