On this podcast, we sat down with Cameron Clark one of the best destination photographers and learned about all her insight on her tips and journey as a photographer.
START IN PHOTOGRAPHY
Cameron graduated college and immediately began working as staff photojournalist at a daily newspaper and has been a professional photographer ever since. In 2003 she moved from Georgia to Flagstaff, Arizona and started her own freelance photography business. At the beginning, Cameron worked locally in Flagstaff, Sedona and Phoenix but gradually her clients referred her weddings from Brazil to New York. Cameron loves southwest adventure destinations and city weddings equally, “I am a mountain girl but I like my work to look classic.” Her work is elegant with beautiful touches. Cameron describes her branding in three words, “sophisticated, classic, and timeless.” She is confident in her brand because she values herself and her talent. The hard work and effort she put into her company is evident through her portfolio.
GETTING INTO WEDDINGS
Cameron gradually accepted more weddings as newspaper readers were drawn to her photos. From her first calling the paper and asking her on the spot to photograph her wedding Now in her 16th wedding season, many things have changed in the wedding world. “A lot of my inspiration came from telling a story through my photography and being able to borrow techniques and lighting. The first wedding I did wasn’t cheesy– it was pretty straight forward moments. You were able to capture the whole essence of the day. I was proud of it.” Cameron is an inspiration in her work, she has figured out the industry and made connections all over the world. She has learned how to apply her skill set to her business.
Cameron does an amazing job capturing the real essence of the day. She captures all the non-staged moments with raw emotions. She spent time asking colleagues about their various perspectives from catering managers to planners and florists. Cameron gave insight on collaborating with various creative teams behind the scenes. “I understand that I need to be easy going and someone that they would want to work with again. I’m always seeing my client as the venue, the planner, and my couple. I’ve learned how to serve everyone to keep my business going.” She has learned to work with everyone thus making the day easier for everyone. Her weddings are photographed beautifully and run smoothly.
ADVICE FOR THE INDUSTRY
As an experienced photographer, Cameron has great advice for new photographers. She believes in serving as an intern and working with a seasoned photographer in the genre that interests you most. She said, “value yourself, don’t give away anything for free.” If you must give your time away, make sure everyone on the project knows that you’re doing it pro bono. Be selective with free projects and send an invoice so the client knows what they’re receiving. Knowing your worth in your industry is so important. If you want to grow as a photographer you need someone to give you honest critiques. New photographers are more like sponges accepting critique but all photographers should adopt an attitude of life-long learning–that is the best way to grow.
OUTSIDE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
We loved hearing about Cameron’s life on this podcast too, time is her currency and spending time with her kids and enjoying the outdoors is a priority of hers. She believes in ‘white space’ around her work. She prefers quality over quantity and doesn’t like to overload her work calendar. She accepts no more than 10-12 clients a year. This makes time for family, fitness, creativity and personal travel. She never works past five o’clock during the week and tries to live in the moment. The space and time around work hours allows her to feel fresh instead of overwhelmed.
Cameron has outdone herself being a boss at building her business, pushing through slow seasons and business transitions. She is always hustling and hoping to meet new people who share her values with similar experiences. Cameron networks constantly, laughing that 80% of the job is networking and 20% is photography. She believes that not every vendor will be a good fit for you, or want to work with you. She does not let that get her down and continues to build new relationships. Cameron takes as many networking opportunities as possible and loves the travel that goes along with it. Travel fills her soul and inspires and informs her business creatively.
Take some time and listen to the rest of the tips and tricks that Cameron has shared on this podcast about her personal life and how you can continue to grow in your career too. We have enjoyed having her here on the show!