Radio Interview Transcripts

MorePhotos Radio - Grace Photography

ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the More Photos’ Radio Photography Spotlight brought to you by helping professional photographers with all their internet needs. Also brought to you by Finally, an e-commerce solution for professional photo labs that makes sense. Now here is your host, Damien Allen.  DAMIEN: Good morning and welcome to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen, and joining me today on the telephone is Harry Marples of Grace Photography, LLC. Good morning, Harry, and welcome to the program. 

HARRY: Good morning. 
DAMIEN: So where is Grace Photography located and how did you get started in photography?
HARRY: Oh that’s a good question. Grace Photography is right here in Elizabeth, New Jersey. We are located in the tri-state area, very close to Newark Airport. We got started together as a photography company, a studio, my wife and I about 3 – 4 years ago. She came up with the name Grace Photography and she wanted to take the talents that I had been developing over the years with her experience as a model in the 80s. She was always behind the camera. So the two of us sat for quite a while and we were thinking I have a talent, she has talents, let’s put this thing together. That’s how the name Grace Photography got started.
DAMIEN: So what types of service do you provide for your clientele, what do you specialize in?
HARRY: It started out years ago…I was a journalist. I had majored in English and journalism in college. So I was full of being a photographer and a reporter. I worked for the local college. I worked for the city in terms of doing local events photographing the mayor running around and being a kid always on the move. And then it actually developed quite a bit from journalism to weddings, events. People would ask me, “Hey, by the way can you photograph our wedding?” So at that time I was doing about 10 weddings a year and that was in the 80s and that’s how we started. We started in terms of journalism and progressed into weddings and from there family portraits and so forth.
DAMIEN: Besides the family event and the wedding photography, is there any other types of services that you have that you offer your clients?
HARRY: Yes. Living in Elizabeth and having our studio, here, in Elizabeth, it’s a very ethnic community. We learned quickly that new events that go on such as Sweet 16 and Quinciara and all kind of events. The people are really demanding to have recorded and photographed and preserved and with that we offered our services. We learned the pricing and we went ahead and started to do Sweet 16 and Quinciaras due to the huge Spanish community. So that’s very, very popular. We probably do about 30 to 50 a year in terms of Sweet 16s and Miss Quinces and it all started from word of mouth. So that was a niche that we took on. There is one other main photographer in the city and he does schools, and he is busy doing his thing, we just took all the work with Miss Quinces and Sweet 16s and the weddings and that became our niche.
DAMIEN: Well in this digital age, everyone has an DSLR camera. Uncle Joe is taking the family photos. You have mentioned there is another photographer in town, why should someone choose Grace Photography or Uncle Joe or the guy down the street?
HARRY: Well Grace Photography was chosen as the name as it’s a very Catholic name with a very long tradition, and we pride ourselves on being honest, on time, dependable, reliable, and we are always there. We show up early and the quality is there so I feel the reasons why people choose us is because they can simply trust us. They know without a doubt that we are going to be there. We were recommended by their friends. We know their churches and constantly do fundraising with their community to have the support there, and I believe that’s why they choose us. 
DAMIEN: Now the family portraiture and children's portraiture is generally done in a studio or on location, but in the case of a wedding or wedding reception or large events like that, are you the solitary shooter or do you have extra photographers that go out with you on these jobs?
HARRY: When we do wedding photography it depends on the concept that the people choose. We do have 3 photographers on staff. They are available whenever we need them. They are great photographers and have been with us for years. In addition to video and it really depends on what the people are looking for and how much they want to spend on a photography package. There are budget packages that include 1 photographer and there are really dynamic, glamorous type packages that involved up to a crew of three people.
DAMIEN: What advice can you give clients who has never had their picture taken by a professional photographers, Harry?
HARRY: My best advice that I can tell anybody doing any type of business is simply to meet the person. Go there in person. Don’t get caught up into looking at a website and believing that the pictures and the price and everything is just one beginning and end to the service. Go down in person and meet them, talk to them. Do a trial session. Do an engagement shoot. See how you feel if your personalities click. See if there is something about them that you don’t like. Don’t find out at your wedding day. Spend time with the photographer, with the videographer and get to know them. The more you know them, the more you are going to be relaxed and experience a really good time and it will be witnessed by your expressions and your smiles and your pictures will reflect it and that’s the same happiness.
DAMIEN: Now speaking of your website, your website is full of beautiful shots, what is the best piece of advice that you can give parents when preparing a child to be photographed?
HARRY: I would say I have them go to bed a little bit early the day before.  I would encourage the parents to bring a toy, to keep all cell phones home. We don’t want any cell phones near the shoot. We want them to have the best, rewarding experience possible, and to do that we interact with toys, with people, with each other. It’s really about the expressions and the short time we have together. We want to capture that moment.
DAMIEN: What is your favorite type of session, Harry? What do you find rewarding about being a photographer?
HARRY: My very favorite type of session this year has been photographing babies, because of their, literally because of their smiles and their expressions. It’s most rewarding to see the joy and the curiosity, the eyebrow, the shyness, the hiding, the biting of the fingers, the hand, the drooling, all within a 2 minute period. So there is an endless amount of expressions that a baby can give as we photograph them. I find that to be very, very rewarding. To just be in the same room and photograph the babies.
DAMIEN: Now the holiday season is rapidly upon us, and the kids are back in school, are you running any specials for photography packages?
HARRY: Absolutely! We are going to every school in our area. We offer fundraising packages where the families donate $25 to that particular PTO or HSA association, and we give an 8x10 photo shoot, and we give 20 minutes of time to do a family portrait sitting. So each family receives one 8x10 and between 15 and 20 minutes of a photo shoot and the school receives $25 or church for that matter. It could be either a school or a church. So that would be our fundraising campaign.
DAMIEN: Giving back to the community…a great way to go. What’s going to be new for  the end of 2010 and 2011 for Grace Photography?
HARRY: 2010 is going to bring in lots of new family portraits, lots of babies. We are really expanding into Christenings and Baptisms and all kinds of great events that surround the family, and we are really looking forward to this.
DAMIEN: Well if someone wants more information on Grace Photography, where do they go? What is the website and contact information they need, Harry?
HARRY: Ok. The website information is, and our address is 1031 Grove Street in Elizabeth, New Jersey 07202, a feel free to call us. We are open from 9-9 Monday through Friday at (908) 352-2088.
DAMIEN: Thank you very much for joining us today and discussing Grace Photography with us.
HARRY:  Thank you so much, it was a pleasure.
DAMIEN: It was a pleasure having you today, sir. You’ve been listening to More Photos Radio. My name is Damien Allen. We have been speaking with Harry Marples of Grace Photography, LLC, of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Everyone have a great afternoon.  
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