Featured Photog: Tammi Dryden

Tammi Dryden

More Than Words Photography by Tammi

Site : Facebook

I’m am so honored to share the work of such a sweet photographer with you all.  Her images are {in my opinion} so natural, romantic and very classic in their styling. She’s a photographer that I would love to have take my family portraits!

Now on to the Q&As …


Q. Tell us a little about yourself in just two sentences and include a picture of yourself.

I am a Christ follower, think my husband is amazing, and am blessed with 6 kids! (two we will meet in 2 weeks on a visit to Ghana as we pursue adoption.) I love late nights, deep talks, trips to tj maxx, antique stores, dark chocolate and the sound of giggles!

Q. What do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens and why?

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm 1.2 The 1.2 because of the clarity and creamy bokeh.

Q. When did you start shooting for fun and then move to shooting professionally?

About 2.5 years ago, I started shooting with the intention of starting a business eventually. As I was portfolio building, it just took off. I am especially grateful for my first clients who believed in me!

Q. Are you formally taught or self taught?

Self taught. However, when I got my equipment, I dedicated it to God. I can’t take credit for any of my work. He gives me creative inspiration, and any talent you may see. I took an awesome workshop from Lisa Kae Photography and am thankful for In His Image by Julie and Amanda May Portrait Art for answering questions. There are SO many photographers out there that inspire me too~ many of you are reading this right now, so thanks!

Q. What is your specialty and how did you decide to specialize in that area of photography?

My loves are newborns, stylized vintage sessions, and something new for me~ unique reconnecting sessions my husband and I are offering for married couples. I love the images that are captured from these sessions. (Actually, I am working hard to learn and utilize techniques that bring about authentic images in all of my sessions.) Those may seem a little eclectic~ but that’s one of the things I love about this job! I can choose to shoot what I love!

Q. How many sessions are you shooting a month?

I only take 6-8 a month (although some months do turn into a wee bit more;)). I’m still working to find the best balance for my clients, but most importantly for my family. I want to be careful not to miss on my own family memories because I’m too busy capturing someone elses.

Q. On average how long to do you spend editing each session and do you listen to music while editing or just enjoy the quiet?

About 3 hours. That also includes sorting and narrowing down the images. I like to listen to music and also have a small dvd player that I watch movies (or rather listen to) while I edit.

Q. What is the best marketing tool that works for you or was a total waste of time? Do you advertise in print? Do you offer referral bonuses? If yes, please share a little.

Facebook and word of mouth work best for me. I offer referal bonus (8×10 for client booking and client who referred). I don’t push this, and many of my clients don’t even know about it, but I look at it as more of a way to say thanks.

Q. What do you do to “stand out” from surrounding photographers that you’re competing with?

This tripped me up a bit in the beginning. I’ll be sharing about it in Tuesday’s tip post.{To come soon!}

Q.What was your biggest mistake and how did you fix it?

Not realizing how much of the business side was involved in running a successful and legitimate photography business. If I did it over, I would start out doing what is needed to set up an organized business side of things. Also underpricing myself. Still working on this!:)

Q. Please share your favorite image and tell us what makes this your favorite?

Of course, the images of my family come to mind first. They will always be my fav subjects! As far as professionally, the image below was taken recently amd I know it will always be a favorite. This image is of a couple who adopted this sweet boy. I love it for the raw emotion that is present. You can just feel the overwhelming love they have for their son. I love that he will never question how much his parents love him when they look at the pictures from this session. I also love that they trusted me with this moment, allowing me the gift of capturing it.

Q. Can you show us your shooting space? If you are shooting inside can you show a simple pull back shot or lots of images if you have a large studio. If you shoot on location please share an image of you favorite location.

My newborn sessions are mostly done inside, just using my living rom which is the main room in our house. I push the furniture aside and set it all up. We are looking to move soon, partly to give me my own permanent space. I’m hoping for an out building! On location, I love to use fields.

Q. Is there anything you would like to promote? Maybe a mentoring you offer or any side projects.

Hopefully doing some very small group mentoring sessions in the future! I own a little company called Avenue 17. I sell cards and prints with profits going towards ministries for orphans or widows. It’s an etsy shop currently on vacation as I pursue another option for selling them.

Q. Please share an image of your Prop stash! This doesn’t have to be an organized space just an image showing off your addiction.

Well, I laugh (and my husband laughs harder) that I’m being interviewed on a blog for “Confessions of a Prop Junkie” because I definitely am! Sometimes I feel my area in the garage looks like the Beverly Hillbillies! I laugh that if I ever stop doing photography, I could open a small antique shop. Unfortunately, I’m sending this while on vacation and forgot to take a pic before I left.

More of Tammi’s Beautiful Images:

Thank You Tammi for sharing so much with us!  Best Wishes on your adoption trip to Ghana.



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Jen - July 12, 2011 - 1:28 pm

OMG! That photo of the couple with the adopted baby brought tears to my eyes!! Amazing. Priceless. No words necessary. That photo speaks for itself.

Niina - July 12, 2011 - 3:42 pm

Wow, the last two photos in the post are just amazing, so “soft”!

Becky Tate - July 12, 2011 - 4:46 pm

Oh my! I got tears in my eyes looking at her favorite shot! That is awesome. I also love the sweetness of this last photo in B&W. I get that she has such a soft spirit and great eye. Thanks COAPJ!!! Awesome pick.

Miranda - July 12, 2011 - 8:35 pm

Where did you find that awesome turquoise couch? I’ve been looking for something similar for some family sessions!

tammi - July 19, 2011 - 10:38 pm

oh thank you ladies for your gracious comments! you encourage my heart! :) thank you to tabitha for the feature! miranda~ i actually found the couch on ebay by doing a local search. i had to have patience and kept watching for just the one i wanted. then i also had to drive 2 hours to get it (well, actually my sweet hubby did!) but it’s been worth it! ( i think it was a pretty awesome deal for $200) i love it! check craigslist too!

Amanda May - August 10, 2011 - 3:53 pm

Tammi – You are such an inspiration!! A true artist. Your talent blows me away!!

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