Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Rater.
Amber, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always had an interest in showing people just how beautiful they really are. Often, we find it hard to see in the mirror what others see when they look at us. My obsession started with solo portraits for this reason. I would take my friends out, dress them up, and spend the afternoon searching for the perfect backdrop with the perfect light. Seeing their faces light up when they saw just gorgeous they looked was so rewarding. It wasn’t until I started planning my wedding in the fall of 2010 that I considered turning my hobby into a profession. I was stunned by how expensive wedding photographers were. I knew the rough costs of gear and software and couldn’t seem to understand why I would have to make the choice between my dream venue and dress, or having my memories captured. I was lucky enough to find someone who was willing to cut me a deal in order to build their portfolio, but I was disappointed with the end result. After a few weeks of research, I discovered that this was the case with most family, engagements, and portrait sessions as well. Sitting fees, edit fees, printing fees, and if you were lucky you could purchase the actual images on a cd for an additional fee. It was absurd to me that people were expected to take out small loans to have memories that they could keep for a lifetime. My husband made the final decision for me.
He told me to quit my day job and do what I loved to give people an affordable option so that they could capture all the moments in their life, instead of just the ones they could budget in. So, I bought a few extra lens, software and business cards and started what I thought would be a part time gig. The first six months were slow going and spent making a lot of mistakes and doing a lot of free portfolio building. Once I was confident calling myself a photographer I decided to take the leap and build a Facebook fan page and website. Over the next year my part time job quickly became full time, with the holiday season working into to overtime. Along with hearing about how much people loved the way I captured their families and personalities, I received praise for how affordable and easy I was to work with. No more confusing packages and orders to filter through. My motto has always been, “You get all the good ones”. I have a standard number of shots that most sessions produce, but if you knock it out of the park and we double that number – you get the extras without any additional costs. Why would I want to keep YOUR photos from you, after all? Sure, sometimes this results in extra hours spent editing, but I started this to use my gift to give something to people. Getting paid for it just allows me to do it full time and still put food on my table. Nothing makes me happier than telling the couple that’s planning a small wedding that they CAN afford a photographer and the dream dress. Or seeing the look on the senior’s face when they see themselves all grown up in print. Or getting the thank you from the mom, who without a photographer, wouldn’t be in any of her child’s birthday party photos. For me, this job is about freezing the moments in our lives that we never want to forget. And that should be something everyone can have.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
For the most part it has been relatively smooth sailing. My husband has been so supportive and encouraging throughout the entire process. My friends and family have spent countless hours letting me try out new techniques and are always forgiving of my absence during the seasonal rushes. My clients are more like friends and have been my biggest source of marketing. I have built my clientele throughout the DFW and North Texas area 100% from word of mouth. I couldn’t ask for a better support group.
Moose Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Moose Photography specializes in natural light photography. I do everything from lifestyle newborn sessions to high fashion senior portraits. I love working with families and capturing real life shots between the more posed portraits.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
To me, success will always be being doing what I love, and having people love what I do for them. I want to create art within the moments of their lives and show them how beautiful those moments are.
- Family Portraits – $150.00
- Weddings – start at $500.00
- Senior Portraits – $150.00
- Website: www.moosephotography.net
- Phone: 940-393-1187
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: facebook.com/MoosePhotog