Radio Interview Transcripts

MorePhotosRadio - Amber Holritz for WPPI


ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the More Photos’ Radio Photography Spotlight brought to you by helping professional photographers with all their internet needs world wide. Also brought to you by Finally, an e-commerce solution for professional photo labs that makes sense. Now here’s your host, Damien Allen.  DAMIEN: Good afternoon and welcome to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen and joining me on the phone today is Amber Holritz of Holritz Photography in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Good afternoon, Amber, and welcome to the program.
DAMIEN: You’re going to be speaking at the upcoming WPPI Conference with a class called Lifestyle Baby Photography. Could you tell the listening audience a little bit about what your class is going to cover?
AMBER: Yeah. I am going to be talking about lifestyle baby photography. The majority of the photography that is out there right now is posed or scripted in some way. Whether that is still what’s often being called lifestyle look and it’s out in the park and it’s very natural or whether it’s in the studio. And I’ve seen the images clients are more drawn to and that have a broader appeal are images that are actually photographed in the home. So rather than just capturing what people look like, we’re capturing what their lives felt like. It’s an easy sale to moms, because I am able to say, you know, 20 years from now you’re going to be able to hand that child this image and say this is what I looked like loving you when you were a baby. And there isn’t a mom in the world who doesn’t want to be able to do that. So that type of photography comes with it’s own set of challenges, and we will be talking first of all how to get people to see that type of photography as what it is that they want when they wake up in the morning and decide to schedule a photo shoot and then second of all how to overcome the actual challenges of the shoot as far as the lighting and that sort of things that’s concerned.
DAMIEN: What day and time will your class be held during WPPI?
AMBER: It is on Wednesday, March 10th at 2:30.
DAMIEN: What do you hope your participants to your seminar are going to take away from it?
AMBER:  Honestly, one of the biggest things that I have been told that people take away from the conversation is that there isn’t just one type of photography that people wake up in the morning and think up when they go to a studio or something. So although the first thing that might come to mind is a portrait session in a studio, you have the opportunity to kind of educate our clients so that what they really think of is having someone come over and hang out with them while they prepare lunch, and if I can get other photographers to think this way, then the mind set within our client community becomes much greater and it becomes an easier sell in general. It is saturated here in my town, Chattanooga. The idea has become so saturated that I no longer have to explain to people what it is that we are doing. They come to me asking specifically for this. No one asks me for anything different, and I just want to be able to teach other people how to translate that same kind of attitude into whatever it is that they want to show their own market.
DAMIEN: How long have you been a photographer and how did you get started with WPPI?
AMBER: My husband and I started Holritz Photography in 2002. We shot our first wedding in early 2002. He actually photographed by himself and that’s a fun story that someone should buy me a drink and ask me about when we are at WPPI. And then somewhere along the way, we decided that it would be a good plan to branch out a little bit. I didn’t want to continue working. I wanted to go full time with photography so we started with the baby photography and then I think that was the same year we went to WPPI for the first time. So I think that was maybe 2005 and since then we have been to WPPI every year and starting last year, I did my first master class. WPPI had asked me to do that after seeing my article I had written for Rangefinder and they asked me to present that same thing for a master class, and then they asked me to come back for them again as a platform class.
DAMIEN: Now you started Holritz Photography with your husband, Nate. Now you guys are considered an authority on organization and post-processing. Yet, you branched off and found a niche market with baby photography. How did this all come about?
AMBER: Actually, my husband and I started Holritz Photography and very soon found ourselves, which what we were originally doing was shooting weddings together, that was our main focus. We did some speaking in the industry and even when we did that what we spoke about was how to work as a married couple and that sort of thing and in that process of doing that we found our own strengths and very quickly my husband realized that his strength was in the area of organization and post-process and that’s when he started the company Photographer’s Edit which I think you guys talked about when you interviewed him for his Imaging talk last week. So he started the Photographer’s Edit and at the same time I found myself shooting more and more and more babies. So it was just a very natural progression related to our specific talents. He is now known as an industry leader as far as organization and post processing is concerned and I have kind of taken a direction with lifestyle baby photography.
DAMIEN: Could you share a tip or two with the listening audience on what it takes and how they can become a lifestyle photographer.
AMBER: Sure.   The first thing I would recommend is getting to know your clients. There is absolutely no way to walk into someone’s home and photograph their family and actually capture what their life looks like if you don’t know what their life looks like. I can walk in and have a family put on a show for me, and I’m still not really capturing their life. I’m just capturing whatever it is that they think in their mind right at that moment would be ideal. So I highly recommend sending some sort of a questionnaire or something like that that gets the parents to tell you what it is that really makes them, things that they don’t ever want to forget about their child and then apply those things in a session. And then another tip would be just not to be afraid to really feel something when you are photographing. I don’t like to really over emotionalize the whole thing, but if I don’t get to a place where I relate to my clients on somewhat of an emotional level, then it’s really hard for me to engage and see the way they love each other. So I get to know them by asking them to fill out this questionnaire and that helps me to see what their life looks like so I can photograph that. But as we build a relationship, I try to really get to know them on a deeper level so that as our relationship grows, photographically speaking, you’ll see from a newborn session to the end of the first year my capture of interactions at the end of the first year almost always are more emotional, because I have become more emotional connected to those people. So I would say get to know your clients and don’t be afraid to be emotionally enmeshed in them.
DAMIEN: What’s going to be new for Amber Holritz and Holritz Photography in 2010? Are there more conferences to go to? Are there other workshops and are there any studio projects coming up?
AMBER: We don’t have any workshops scheduled. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any coming up, but I don’t have anything on the calendar for now. My husband has monthly free Lightroom webinars that he is doing so that’s coming up every single month. And then he actually starting a new post-processing business, and I am completely rebranding the baby portion of Holriz Photography into its own business. So that’s coming up in the next year as well.
DAMIEN: Well we’d like to thank Amber’s sponsors, Photographers’ Edit, Pixel to Canvas, and Kiss Wedding Books, and before we go, Amber, could you kindly share your website and contact information with the listening audience.
AMBER: Yep. You can reach me at You can follow me on Twitter at AmberHolritz and our website is
DAMIEN: Thank you for joining us today, Amber, and letting us know what is going on with WPPI.
AMBER: Yep. Thank you so much.
DAMIEN: We thank you for joining us today, and we encourage our listeners to attend Amber Holritz’s class at WPPI and to attend the WPPI Conference at Las Vegas, Nevada, March 4 -10, 2010. You’ve been listening to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen. Everybody have a great afternoon.
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