Today we’d like to introduce you to Zsuzsi Steiner.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Zsuzsi. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
Photography has always been my thing. I love taking photos, and 10 years ago when my husband and I became pregnant with our first child, my hubby gave me my first “real” professional camera. Quickly I realized that even though you may take photos with a professional camera, you have to know how to use it to create beautiful photos. It always comes back to the artist, and it’s never “just because you have a good camera.”
I began taking photography classes at Santa Monica Community College. This was the beginning of my photography information addiction. Since then, I have taken countless classes online, became a member of the prestigious Click photography group and am classes away from completing a Photography Certificate Program at Otis Fine Arts College.
I started to build up my portfolio and to get experience by offering to take photos of family and friends. This really helped with my confidence and knowledge of how to direct the people in front of me. When our third child was born, I felt I was ready to take on the responsibility of a true photography business. My second child was attending a preschool, and he had just had his spring photos taken by a photographer. I thought the images were lacking a professional edge and knew I could do better. I approached the director of the preschool and asked if she would take a chance on me and my new business and allow me to take a fall portrait of the preschool children. She said yes, and that was all it took to jump start my business and to put my name out there.
Photographing 130 children in a span of two-days all under the age of five is baptism by fire. I loved it. And so did my clients! I have been in business now for five years. It has been an amazing journey. I am helping so many people get beautiful family art up on their walls. It has been a dream come true.
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?
A lot of people don’t know what it takes to start a business with the necessity of insurance, tax id, and the rest of the management aspect. It’s not just about taking photos. I have always believed that if I am doing something, I need to make sure that I am following all the rules and doing things the right way.
I am a photographer who wants to help my clients get art around their home. If my clients walk away with just digital files, then I feel like I have done them a disservice. I want to make sure I am helping them throughout the entire process and want to help them get to their final goal of having precious art that they can look at everyday.
I have put an emphasis on creating a business that ensures clients their end products ready to put in their homes. I go the extra step to come to my client’s home after our session to show them their images and to help them with my professional knowledge of how to best showcase their art.
Together we work together, and in the end, I strongly believe that this is one of the main reasons I stand apart from other photographers and why I have received our local award of “Best Local Photographer” in the Hometown News publication two years in a row! (2017 & 2018)
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I specialize in children and family photography. I am most proud of the way I interact with the families that are in front of my camera. I bring in a calm and collected attitude which I think really helps my clients to feel comfortable with me. I have been a school teacher for 20 years and know how to work with children.
My sessions are fun and fast-paced. I play a lot of games and at the end of my sessions I want to have the children (and dads) say that they had a lot of fun. I know when I have families truly interacting with one another and showing their love for each other, then I will get the best images that they will cherish forever.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
When I started this road, I had received the camera from my husband for our first pregnancy. Our first son only lived for two days after a full-term pregnancy. We were devastated. When I was holding my son for his last breaths my husband, and I took photos because we wanted to remember our son with a tangible image that we could look back on forever. Of course, we were devastated from our loss.
A few months later, I found out about a group of photographers who work for the foundation Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. These professional photographers take photos of babies who are dying too soon. Immediately I knew that this would be a goal for me. I wanted to get to the place where I could give back and give this precious gift of professional images.
Just recently, I went through the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep intense application process to become a volunteer photographer. I was accepted, and believe that this is not only a way to honor my son, but to help families remember the babies they lost too soon.
- Website: zsuzsiphotography.com
- Phone: 714-856-5737
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zsuzsiphotography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ZsuzsiPhotography/