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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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For this month’s Photographer Spotlight, I’d like to introduce you to Teri Mason. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Teri both online and in personal friendship for several years now, and can assure you she is one of the hardest-working, dedicated, talented photographers I’ve come across!
Teri’s passion for shooting is intense, and her dedication to the photographic industry is truly inspirational. Please take some time to explore her website and discover what she’s offered to the lucky folks in Austin, TX for over ten years.
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NAME: Teri Mason
NICKNAMES: terily, sugar booger (by my dad), and the most important, Mommy
BUSINESS: I have owned Teri Mason Photography since 2001. I am a family photographer, building a long-term relationship with each client family and then providing quality work for them for a lifetime. This means new babies, baby’s first year, annual family portraits, senior portraits, family reunions, even weddings. I only offer weddings to current or past clients, I do not actively advertise them anymore.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR STUDIO: My home and studio are located on ten acres just outside of town. My studio is a dedicated 1200 square feet attached to our home with separate entrances, bathroom, sales room, offices and camera room. I also utilize many areas on the ten acres as photo sets. We have a 1950′s rusty truck, and old piano out in the woods, a field we let get overgrown with wildflowers, a small waterfall and rock wall, and many others.
TELL US ABOUT THE STYLE OF IMAGES YOU PRODUCE FOR YOUR CLIENTS: My work has been described as “clean.” In my everyday work, I don’t use a lot of props (although my collection of chairs and couches is extensive), I focus on the eyes – I’m known for my close-up, toned black and white portraits, although I love color as well. I don’t really use any actions and only on occasion will I add a texture to an image, usually for a senior. Several times a year I also offer “Special Events” for children, which are theme-related, and for those I pull out the stops and build a big set with props. Even with the fancy sets, the images are still focused on the subject with minimal additional “treatments” in post.
I also do commercial photography. I have photographed musicians for album covers, local servicemen for a calendar, several magazine covers for local publications, as well as a stint for a major hotel chain, photographing interiors and exteriors of their hotels across Texas.
ARE YOU SELF TAUGHT, OR DID YOU HAVE FORMAL INSTRUCTION AS A PHOTOGRAPHER? Some of both! My dad was into photography my entire life. I can remember looking through HUGE albums of his black and white work from the 60s and being enamored. When I was around 7 or 8, he took a class at the junior college and would let me use the camera. I was fascinated by the little black bag where you had to roll the film. In high school, I took photography classes, was editor of the yearbook and as a young adult, always had a camera nearby. It was when I met my wedding photographer that I realized this might be the career for me. We photographed together, she taught me the “back end” of the biz (which, at that time, was using film), and I started my journey.
WHAT PRODUCTS THAT YOU PRODUCE COMPLETELY KNOCK YOUR CLIENT’S SOCKS OFF? I don’t offer everything that is out there! My studio focuses on the images themselves and I display them in canvas gallery wraps, float wraps and traditional framed prints and albums. For seniors, especially boys, the metal prints are very popular, as are coffee table books.
TELL ME A FEW RANDOM FACTS ABOUT TERI:
- I’m a wife, and mother of two.
- I am the sole breadwinner in our family. I have supported my family with my photography for the past several years.
- I’m a UT longhorn! There is nothing more fun than getting my orange on and tailgating before a game, or going to a UT football game. Hook ‘Em!
- I’m a people-person. I love people and when I spend too much time alone, in my office, with my computer, I can get a little blue. Getting out and being with people can pep me right up!
- I love food! My husband is a chef and makes the most yummy food. A perfect night out for us would be to go to a fine restaurant and enjoy dinner and some wine.
- I love what I do. Interacting with people, creating something beautiful for them is such a rush. Knowing that when they are grandparents, they will still enjoy that moment through my photographs is so fulfilling.
WHAT COLOR SOCKS ARE YOU WEARING: Um, none. It’s Saturday morning and I’m still in my slippers
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER? I love people. I love creating something that they cherish. When I share a slideshow with a client and they tear up, and I tear up, I feel like I am a part of something important. That I have made something in this world, made someone happy, a happiness that will last for a lifetime.
LEAST FAVORITE THING? The backend of the business. Managing finances, entering invoices, making deposits, paying taxes. I love what I do, but it’s a BUSINESS and there are things that aren’t as much fun, but are still important. So for these things, I delegate and find people who DO enjoy them, and hire them to do it for me!
NAME SOME THINGS THAT INSPIRE YOU? My family, my kids. I have clients who have been through such rough times and have a really positive attitude – that inspires me. People who give even when they have been knocked down or had rough circumstances.