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Meet Burbank Photographer: Leon Jimenez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leon Jimenez.

Leon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Since fine art was my career I needed a hobby and I bought a digital DSLR. Because of my background, I had a good understanding of composition and color theory and just needed to get a handle on the technical aspects of photography. I was experienced in using photoshop since the early 90’s so everything started to fall into place quickly. I also had worked in marketing and sales so I used that to start booking weddings. Weddings cover every aspect of Photography in one day and the importance of the photos pushed me to be my best.

Has it been a smooth road?
The thing with booking a lot of weddings early was being able to manage to post wedding workflow. In my third year I booked 48 weddings and post editing, product delivery became overwhelming. Couples used to expect waiting 6 months but with digital technology, internet, smart phones couples are used to immediate gratification. I was able to get a handle on the workflow by hiring help and usually deliver within 1-2 months of a wedding.

Any predictions for the industry over the next few years?
Photography is considered the easiest art form to learn but it is the hardest to be unique. There are more photographers now than ever but so few are unique. We had photo-journalistic, then vintage, then high fashion. I think fine art will be next. It hasn’t happened yet. Some think they are creating art but great art is polarizing. If you love it then someone should hate it. Tell me a movie you love and I will tell you someone who hates it. We need that reaction. Right now it is more please all the people all the time. My favorite clients are the ones that love what I do and tell me to let my imagination go wild.

What would you say has been the biggest challenge for you over the course of your career?
Getting into the head space of my client. In advertising, it is communicated a little bit better what they expect. For a couple, this is often the first time they hired a photographer so communication is key to delivering what they are expecting. They might get photos and have had something else in mind. Coming from the art world I was used to just create my vision.

Let’s change gears – is there any advice you’d like to give?
Be professional. It’s easy to buy a camera, watch some videos and call yourself a professional. A true professional needs to make sure they have a second or third of everything. Cameras, memory cards, speed lights. Have insurance have assistants. Have a way to deliver your products to your clients efficiently. Be courteous to clients and guests. Know how to photograph with light you create (natural light won’t cut it at night). Also, study up on best practices for business and marketing. An average photographer who is great at business will succeed over a great photographer who is average at business. When you have all that down then try and stand out. Be unique and find a niche.

Contact Info:

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