Today we’d like to introduce you to Thomas Martin.
Hi Thomas, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have always had an interest and a passion for photography, starting in high school taking photos with a hand-me down film camera for the yearbook. Since then, the hobby has turned into a greater passion and profession. My path to professional photography was a bit reluctant, as I didn’t always have the best gear or think of myself as “good enough” to be a professional – despite friends and family telling me that I should sell prints and charge for taking photos. That notion changed one day when a random stranger messaged me on Instagram and asked to buy a print of one of my shots! It turns out I had taken a sunrise photo of a place that she and her family used to camp at in the summertime when she was younger and the photo brought back memories of those times! Selling those first prints was the beginning of my professional career and also the source of my mission and slogan, “great photos make great memories – last”.
Since then, it has been a whirlwind of smaller shoots and growing to do larger events, weddings, family portraits and dabbling in commercial work. My passion is people, portraits and families. For fun and to unwind, I love a good nature hike with plenty of wildlife to see and capture as well. Most recently, It has been great to see a renewed interest in event photography since the year with Covid really had an impact on my business and workflow. Things are looking up, however, and I’m excited to get back in the swing of things!
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?
It has not always been a smooth road. one of the first struggles was learning the difference between photography for my own enjoyment and professional work. Taking photos for yourself, there is no one to criticize and no one to please other than yourself. Working professionally, the work is to capture and deliver the look and feel and memories that the client wants. I think that is a hurdle for a lot of young professional photographers and a lesson that I had to learn quickly.
This past year with Covid had a huge impact on me and my workflow. being just myself and not having a studio to do in-studio work, I was completely reliant on doing events and location shoots. With Covid and things shutting down, there were essentially no location shoots and very few events that were still held.
Photo work was essentially limited to my own nature and wildlife prints which was hot-or miss on sales. It really hit me hard. With things opening back up and vaccines starting to be available events and groups are opening back up and people are both excited to be out and about as well as starting to book events and shoots as well. I’ve had a good deal of interest and bookings in just the past few weeks, which is fantastic and very exciting. I’m really looking forward to building on the early momentum and growing through ’21 and ’22!
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
My photography business is just me and my camera. My cat, Gus sometimes tries to help with my editing and processing though! Working alone has its challenges, but I also love the freedom and flexibility that it offers. I specialize in events and location portraits. Specifically weddings and family-focused portraits.
I’m most proud brand-wise of my word-of-mouth advertising and referrals from past clients. There truly is nothing better than talking to a prospective client who is the friend or family member of a former client. Yelp reviews and such are great also, but nothing beats a good word from a satisfied client. I once was working at a large birthday party, and one of the families attending hired me to their family party the following week while at the event! There’s nothing better than that!
I’d like your readers to know that while my work is professional, it is also deeply personal. I love going through old photos and remembering the stories behind them, and when covering a wedding, or an event, or even a simple family portrait shoot, those memories and the ability to go back and re-live the day, or that time years later is my goal and what I strive for. While working with a client in the moment and getting the pose and the shot just right, in the back of my mind I am hoping that these shots will be shown to generations to come. That they can and will be is really what taking photos and capturing moments is all about!
What matters most to you?
The one thing that matters most to me is delivering photos and prints to my clients that exceed their expectations. I strive to be very intentional and understand what it is that they want out of their photos, how they are going to use them, i.e., Facebook, digital, website, prints, all of the above, etc. and deliver a product that exceeds those expectations.
That matters so much because it is what I would look for if I were hiring a photographer for my own family, and it is what I look for and think about when taking photos of my family and friends. Photographs have meaning, and regardless if we think about it or not that meaning is going to be there, along with the memories for years to come. Making sure that the memories we are making are aligned with what a given client is looking for and experiencing is so critical to what I do. It is the reason I do what I do. And I believe that my focus there and my attention to detail when working with a client is the reason that I have been able to have the repeat business, referrals, and reviews that I have.
- Weddings, $1050-2500
- family portraits $150-250
- half day events $550
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://twmartinphotog.wixsite.com/mysite
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/twmartinphotog/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/tom-martin-photography-baltimore?osq=tom+martin+Photogrpahy