Today we’d like to introduce you to Victoria Schneider.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have been in love with photography since I picked up my dad’s 1960’s camera as a 6-year-old child and have rarely been in front of a camera since that day. In rural Yorkshire however (where I grew up), there was a legacy of poverty in mining communities and creative pursuits were seen as somewhat of an indulgence. Thus my graduate and postgraduate education was steered down a more scientific route. I eventually became a psychotherapist working with vulnerable individuals in a variety of contexts.
Throughout this time however I continued to shoot whenever and wherever I could. I met my America husband online in photography groups (drawn to each other through a shared taste in camera kit-more important than religion or politics when it comes to selecting a partner!). We traveled together shooting in Europe and America throughout our five-year courtship.
I became increasingly drawn to photography as a career and with the ongoing support of the love of my life I began to take steps to make it happen. I started small shooting on weekends whist employed elsewhere, but after working and training with other professional photographers, around six years ago decided to go back to my first love and start my own business as a wedding photography leaving psychotherapy behind (well, aside from on occasions assisting my clients with wedding day panic).
I moved to America, married my husband and became a wedding photographer, and finally last year became an American. The next chapter in this story is my husband plans to retire from his job as a Deputy Attorney General next year to join me in the business so we will be right back where we started.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Been self-employed is never the route to go down if you are just looking for security and you don’t have the resilience to take a setback or two. The usual struggles photographers describe weren’t really a problem for me. I found gaining the vast array of practical and technical skills I needed highly enjoyable, and didn’t bat an eyelid at selling my car to buy more equipment in the early days. However, there were undoubtedly challenges! It’s hard starting out. You can’t expect someone to trust you with a day as important as their wedding without having evidence that you could do a good job! Luckily, I attended some classes with a local photographer (Sean King) who then gave me the opportunity of second shooting with him. Thus I seedily stared to build up my portfolio.
The biggest obstacle for me has probably been self-promotion. It may just be my cultural heritage, or perhaps simply my personality. Either way, this was a steep learning curve. Saying you are good at something back home is equated with arrogance, and the gradation of language in America seems to jump to extremes such as ‘awesome’ or ‘amazing’ with much greater ease than I was used to. Where I grew up if you say something is ‘ok’ means that it is pretty darn spectacular, and a subtler manor is the norm. Talking one’s self ‘up’ is a highly unnatural process for me (and probably the vast majority of Brits!). But that approach really doesn’t lend itself to marketing in a competitive field. I would have liked to say “I’ll do a pretty good job, but there are people who would do better”. But of course, one has to exude confidence to be trusted, and after all……..when in Rome! Similarly, it was hard to put a monetary value on my work when it was a passion before it became an income. However, it became evident very early on that if I didn’t convey value in my work, no one else would!
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Victoria Schneider Photography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We primarily specialize in Wedding Photography but many of our customers return for baby and family pictures as life moves on. This is such a privilege. I love watching how life unfolds for the wonderful people we work with.
There is undoubtedly an abundance of talent and technical ability out there. You only have to look on any wedding directory to see just how many of us there are. To me, if you work as a photographer that ability should be a given, but moving beyond these skills alone, to us is a must.
We take pride in capturing the moments that matter to our clients in a natural and authentic way. If we respect the individuality of each person and occasion, recognize the relationships that mean the most to our clients, and respond artistically to who they are, no set of pictures should ever look and feel the same. We believe that your wedding photography should always be uniquely yours.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are increasing the number of trusted professionals we work with, and my husband will be joining the team next year. However, we pride ourselves on the connections and relationships we build with our clients and are not looking to ‘outsource’ large amounts of work. This is about a simple product, and people who take a great deal of pride in their work.
- Website: www.victoriaschneiderphotography.com
- Phone: 1 (310-753-3181)
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/victoriaschneiderphotography
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/victoriaschneiderphotography
Victoria Schneider Photography