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Meet Alison Heckard of Bird in Flight Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alison Heckard.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Alison. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have been involved in photography for as long as I can remember – around age 3 or 4 I was running around with a little 110mm film camera or my dad’s Polaroid, and by age 10 I was on to the more typical 35mm, SLR cameras, and even dabbled a little in 120mm film. For a long time, I stuck with film, but finally made the switch to digital about 5 years ago, and it’s really changed my perception of what we are capable of with photography.

From a career perspective, I originally went away from photography, shooting weddings here and there as well as landscapes, but worked primarily as a retail store manager at a few major companies. Mixed in there, I did work in a commercial studio for a while, but just wasn’t happy in that environment and it made me think I did not want to do portraiture. With a very short timeslot, it doesn’t give you enough time to get to know your subjects and really capture their personality.

Shortly after I got my digital SLR camera, I began working with models, and continued shooting the occasional wedding, but at some point along the line I realized that I really loved working with families, and especially expecting mothers and children. It was a lot more fun being out on my own rather than being in a studio with stringent limits on posing and time. In addition to shooting outdoors, I do work in my own studio as well, but a big thing for me is not keeping my time limits so small that we don’t have time to capture what we need to, and I always keep it flexible in case things need to run longer than anticipated. I never want anyone to feel rushed.

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?
I think that everyone has struggles. For me, it really was that I should have started much sooner. Back when everything was film, it was a different market, and I would have been entering it shortly before/ right around the digital boom. There was a lot of change going on and I was intimidated, but I really wish I just went for it. By the time I switched over to digital and really began establishing my business as it is now, it was a totally digital market, and had a pretty steep learning curve between learning the nuances of digital photography with this market, and fitting in my knowledge of the film business and what I wanted to retain from that going forward. But even now, the market is constantly evolving.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Bird in Flight Photography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I specialize in maternity, newborn and child portraits up to about age 14, as well as families. Most clients come to me for a combination of prints/ products and digital images, with a very small percentage choosing only digitals or prints rather than both. Albums are the biggest seller, with about 2/3rd of my clients choosing to purchase one with their order. I have done a lot of research on which products I wish to offer, and have several vendors I work with in the United States for my albums, canvases, prints, and gift items, as well as one international vendor for photos mounted to reclaimed wood. If a client wishes to have something more unique, I am happy to see out a product that matches what they are looking for.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am working on upgrading my studio, and might be moving it to a new location soon. I am super excited for this and can’t wait to share more soon!

Pricing:

  • A session with me costs $225. This gives you my time designing and shooting your session and may include props or outfits, and an appointment where we review your images for purchase.
  • Products and images are sold separately from the session fee, and while they start as little as $35, most clients spend at least 400 on their order, however there is no minimum amount you are required to spend.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Headshot – Kate Lemmon.
All other photos – Alison Heckard

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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