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!
- 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.
- Address: 122 Western Ave
- Website: www.birdinflightphotography.com
- Phone: 8572939623
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/birdinflightphotography
- Facebook: facebook.com/birdinflightphotography
- Twitter: twitter.com/photo_ah
Headshot – Kate Lemmon.
All other photos – Alison Heckard