Photographer turns her hobby into a business
The first time someone offered Deanna Williams payment for her photography, she had to push herself to accept it.
She wasn’t sure if her work was good enough, and didn’t know how much to charge.
But in the three years she’s been running photography business DWPerception, she’s gotten over that hang up.
“It takes a lot of confidence in yourself,” the 32-year-old said. “You have to be firm with clients, and know your worth and the value of your time.”
The business started as a hobby for Ms Williams, who works in administration.
“I like to take a lot of nature walks along the trails,” she said. “I started out just using my phone. I progressed to getting a Canon point and shoot.”
Then in April 2018 she began taking portraits for the #TruePhoto challenge which encouraged women to step outside of the comforts of make-up, filters and editing.
“I invited women to have their photo taken without make-up,” she said. “The participants were asked to wear something that made them feel comfortable yet feminine since I was taking them out of their comfort zone, I still wanted them to feel comfortable in front of the camera.”
When she posted her work on social media, people began asking if she would take their photo too.
Now she does maternity and newborn shoots, portraits, landscape and architecture. The one thing she doesn’t do much of is weddings. She tried it and didn’t like it.
“I am really enjoying the maternity and newborn sessions,” she said. “Those have been popular lately.”
But it takes a lot of patience to take a photo of a newborn baby.
“The challenge of it is the little one not wanting to sleep when you want them to be asleep,” she said. “It is fine though. I offer to come back and finish up if the baby doesn’t sleep. I have a vision of what I want to accomplish, and I have to finish that mission to move on.”
Sometimes her determination has led her into some interesting situations.
“I was doing a maternity shoot at Spittal Pond,” she said.
To get the angle she wanted, Ms Williams had to kneel on the edge of a cliff.
“I put myself in a position where if the wind had picked up I would have been in trouble,” she laughed. “There is something about photography that makes me feel like I have accomplished something once I have gotten a shot that really speaks to me and will make the client happy.”
One of the challenges of the business has been getting the necessary exposure, but she has found word of mouth to be good in Bermuda, particularly through social media.
Over the years she has progressed to a Canon 7D.
“I am a two-camera shooter,” she said. “I use prime lenses.”
Ms Williams gets a little frustrated when she is trying to take a photograph at an event, and guests are crowded around her taking pictures of her subject with their mobile phones.
“It gets a little confusing to make sure I get the shot I was hired to get, and make sure I don’t offend anyone,” she said. “It is 2019, and it is going to happen. It challenges me to make sure I get a really good shot, and an immaculate image.”
She has found the work to be quite seasonal.
“January was very quiet but it’s started to pick up now,” she said. “The summer months are usually very busy.”
She has done some work for Gibbons Company, The English Sports Shop and Digicel, but one of her most exciting fashion shoots came last year when local fashion designer Rochelle Minors asked her to shoot for New York Fashion Week.
“That experience was amazing and I am extremely grateful to have met her,” Ms Williams said. “I had been dreaming of New York Fashion Week for as long as I can remember, whether it was to attend or photograph a show. When Rochelle invited me along to follow her around NYC and carry out a photo session on the streets and sidewalks, I was all for it.”
Her dream is to one day see her work in a high-end international fashion magazine.
“Another goal of mine is to own my own studio or gallery,” she said. “It would be a place to carry out photo sessions and sell my photographs.”
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