Today we’d like to introduce you to Deanna Garcia.
Deanna, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a kid, my mom would take me to the mall and we’d always stop for coffee, sit and just people watch. As I watched people moving, interacting and connecting with one another, I developed an eye for anticipating moments. These moments became clicks in my mind as if I were taking pictures. There’s just something about people connecting that always intrigued me. Flash forward to my twenties, I took one of those continuing education photography courses (back then using film) and I became hooked. For many years, Photography served as just a creative outlet for me. But after having my three boys (now ages 10, 8, and 6), photography became a daily part of my life. I was obsessed with capturing my kids’ milestones to archive in each of their baby books. Determined to make sure they had their childhood memories documented (unlike I had), my husband bought me my first Canon DSLR.
After my youngest turned 3, I was feeling the itch to follow my dream of being able to create imagery for other people. So, with much encouragement from my friends and family, I decided to pursue my passion and open my very own Family photography business. It was also important to me that people had photographs to be reminded of their life journey: be able to reflect on their past, share their story and leave behind a legacy for future generations to follow. The main way we do that is through photographs.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting out, I thought it was so important to pose everyone and all their limbs. It felt contrived to me and it would stress me out every time. Just like I’d feel after one of my own family sessions (as the client). The anxiety crept in like I”m sure many moms, in particular, feel when their kids don’t fully cooperate with their photographer. “There goes the pretty pictures” would run through my mind. The session would feel like a failure because the very memories I’d want to look back upon (and see what we were like in all of our family glory) somehow seemed ruined. But yet even the ones we were all looking head on and the kids were cooperating for still didn’t quite feel authentic to me.
About 2 years into the business… one of my clients asked me if I could take some more “candid” images of her children. I wrestled with the idea and stressed about whether I had the proper shutter speed, aperture, and composition for these action type shots. Yet, all the same, it intrigued me and felt more natural to take pictures this way. And a lot more relaxing for all involved.
After more practice, it became clearer to me that instead of learning to perfect posing techniques and try to make clients look perfect, I went another direction and focused more on giving my clients an “experience”. I wanted them to be captured organically through gentle guiding, questions and sometimes even games to get them to open up, relax and just have fun during their session! This works much better for me when capturing kids because we all know most kids don’t pose or follow directions all the time. But most importantly, when my clients look back at their pictures I want them to remember how they felt at that moment not just see how they looked.
Deanna G. Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I started my Lifestyle Family Photography business in the Fall of 2014 here in San Clemente, CA. Currently, I’m working on offering Personal Branding Photography (creating imagery for Influencers, Entrepreneurs and Bloggers. For me this right up my alley. As it’s a way more authentic take on portraits or boring headshots that will connect with their clients. Creating imagery in the way of story type shots (showing who they are as a person, what they do and can offer) is really what I believe the market wants to see more of.
I serve all of Orange County and aim to capture the cuteness and connection in every frame! I’m known for my fun, relaxed candid sessions. I always like to approach a session from the standpoint that the session isn’t about me. It’s about my clients and their connection and relationship with one another. So, I enter a session with little expectation. I like to rely on inspiration from above. I’m a believer, so I like to release my control to God and allow Him to lead me as it’s meant to be.
I’m not easily rattled or get frustrated when the kids aren’t cooperating… or even sometimes its the husbands (hey, I get it, your wife signed you up for the session-LOL). If something isn’t working, I’ll simply switch gears and start encouraging play or throw out a few questions which always helps get everyone back on track and engaged.
I’d say I’m most proud of my overall growth as a photographer. I’m a life learner and never stop trying to improve. Every year, I take online classes and participate in an array of photography workshops and groups to stay abreast of the ever-changing industry. I don’t think I’ll ever have just one proud moment. As an artist, you never really stop evolving your craft. It’s really one of the most rewarding parts of the journey.
My why is probably what sets me apart from most photographers. I’m not in this to just make money, provide better quality photos than someone’s cell phone or do something because my kids are getting older. It’s my calling. I do it to serve others and feel purpose in my life. God gives all of us unique talents and gifts in life and I am blessed, photography is mine.
To sum it up: People are my inspiration, photography is my passion. Creating imagery my clients can connect to is my talent and the will to serve is my gift.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success isn’t always a destination. Yet, a journey of the person you become in spite of what you do or who you serve. I believe we can have many little successes along the way. Markers for me would be whenever I’m allowed the gift of growth and wisdom from any given situation. As it pertains to Photography, a success for me is when I receive client feedback telling me they cried out of joy when they saw their images or loved the way I captured their family for who they are. The feedback I’ve received saying I’m amazing at what I do or even their husband had fun, makes me satisfied I did what I set out to do… and well. I’m grateful every time I can put a smile on a client’s face or touch their heart with joy. This is the ultimate validation I’m fulfilling my purpose. And for that, I feel successful.
- Website: www.deannagphotography.com
- Phone: (949) 290-8201
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Head shot: SharonKayePhotography
Deanna G. Photography