Brenda Horan Photography
I am SO excited to introduce you all to an incredibly talented photographer today! I am sure many of you are already fans of her work. Brenda is one of those photographers that can shoot anything and it looks amazing. She’s truly a talented photographer!
Now onto the Q&As …
Q. Tell us a little about yourself in just two sentences and include a picture of yourself.
I’m a wife & mother, I like to cook and go antiquing. I love Jesus and the freedom He gave me to be me. I’ve been a professional photographer for 13 years – and love the constant change if offers me.
Q. What do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens and why?
I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark 2, and I use all my lenses on a regular basis.
Q. When did you start shooting for fun and then move to shooting professionally?
Photography has always been an interest of mine since I got a Canon Sure Shot back in 1983. That little camera took amazing photos! I started my business when we moved to Annapolis in 1999.
Q. Are you formally taught or self taught?
I am mostly self taught. I attend workshops yearly on things that interest me or things I want to improve on. This year I went to the Boudoir Divas workshop because that is something I wanted to get really really good at and they are the best!
Q. What is your specialty and how did you decide to specialize in that area of photography?
My specialty is newborns – it’s just something that clicks for me and I love the peace and quiet of the session – plus who doesn’t love a baby!!! Even when I get pee’d on – it doesn’t faze me because I am in the zone!
Q. How many sessions are you shooting a month?
At my studio we shoot anywhere from 15-30 sessions a week (a lot more during the fall). So about 60+ a month. My staff and I are a well oiled machine – we know what works and everyone is cross trained. We are creative planners but we can adapt to the unexpected. It’s fun working with creative people you can trust and who understand where you are coming from and what it takes to get the job done!
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?
I spend about 1 hour editing a session and I never even think of turning on music – it would probably take my mind off what I am doing! I mostly listen to worship music – so I’d end up on the floor or hands would be raised up worshipping instead of at my computer!
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.
The best marketing tool I have found is Facebook! I do not do any more print advertisements – I have never found them to be worth the money – vs. word of mouth. We have a great referral bonus for our clients which come in the form of referral cards (a sheet of wallets we customize). Each client who refers a new client gets a coupon for a free 8×10 portrait of their choice.
Q. What do you do to “stand out” from surrounding photographers that you’re competing with?
I think one of the things that makes me stand out from other photographers is that my goal is to honor my clients with the creative gift God has given me – to treat them with respect and do the best job I can for them. I really do not “compete” with other photographers because I believe that God has my plan and I’m just following Him. We also give a 30% discount to teachers, fire fighters, police and ministers. Mainly because I feel that these professions valuable and I want to show them my appreciation!
Q.What was your biggest mistake and how did you fix it?
The biggest mistake I have made in business was not putting a proper value on my images – underselling myself because that is what my “competition” had their prices set at.
Q. How did you find your style? Any advice to new photographers on how to find their own style?
How I found my style – well it’s ever evolving… I don’t know how anyone who is creative wouldn’t want to try new things – I see something and want to put my personal spin on it. My outdoor work is vastly different than my indoor work – but in Tulsa – we have weather elements to deal with – so we have to shoot indoors a lot. When I lived in Florida I was strictly an outdoor photographer. I would advise new photographers to seek out workshops of photographers they like and go from there.
Q. Please share your favorite image and tell us what makes this your favorite?
A favorite image – well after 13 years that is one of the hardest things ever to choose. But I would have to say…… this image because this child is absolutely stunning and his eyes just drag me in. Plus he tipped his hat! Common!! He’s only 1…
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.
Currently we are building out a 4000 sq. foot studio to my exact desires – I am beside myself excited because it will offer us all the space we want and have a private Boudoir Studio as well a a natural light studio AND two more large shooting spaces that will feature our velcro wall systems.
Q. Is there anything you would like to promote? Maybe a mentoring you offer or any side projects.
I offer workshops and one on one mentoring: Fresh Focus is for people who want to take their newborn skills to another level of expertise, start making money in this business, and learn some very practical strategies in keeping your clients coming back and running a business that has low overhead.
The Fresh Focus Baby Posing Guide is now available and will show you how we get all sorts of great images with minor movements to a sleeping baby. It’s a formula of sorts and it works great.
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.
My prop stash:
Q. Lastly, every photographer has a specialty or a technique that they are really good at. Would you share a little tip for everyone that has to do with your specialty?
My tip for photographers – make sure the newborn (7-10 days old) arrives at your studio 30 minutes before hand so their parents can undress it completely and feed it to sleep. We require this of all our customers and once the baby is asleep we are able to capture their sweetness!
Thank you again for sharing with us, Brenda!