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In this feature, we will share information and images from photographers who are on our Professional Photographer Registry. That means that you can be sure that each photographer showcased here has been in business (legally!) for a minimum of three years, has a portfolio of professional level work that is technically sound, and is operating a business designed to be sustainable and profitable. In short, the photographers in our articles are operating their businesses with integrity, and dedication to preserving artistry in the photographic industry. If you are on our registry and would like to be featured, please email email@example.com!
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Name: Heidi Lynne Lewis
Business: I started Heidi Lynne Photography in August of 2003…so I’m nearing 9 years in business, with the last 6 years full time. Living in the relatively small community of State College, Pennsylvania, I am not able to specialize in too narrow of an area, but I do focus on families, children, babies and high school seniors. As my business has developed, it has been most satisfying to build relationships and to see families grow from behind the lens of my camera.
Tell us about your studio(s): I had a home-based studio for 6 years, but moved to a separate studio location 3 years ago. While my home studio was very professional with a separate client entrance, I quickly outgrew the 500 square feet in the 3 years since it’s initial construction. When I found the perfect studio space with a huge north facing window in a rustic barn along a beautiful creek close to town, I gathered a few other local artists and we joined forces to form an artist cooperative (http://www.surfaceartistcoop.
Tell us about the style of portraits your produce for your clients: I’d like to say that my style is somewhat undefined because in reality, my style is really driven by the client. But if I had to nail down one word to describe my work – - I’d say it is real. I’m very realistic in my shooting, avoiding forced looks/poses/styles. I do realize, however, that most people need some direction (unless they are under the age of 5…and in that case, I let them think they are running the show) so I’m very good at allowing natural posing to occur giving families some structure while still feeling comfortable and at ease.
Are you a self taught photographer, or did you have formal instruction? A little of both. My father taught me how to use a manual focus camera in 4th grade and eventually went on to learn darkroom processing in high school where I functioned as the chief photographer for both the school newspaper and the creative writing magazine. While I opted for the more ‘sensible’ career path of electrical engineering in college, I couldn’t stay away from photography and have been completely self-taught in the digital arena. As with any profession, continuing education is key and I am continually studying new shooting and processing techniques.
What products that you produce completely knock your client’s socks off? I keep it pretty simple as I don’t want to overwhelm my clients (or myself!). Across the board, clients want to showcase their images, so session albums are very popular. Ranging in size from 5×5 to 10×10, and in styles from the very simple to the graphically designed, there is an option for every client. Gallery wrapped canvases as well as storyboard and mosaic framed collages are also very popular.
What color socks are you wearing? None. And in fact, I often photograph without any shoes on…one of my little quirks – - shoes just get in my way!
What’s your favorite thing about being a photographer? Being able to pull out personalities – - my favorite sessions are the most challenging ones! I also love being able to build lasting relationships with my clients. I treat my loyal clients like gold…and I can truly say that I consider many of my clients to be friends.
Least favorite thing? It’s not so much being a photographer, but rather owning my own business. Sometimes I fantasize about having a job with benefits, paid vacation time and regularly scheduled hours, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
What are your goals with your photography – either personally or professionally? I would like to continue to grow my business, but also to keep the very personal level of connection that I have with my clients…it is a fine balance. I’d also like to develop a business offering ‘out of the box’ school photography to local area preschools, providing a unique style that is very different from what parents have become accustomed.