The months are just flying by and it’s already time for a new CMpro of the month! September’s Pro of the Month is the awesome Sara Seeton. Sara is a Dallas/Fort Worth on location, natural light modern lifestyle and portrait photographer specializing in maternity, newborns, babies, children, families and high school seniors.
september cmpro of the month | sara seeton
If you could take only three pieces of gear on a shoot, what would they be?
My Canon 5d Mark II, 85 1.2L, which never leaves my camera, and my Kelly Moore bag (is that considered gear??). I am very faithful to each of those three items and could not live without them!
What was your first experience in photography?
I have always had a thing for photography. When I was just a kid, I used to love snapping shots with my neon pink Concord 110EF film camera (remember those?!!). I couldn’t wait to take the film to the drug store and get them developed! But like most photographers these days, it wasn’t until after I had children that my love for photography developed into a passion.
If you could shoot alongside any other photographer, who would it be (and why)?
Barb Uil, hands down. She is my idol. I adore her in every way….her perspective, her processing, her business sense, her locations. She is the epitome of perfection when it comes to photography in my eyes. To shoot with her would be an incredibly amazing opportunity and incredibly intimidating at the same time!
Other than photography, do you have any other creative outlets?
I have actually been a graphic designer longer than I have been a photographer. I love to design logos and branding, templates/announcements and other marketing/promotional materials for photographers. As of right now my clients are just referrals from word of mouth business but I hope to be launching a design shop in the near future.
Tell us one thing you wish you’d known when you started your business?
There is no rush!! Give yourself time to grow and develop a style. Learn the ins and outs of the business aspect. Get to know your target market. There is so much that goes into starting and maintaining a business – it’s a lot to take in at once! Be sure you know what you’re getting into before jumping into business. To be successful and set yourself apart from the over-saturated industry, it’s important to know your style, know your target market, and know how to reach that target market. There is so much more to having a successful business than taking great photos – that is only a small part of it. Knowing how to market yourself, price yourself competitively, set policies and standards, keep up with your books and taxes etc. are all huge factors in maintaining a successful business. Okay, that’s way more than one thing but so many people think that being a photographer is ‘easy’ and ‘fun’. If you want to run a successful photography business, it’s a JOB and a lot of work.
What is on the horizon for your business?
As I mentioned above, I “hope” to be launching a design shop in the near future. I plan to offer a variety of simple and modern announcements/templates and custom logo design. I have been working on a collection of fresh modern designs and I’m so excited about this new endeavor! It’s a LOT of work though, so I don’t have a set launch date yet. Stay tuned!
Describe the perfect session.
A gorgeous senior girl. Several cute outfits. Overgrown field with lots of trees. Yummy golden sunset. Eighty degree weather (instead of our 100+ degree Texas temps! Ha!)
What is your current favorite photo that you’ve taken (and why)?
Any photo of my girls because they are the source of my inspiration….and it is nearly impossible to take a great photo of them because they never want anything to do with the camera ha ha! Did I mention that they are the super fun ages of two and three? We all know how fun it is to take photos of toddlers.
If you were not a photographer, what would you be?
I would love to be an event planner! I LOVE planning and coordinating events. If you know me, you know that I tend to go a little overboard planning my own girls’ birthday parties. I also love decorating so maybe I would also be an interior decorator? Oh, but i would also love to learn how to sew and become a clothing designer. Can you tell I have a creative mind?! And I’m slightly scatterbrained….just a little.
What aspects of photography do you find most challenging?
I tend to stick with what I know. I use a lot of the same locations, same ‘poses’, same lighting (I LOVE sunset and backlighting). I am trying to challenge myself to change it up and step outside of the box – try out new locations, practice shooting at different times of the day and to experiment with different lighting. I would love to start shooting with more of a lifestyle-approach.
Where do you find inspiration?
First and foremost, my girls because I want to be able to document all the little moments in their lives. I want them to look back at these moments and be so grateful that I took the time to capture them. I also find inspiration in gorgeous locations. I feel like the location plays such an important part in how the session will evolve – the clothing choices of my clients, the posing, the props (if any), the way the lighting will fall, the processing, etc. It’s always one of the first questions I ask a client – “Do you have a certain location in mind?”
If you could go anywhere in the word where would you go and what would you do there?
I would love to go to New Zealand. My mother was born and raised there. I actually have dual citizenship in Canada and New Zealand….yes, I was born in Canada!). I have a lot of family in NZ (and in Australia) that I have never had a chance to meet. My mother passed away from cancer almost six years ago and I would love to learn more about her childhood and our family history.
Quickie Questions – One Word Answers!
Canon or Nikon?
Prime or zoom?
Studio or on location?
Natural light or flash?
Neck strap or wrist strap?
Color or black and white?
Mac or PC?
Photoshop or Lightroom?
Sunrise or sunset?
Heels or flip flops?
Beer or wine?
Want to learn more about Sara? Make sure you head over to the ClickinMoms forums to check out her “Ask the Pros” thread! You can find it here.