Today we’d like to introduce you to Cassandra Denton.
Hi Cassandra, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
My passion for photography started when my cousin, now 16 years old, was born. It brought my family and me so much joy as we had these memories to hold onto as he grew and discovered the world. In 2008, I was gifted my first DSLR camera for college graduation, and others noticed that my photographs of him were getting better. In December 2008, a co-worker asked me to take photos of her family, and right then, my heart grew 100 sizes larger, knowing that I was serving my community with photos they would cherish for a lifetime. As someone who loves her family more than anything, captured families needed to cherish that same bond. That photography job was the day my business was born.
In 2011 I branched out and started photographing weddings with the encouragement of friends of mine from church who were getting married and wanted me to capture their wedding celebration. What a huge honor that they trust me to capture their special day. There is no greater joy than capturing the best day in a couple’s life (next to welcoming their children) as they celebrate their love and join in marriage.
That’s how I know I was made to serve families and couples. 14 years later, I have captured the sweetest families and joyous couples in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. I love seeing them laugh and create new memories together. I often get told by families that they are uncomfortable in front of the camera, and I encourage them that they may feel that way, but by the time we are done with their session, they will feel like models. To help them prepare for the session, I send out a guide for helping them to choose their outfits, bring bribes and a toy for their young child, and then by the time they get in front of my camera. They didn’t realize that they were naturals from the start – they just needed someone to help nudge them in the right direction with a little help to bring a natural side out of them without making them appear stiff. You might even hear me crack a few witty comments to get a smile on your face. And with the kiddos who don’t understand what is going on, I encourage Mom and Dad to play a game with them like “Simon Says.” A simple game like that gets the child’s interest, and they do not focus on me. Photography chose me, and I grabbed my camera and went with it.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Owning a photography business is not for the faint of heart. There are bumps along the way, as with any business. There is the constant comparison to a photographer who maybe takes portraits or runs their business better than you. You begin to question your talent and how you run your business, but then you find a support system that encourages you to try something small but makes a huge impact. There is always a constant need for growth through education and mentorship. One of my close girlfriends refers some inquiring clients to me (when she’s unavailable) because she sees the growth I’ve made and how I capture proposals and how I celebrate them with the couple as a photographer. You take a lot of criticism as a creative entrepreneur also. People who don’t like your work or appreciate the hard work put into your business are quick to tell you. And that brings a lot of doubt, and you may have a good cry and doubt yourself, but you find your footing, dust yourself off, and remember that you didn’t create your business for those people. You created it for those who will appreciate you and your talent and hard work and keep coming back year after year.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am Casi Denton – the owner of Casi Denton Photography. I specialize in creating and capturing memories through Wedding and Family Portrait Photography. I am located in the Baltimore/DC area. Clients hire me to capture their love story, starting when they get down on one knee, to capturing the journey of engagement, a new chapter when they say “I Do,” to down the road when their family grows. It makes you feel like you a welcomed part of the family. Clients have told me that as a 30-something woman with no children, I have the patience of a saint. It helps a ton during family sessions when I don’t show the little kids I am not phased by chaos.
What would you say has been one of your most important lessons?
Goodness, the most important lesson I’ve learned is to be patient with the process – not everyone is seeing your work. There are good years when I am up to my ears in editing weddings or family sessions, and then there are months when I am not busy and am forced to work on my marketing skills to drive up business. And social media plays a HUGE part in driving marketing through Instagram (gotta use the right hashtags) and maybe even the occasional Facebook ad. But the thing that always reminds me is that there is a busy season coming in the not-busy season. It’s coming, and I must wait out the slow season(s). Always keep investing in learning; having those hard discussions with other creatives helps drive your business forward.
- Website: www.CasiDentonPhoto.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/casidentonphotography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CasiDentonPhoto
All photos by Casi Denton Photography