Today we’d like to introduce you to Caitlin Perry.
Caitlin , can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Photography had always been a hobby for me. I loved bringing my camera along with me on vacations as a child and printing landscape photos and hanging them in my bedroom. I never pursued photography as a profession in college, and instead graduated with a degree in Journalism and took a job in marketing. I liked what I was doing, but I really wasn’t that passionate about it and I found myself still searching for a profession that I really enjoyed. Then, in 2011, my husband and I had our first child and we discovered that he had suffered a stroke after he was born and thus developed a life-long condition known as Hydrocephalus. After spending much of the first few months of his life in the hospital with him while he underwent multiple surgeries, I knew I couldn’t return to work, and decided to stay home with him full time. The days were long and the anxiety of knowing that there was a good chance he may end up back in the hospital with a medical complication really took a toll on me, so I started taking photos of him and our yellow lab, which helped take my mind off all the medical stuff.
Soon after I started taking his portraits, people started commenting on them and asking me if I would take photos of their kids. I never thought of portrait photography as something I was really good at since I had started out taking photos of landscapes and nature, but I really enjoyed doing it and loved experimenting with my editing programs, so I told myself that if this was something I truly loved to do, then maybe I should start doing it professionally. I was obviously nervous at first, knowing I was putting myself out there for my work to be critiqued, but I felt that I was learning something new with every client I encountered and every class I enrolled in online, and I was really able to build my confidence in my art and my brand in a matter of 4 years. CP Photography has grown into something I never thought possible, and I am extremely proud of the business I have created.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The photography business definitely has its challenges. First of all, there are so many other photographers out there, so I really needed to think about what would set me apart from the rest of the competition. Why were people going to choose CP Photography over the other local photographers out there? That’s when I decided I needed to pick a consistent photography style and run with it. As a professional in a business where people can critique your work, I needed to learn that my style is not going to appeal to everyone and that I need to appreciate those clients who value my style of photography and continue to come back to me year after year! Some advice I would have for anyone who is starting a photography business is to join a community of other photographers. There’s a lot of resources you can gain from talking to other photographers who are either just starting out on their journey or more seasoned in their craft. I always find myself connecting with others just to ask questions or bounce ideas off of. It’s so helpful!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about CP Photography – what should we know?
CP Photography specializes in family photography. This includes any and all photography that goes into creating a family (i.e., maternity, newborn, birthday cake smashes, and of course, family portraits). I love booking a couple for a maternity session, and continuing the journey with them through newborn, birthdays, and seeing them year after year for fall portraits. I love getting to know these families. After a family book with me, I like to get to know them by sending out a questionnaire. This helps me so I can prepare for their shoot with what props they might like, the theme or idea for the look of their session, and whether or not their children need a little help opening up to me. There’s nothing more frustrating for a parent than dressing your kids up for a photo shoot, and they are shy or cry the entire time. Obviously, no scenario is going to go 100% the way you want it to, that’s just life. But I feel as though if I am upfront in asking my clients how their children react to having their photos were taken (i.e., shy, timid, won’t stay still, etc…), I can better prepare for those obstacles and usually bring along a favorite toy or snack the child might enjoy (the fart gun from Despicable Me is a huge hit ;)).
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Don’t give up. I know that sounds so generic, but it’s SO true! There have been many times where I’ve found myself in a rut, frustrated with some my equipment, editing programs or just didn’t get the ideal shot I was going for, but I never threw in the towel. I find that these experiences make me more confident as a photographer and have taught me new strategies to deal with these issues, so I can perform at my very best whether I am in the middle of a session or at home working on editing. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for advice!
- The Family Session: $250
- The Bump Session: $275
- The Baby Session: $350
- The Birthday Session: $300
- Website: www.cplovesphotography.com
- Phone: 508-380-4071
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @cplovesphotography
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/cplovesphotography
Personal Photo: Ashley Cadrin Photography of Cape Cod, Additional Photos: CP Photography