Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandra Costello.
Sandra, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I love photographing people and stumbled into weddings over twenty years ago. It was a perfect mix of all the things I love: family, celebrations, ritual, spontaneous moments, and lots and lots of joy! When I could no longer juggle my full-time job and my side hustle I made the transition to be a full-time photographer and have never looked back.
Getting started was hard because who wants to let go of a steady paycheck, but I needed to take the leap to satisfy my curiosity; what did it mean to run my own business and call the shots, so to speak. What was most surprising to me was when I leaped I had so much more confidence than I realized because I was no longer wondering, can I do this? I was doing it! Business grew primarily from networking. Developing relationships with vendors, venues and other professionals in the industry really helped me grow my clientele and get my name out there.
Additionally, a rebranding of my business a year or two after I launched made all the difference in the world. I created a new website with the URL, sandralovesyou.com, and shared my love for photographing people just as they are and creating authentic imagery of their life events and portraits to preserve a special moment in time. As I discovered and embraced myself, shortcomings and all, I reached back to my clients and gave them permission to be who they are and were always meant to be. I got to know my clients deeply and created timeless images that said: I see you.
I only accept a small number of weddings each year to best care for my clients, and the rest of the time I am happily capturing families, high school seniors, headshots, and contemporary portraits of women. It has been an amazing experience to watch my business and my craft grow and evolve.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The one word I have found to be the most profound as a business owner is the word pivot. Things are always changing and so are we. In order to keep up with the changes in our industry and ourselves, we must adapt and make a change when necessary. When I first started shooting I was working with film. Then digital came along and it opened up a whole new world.
At times change can feel arduous but it’s also exciting and can be a very creative and rich process. I love to learn and do my best every year to sign up for workshops or take on personal projects. I also like to include experiences outside of the photography world to enhance how I run my business and to strengthen my connection to my clients and my community.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sandra Costello Photography – what should we know?
I am a storyteller, a listener, a comic and a friend. I love to capture the essence of a person. Once my clients and I get to know each other, they relax, have fun and trust me to capture their true radiance. It’s always such a delightful moment when that glow of happiness appears and my client no longer feels self-conscious. They are themselves.
Building a reputation for care and a memorable experience has meant the world to me. Couples, families, and individuals who choose to hire someone to document life’s greatest moments do it because they know these moments are fleeting and they want to have a record of the people they love. I feel honored to be the person they trust to preserve these important times in their lives.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My community of photographers and other business owners have always been my greatest cheerleaders and a solid source of advice. I can turn to them for anything and they always have my back.
My family and my community-at-large give me strength daily, and a reason to keep going, especially when times are hard. Our relationship is reciprocal and I would not be the person I am today without their support.
Lastly, I attribute much of my success to the power of positivity. When you discover how much you are capable of, life is full of so many possibilities… it’s awesome!
- Website: www.sandralovesyou.com
- Phone: 413-427-1676
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bravemoments/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sandracostellophotography/
- Other: https://www.instagram.com/sandracostellophotography