Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Doskocil.
Amanda, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Simply put, I was forced into photography. In early 2013 one of my former college classmates got engaged, and in her search for a wedding photographer she asked me—point blank—if I would consider shooting her wedding in exchange for photography education. I have an amateur background in graphic design, and I am naturally pretty creative, but at the time I had never held a DSLR camera in my life, so I was a little taken aback. She was a budding photographer and desired wedding photos taken in “her style,” but didn’t know anyone who could give her that result for a decent price, so she figured she’d train someone to shoot and edit in the exact same way she did. Apparently, she remembered watching from a few desks back as I worked on various design projects in the Adobe suite, and made mental note that I was artistic (shh, don’t tell my professors I was freelancing during class!). I hastily but politely declined her offer, pegging inexperience as obvious reasoning, but she wouldn’t have it. She continued to push the idea and insisted she wouldn’t have offered if she wasn’t confident in both her teaching and my ability to learn. After much debate and with great hesitation, I gave in and we started monthly “lessons” in preparation for her impending wedding. What I thought was little more than an opportunity to learn a new skill quickly evolved into something much grander. I began attracting clients within weeks, which prompted me to create a business name and website. By the time my friend’s big day rolled around I had already shot three weddings by myself. To no one’s surprise but my own, my love for photography and knack for running a small business took off and continued to pick up speed over the following three years. Just this past summer I left my job as an office manager to pursue DOSKOFOTO full time and it has been one of the most rewarding decisions of my life. My curiosity for photography is as wild as it was that first month, and I have embraced self-employment with arms wide open. It’s still funny to think this passion was somehow hidden inside of me all this time—needing to be extracted quite literally in order for me to realize it—but I am so thankful for the persistence of a dear friend and my unfortunate inability to say no when called upon.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I am blessed to say I haven’t encountered too may difficulties as an entrepreneur aside from those that you hear about all the time—difficult clients, avoiding distraction while working from home, budgeting for greatly fluctuating income, and allocating said income in the proper ways. I have definitely learned a few lessons the hard way, about expressing and managing expectations with clients and other vendors, covering my “legal” bases, and setting boundaries for work-life balance, but each encounter has made me a wiser business owner.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about DOSKOFOTO – what should we know?
I am a wedding and portrait photographer, so I take photos of humans (not events or products) and I try to capture the real emotion and personality of every person who stands in front of my lens. My style has a lot to do with natural light, warm tones, and candid moments as I work to tell a story with my images. Something that sets me apart is the intentional and lasting relationship I cultivate with each of my clients. I don’t see people as a paycheck or a means to an end—I earnestly desire to know the people I am photographing, and remain in their lives to document their many milestones. I love following along on social media and watching my families grow in different ways.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Professionalism, humility, and a great sense of humor.
- Portrait Sessions: $350+
- Weddings: $1,800-$3,000
- Website: www.doskofoto.com
- Phone: 562-548-2378
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: instagram.com/dosko_foto
- Facebook: facebook.com/doskofoto
- Twitter: twitter.com/doskofoto
- Yelp: yelp.com/biz/doskofoto-long-beach
- Other: https://www.pinterest.com/doskofoto/
Photography by DOSKOFOTO (Amanda Doskocil)