Today we’d like to introduce you to Deborah DeKoff.
Hi Deborah, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I fell in love with photography in high school as it helped to create and collect memories. I mentored under the tutelage of both a studio and newspaper photographer, both of whom shared decades of wisdom. My first business, then, at 17, was the “One Stop Wedding Shop” where I did the hair and makeup of the bride (I had a cosmetology license), baked and decorated the wedding cake, and photographed the wedding.
Although I never “left” taking photos, I reentered photography as a business in 2010 in the Park City area. My focus this time is capturing the faces in the places that are special to them (environmental portraiture) for seniors, branding, and families. I take from my studio training and my love of landscapes to create magazine perfect pictures for clients from around the US.
I currently work for three publications as a staff photographer, several restaurants capturing delectable images of food, and producing personal work during world travels.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The hurdles of working as a photographer are many. It’s an inundated art market with many different “players.” Competing against “moms/dads with cameras” who are not a licensed legal business, nor produce steady on-point work means I have to educate my clients about the services that I provide and why its worth more,
A steady income stream is also a challenge as people generally don’t hire photographers on a weekly basis, but for special events. Repeat clients are often years apart in visits, thus my work must speak to the hearts and souls of many new clients, be on the lips of past clients for referrals, and SEO must be working in my favor.
Customers often don’t understand the expense of creating imagery. From high equipment pricing, insurance, websites, marketing… to connect and book with a family is costly in time and energy, the session, planning wardrobe, and postwork adds several additional hours. Photography is not just pushing a button on the camera.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m an environmental portrait artist, specializing in capturing seniors, business professionals for headshots and branding, and families in the beauty of nature. I’m known for making an image pop off the page, positioning my clients well so they connect with their audience, and grabbing the attention of viewers. The image must speak a thousand words, and cause a person to pause.
I’m most proud of delivering images that bring back memories and evoke emotion. I was just voted one of the top visual artists in Park City – three years in a row.
What sets me apart is my ability to see things that are not obvious to others, visually scrutinize an environment, and within moments, “see” the best place to create art. It’s a “soul speak” feeling – knowing THIS PLACE is just right. THIS LIGHT is just perfect.
Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
For those starting out: Find a mentor, and be studious. Develop your own style. Have a great work ethic. Learn more about the art of business. Everyone is a potential client. Network.
- Sessions start at $195
- Print products start at $125
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.parkcityphotographers.com
- Instagram: @parkcityphotographers
- Other: @darkchocolateredwine