It is such a treat to introduce you to someone I call a dear friend, Tricia Lee. Tricia has been an inspiration to so many through her beautiful work and love for photography. It came has no surprise that Tricia had requests for mentoring. In fact, this year she started traveling around the United States holding amazing workshops for photographers. Her workshops have been a success and she has yet to visit Orlando, Chicago, Grand Rapids and Atlanta. Take a moment to meet the photographer behind these beautiful photos and be sure to follow her work on facebook and on her website. Thank you Tricia for this interview!
What do you love most about being a photographer?
I was completely drawn to photography long before I even knew that it was my REAL life calling. After taking some time to think about this question, I believe that my love for it really stems from relationships. My relationships with my clients, their relationships with each other and capturing those moments that will freeze those relationships in time forever are what keep me inspired every day.
What has owning a photography business taught you?
There is NO question that it has taught me to control the chaos. The real challenge is controlling my business and not letting it control me. Stay true to who you are. Let your own style shine and your personality come through and you will attract a clientele that is simply perfect for you and you for them. It is so cliché, but there is so much truth to this statement “if you dream it…it can happen”. Always set goals!
How do you market your business to potential clients?
I LOVE my clients. It is genuine and in no way FAKE!!! The majority of them become my personal friends and family. The relationship that we form with each other allows them to love me back in the form of REFERRALS!!! Word of mouth marketing is the ONLY type of marketing that I have ever done. Having said that, there is a whole world out there now thanks to social media and my use of that has been PRICELESS!!!
What is your favorite non-photography related website?
AMAZON!!! I love reading. Reading for pleasure helps me escape busy days and take me to a completely different world.
Favorite photo prop?
What ever makes you comfortable in front of my camera…my ALL TIME FAVORITE prop is YOU BEING YOU!!! Although, I must admit that I am a COMPLETE fashion lover. There is no doubt that clothes, shoes and textures (style) can make or break a shoot.
What is your favorite lens?
OH MY GOODNESS!!! I feel like such a cheat because I love SO MANY of my lenses with all of my heart, but for very different reasons. If I had to pick a FAVORITE, I really do LOVE my 135 f/2L the mostest. I don’t want to make any of my other lenses jealous, but this lens tends to fit my style the best today. However, let it be noted that this could all be subject to change tomorrow.
What do you enjoy photographing the most?
Relationships, Love, Laughter, Light and ANYTHING that will cause my clients to tear up and cherish a memory that couldn’t have been captured any other way.
Who inspires you (doesn’t have to be a photographer)?
This one is simple…MY SON! There are no words to describe the love that a mother has for her children, and like most mothers the real blessing in my life is having the privilege of calling myself “a mother”. From that love and my observations of the man that he has become, I draw inspiration.
If you could shoot on location at any location in the world, where would it be?
I am a 100% location photographer. Because of that I love the challenge of scouting new locations and being creative on the spot. It is one of my personal goals to always try and give my clients something unique even though their neighbor or their friend may also be my client. Because of that the world is my studio and I am always up for the challenge…so BRING IT!!!
If you could tell aspiring photographers one thing, what would it be?
Always value your work and learn to say no. Just because you work for yourself, don’t allow people to take advantage of you. Your work is so incredibly valuable and important. Believe it, and ALWAYS be passionate about what you are doing!
What inspired you to create your own workshop?
This is an interesting question actually. So many photographers are self-taught with very little formal training and therefore, I believe they are hungry to spend time with others that they admire or relate to in some way. When I was approached by several people about “how” I accomplished this or that with my images or business, it became clear to me that I certainly don’t know everything nor do I do everything the correct way, but I enjoy what I do and love sharing it with others. There were many mentors in my life that were willing to share with me and that had a huge impact on my art. It’s a simple tribute to them to turn around and do the same thing for someone else.
As a photographer, where have you traveled for workshops?
I love to see different locations and meet new people. It challenges me to grow and not get caught in a creative rut. This year, I have been to California, and Florida and will be going to Dallas, New Port Beach, Orlando, Minneapolis, Chicago, Grand Rapids and Atlanta.
What can photographers expect to take away from your workshop?
I hope first and foremost they walk away INSPIRED. Inspired to develop and continue to grow their own strengths and styles. That they find a strong balance in their business between their artistic initiative and strong client relationships.
What is your most common questions from photographers?
Most of the time I connect with other photographers because they saw one of my images and want to know how it was created. One of the reasons that I started mentoring is because I want to be someone that people can relate to and feel close enough to that I can be completely transparent about these and any other questions they may have about my business.
In the future, do you see yourself offering your workshops outside of the United States?
Obviously, we all grow as photographers through workshops, reading, shooting often and networking with other photographers. However, I would love to personally challenge myself and my comfort zones by traveling outside of the US with my camera, and creating art every day and YES, I would LOVE to offer sharing myself through mentoring while I’m there.
Tricia is a non-traditional photographic storyteller, with a talent for conveying visually the passion and emotions of people. Tricia delights in creating an experience for her clients that is unique to them…and that generates a one-of-a-kind end product. And, most importantly, to know her is to know that her son is a blessing that she thanks God for everyday. It is the love that she has felt as a mother that inspires her to shoot every session from her heart.