Today we’d like to introduce you to Chelsea Conway.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My dad was a photographer, so I grew up with cameras around. He did it for the fun of it and as a hobby all of his life. He instilled a love of photography in me from a young age. The idea of making a living at it was pretty foreign to me until about 8 years ago. My interest picked up out of college and then when I started photo assisting at Fossil headquarters, I really got a glimpse into the commercial photography industry and wanted to learn as much as I could about it. I think that’s what I love about photography most, that it truly is an art and a science. There is a very technical side involving light and physics, while also having this beautiful artistic creative side. A great photograph can stir such intense emotions and feeling.
Has it been a smooth road?
Anything involving art will have its challenges along the way. A “starving artist” is not just a redundant phrase. People really do struggle to succeed. And in Dallas, there’s not really an Editorial Photography market, everything is more commercial. So, you can find jobs photographing food and product on white, but maybe not as much travel or fashion. There are people who manage to do that kind of work, but I just don’t see a high demand for it. So if you’re realistic and ok with taking on more practical work, you can find your niche. It’s just about finding the balance between making a living and making art that you’re proud of.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I work full time at a corporate studio, while also maintaining my own personal photo business shooting primarily lifestyle/portraiture and food photography. Since my time is limited, I’m pretty picky about the projects I want to work on. For example, the wedding industry has never interested me. For me, I enjoy the creative aspect of planning shoots and having props and more styling, less documentary style (like a wedding). So my favorite projects have been story-based video projects for nonprofits I care about, and shooting in kitchens with chef-friends, or planning an editorial shoot in the desert with a model and photographer friend.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think there’s a higher demand for certain types of photography in Dallas. But my personality is to accept and let things be what they are. Dallas is not LA or New York but we have some amazing things to offer that are quintessentially Dallas. We have a great restaurant industry. There’s some great commercial modeling agencies and design agencies producing some beautiful work. If you’re new to photography, my best advice is to learn as much as you can technically and to get to know different people in the industry so you can find your niche, and what you’re most interested. When passion and skills align, you’ll find success.
- Website: www.chelsconphotography.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: chelscon