Business: Sandi Shipley Photography
Name: Sandi Shipley
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Website: Sandi Shipley Photography
Facebook: Sandi Shipley Photography
Tell us about yourself and your business.
I have had a camera in my hands since I was in middle school! I started my photography business part time 4 years ago but made the decision last May to be all in and all about creating a fabulous experience for High School Seniors. This is my first year specializing and I am in LOVE! I have a Team of 12 Spokesmodels and they are the best thing ever to happen to my business. Working with my team has allowed me to stretch and try new things, plus we have so much fun hanging out dreaming up new things to do. My desire is to have every girls I work with truly experience her own beauty and to know she is strong, beautiful and more than enough. I am crazy blessed to call this a career!
What is in your gear bag?
Canon 6D body, Canon 70-200 2.8, canon 35mm 1.4, canon 85mm 1.8, and a 72″ reflector.
Tell us about this session.
This was a really fun Reto styled shoot done to kick off the start of my Spokesmodels’ Senior Year. We partnered with a fantastic local boutique for the dresses and I added in all accessories. I wanted to combine a Shop local push for back to school while playing up the vintage feel of the dresses. My girls had a great time getting all dolled up in retro make up and hair styles.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My clients themselves are my biggest inspiration. I love hearing their stories and learning about all the different sides to their personalities. It inspires me to try to show who they are in my pictures. I am also slightly addicted to Teen Vogue and love pouring through the pages for inspiration!
What is one obstacle you had when you first started your business? What did you do to overcome it?
I live in an area that is very saturated with talented photographers. I spent a lot of time comparing myself to what they were doing. My own self doubt was really my biggest obstacle. Once I stopped focusing outward and spent time developing my own style and recognizing my worth, my business started to take off! I stopped listening to people who said specializing in Seniors would never make for a successful business. I just put my head down and stayed true to the course I wanted to be on. I have tried to learn from my mistakes and stretch myself creatively, as well as surrounded myself with a community of photographers who were willing to share their knowledge and give helpful feedback. It is so rewarding to see all the hard work paying off!
Please share one tip that you found to be successful to share with other photographers.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it is the best way to learn! Shoot in ways that take you out of your comfort zone and be open to learning from others. Sorry, that’s more than one!! 😉