Clickin Moms is a website that has thousands of women with a passion for capturing their family and other people’s families with photography. Many of them use Animoto Pro professionally and personally. We’re going to start highlighting one member a month on our blog.
This month we’re chatting with Julie Pottorff who is an on-location natural light portrait & wedding photographer based in Southern Illinois with a photojournalistic style.
1. What made you begin a photography career?
Like a lot of other photographers, I began my career as a new mom who simply wanted to take better pictures of my kids. While pregnant with my second daughter, I endured nearly 15 weeks of strict bed rest. During that time, I discovered the Clickin Moms forum and absolutely fell in love with learning photography. I learned so much from their forums, break out sessions and their amazing online workshops! At the time, I was also participating in a 365 day photography project, so after I started posting much better pictures, I started getting requests to photograph others. After conducting my first session, I was hooked. Photographing others and presenting my clients with photos that they love and cherish just makes my heart sing; I love making other people happy.
2. What kind of photography do you specialize in?
My specialty lies in on location, natural light photography. My clients are typically families, babies/toddlers, and I also photograph engagement sessions and weddings.
3. How has your photography business changed over time, especially as a result of changing technology?
As someone who has been in business for less than a year, I’m amazed at the changes I’ve already witnessed, in regards to this industry. Photographers, including myself, are starting to add video clips in with the slide shows that they present to their clients with their sessions. In addition, there is now a shift to move away from DVD’s, and I have already started offering my clients their digital images on a USB drive or a PASS gallery, in which they can download all of their files directly to their computer.
4. How has Animoto been helpful to your career?
Animoto has been a tremendous help in growing my business. Every time I send a client their slide show, the first thing they do is share it on Facebook for all of their friends and family to see. This has helped me expand my market and grow much faster than I ever anticipated.
5. How does Animoto fit into your photography process?
I do my best to offer my clients the ultimate customer experience, and Animoto really puts the finishing touch on how I present my clients’ photos to them. There is a huge difference between presenting your client’s their session images by simply giving them an online gallery to browse through versus showcasing them in a slide show with emotive music. Most of my sales are conducted in person, and 99% of the time, my clients are in tears, because they are so moved by the slide show that I have presented them with. My job as a photographer is to capture emotion and the connections that my client families have with each other, and Animoto helps me achieve this.
6. What are some things you consider when presenting your photos to clients?
I really want my clients to feel something when they are presented with my photos, whether it’s joy, anticipation or love. While my photos do most of the talking, the music that Animoto provides with their slide shows puts the finishing touch on my presentation.
7. During which occasions do you like to use Animoto videos?
I actually use Animoto videos on every session, whether it’s a newborn, family or even a wedding. I can’t imagine not offering a slide show for a particular occasion.
8. What is your favorite video style and why?
My favorite video style is the new “Innocence” style, because it’s a very clean, yet elegant way to showcase my client’s images.
9. Why do you like using video to display your photos?
My clients deserve the best, and I truly feel like a video slide show of their photos increases their overall customer experience with me.
10. What advice would you give new photographers, or photographers looking to expand their businesses?
Amazing customer service is crucial to any business. This is a way for you to really shine and stand out from the crowd. It sounds so cliché, but it is an extremely important, yet often overlooked aspect to running a business. Work hard to give clients the best experience possible. After all, most marketing is done by word of mouth, and you definitely want to give people a reason to tell their friends about you and how wonderful you and your business is.