Business Name: Tish OConnor Photography
Name: Tish OConnor
Location: Williamsport PA
Tell us about yourself and your business.
Hey guys! I am an on-location, natural light photographer based in Central Pennsylvania. I am the mother of two beautiful daughters, 19 and 16, and happily married for 22 years to my very best friend. My business is focused mostly on seniors, though I do occasionally photograph families. I am self-taught and have been in business since 2012 when I photographed my first senior girl, who just graduated from college in May! I adore meeting seniors. We start each session as strangers but by the session’s end, I feel as though I’ve gained a new friend. They are fun and so full of excitement about their future. I absolutely love what I do and would describe my style as relaxed but fun, focusing on capturing their inner beauty and making their session a special and memorable experience.
What is in your gear bag?
Nikon 70-200mm 2.8
Nikon 50mm 1.4
Sigma 35mm ART
Other random items include extra batteries and CF cards, smarties for bribing kids, chapstick, wipes, hand sanitizer, quarters for parking meters and extra ponytail holders.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from the session locations and the seniors themselves. I love getting to know my seniors, what their passions are and incorporating who they are into their session. It can be as simple as the outfits they choose, sports and activities they are involved in or simply the types of locations they choose. Learning who my clients are and where their passions lie can really lead the direction of each session and bring out their own unique personalities.
What is one obstacle you had when you first started your business? What did you do to overcome it?
Probably the biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome just starting out was my nerves. Clients will not relax in front of the camera if the photographer isn’t relaxed, so I strive to create a fun, stress-free environment. The session should tell their story, so I open up a conversation about them. Having photos taken is a special event, a time to capture treasured memories of a special time, especially for seniors. So I’ve learned to keep the focus on them, asking them questions about their senior year and plans for after high school. I have found that seniors love talking about themselves as they are excited about their future hopes and dreams, and as they do, they begin to let their guard down in front of the lens.
Please share one tip that you found to be successful to share with other photographers.
This is a tip I like to share with other photographers, because it’s something I’ve struggled with it in the past but it’s definitely one worth repeating. Don’t compare yourself with others. It is something that is difficult not to do, but there will always be someone better with more experience under their belts. If you look at other photographer’s work, use it for inspiration only, and most importantly, always shoot for you.