Emily Dobson is a St. Louis-based senior and wedding photographer. The overall client experience is super important to her and she is passionate about pricing yourself for profit. Emily will also be leading a shootout at Reset 2017. Read her blog post below!
Growing up, the camera was never really something I shied away from. In fact, I was the annoying kid in the home videos sneaking my way into footage I didn’t belong and getting mad when I wasn’t the center of the video’s attention. When anyone around me asked for a picture, I wasn’t afraid to smile, make a silly face or do something completely unexpected. Pictures covered every inch of my bedroom. I enjoyed taking pictures, having my picture taken and scrapbooking. But it wasn’t until I was two years into my bachelor’s in education degree that the idea of becoming a photographer struck me. I’d always wanted to be a teacher and I was happy to continue down the path of fulfilling that goal of mine. However, it was during my first year of teaching that I purchased my first camera and I haven’t put it down since.
When I bought my first camera, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing! I took an online course to learn basic photography lingo and I read my camera’s manual, and BAM! I was ready for business! I asked friends for my small group at church and co-workers from school to model for me and two months after purchasing the camera, I set out to build a portfolio. Thankfully, I had a real photographer in my small group that knew a thing or two about taking quality portraits and also about how to run a business. The intervention she had with me was uncomfortable and quite frankly, it made me mad, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without the truth she spoke into my life at that time.
After that meeting, I pushed the RESET button. Within the next three months, I legalized my business, attended a two-day photography workshop in Arizona, read PPA’s benchmark survey and learned how to price myself for profit. From that point on, I knew I wanted to succeed at being a photographer.
Education has played a huge role in my success as a photographer. I’ve attended workshops, watched online workshops, paid for one-on-one mentoring and collaborated with other local photographers who were eager to share their own experiences and learn from my experiences as well. I love what I do and am eager to share what I’ve learned in hopes of helping others the way others have helped me!