In the beginning…
In 2009, I started photographing Northwest families professionally. I had been behind a camera for years although I had never charged anyone for my work. I photographed friends, family, and even a few weddings. Before I got started, I wanted to do a test run. So, I answered an ad for a second shooter for a wedding in Spokane Valley. The photographer, who I will call Bob, was well known. He had a business in the Valley for over 20 years. I was excited to learn.
We arrived at the wedding and Bob, told me to shoot anything and everything. I took the job very seriously. I tried to think like the bride. What would she want? After the cake was eaten, the favors handed out, year from now what did this bride want to recall? Photographs would be the only thing left of the wedding day.
Bob began by opening a bottle of champagne that he snagged from the reception hall and filled a champagne flute. He must have seen the look of terror on my face. He photographed the glass. “Never photograph an empty glass,” he lamely said. Then he grabbed a handful of Jordan almonds (the bride’s favors), filled his mouth and his pockets and washed them down with the flute of champagne.
We continued to photograph all of your typical things including the bride and groom getting ready. As we arranged the family members into position for the formal shots, the bride mentioned to Bob that her mother was remarried. She made it clear that she did not want to stand next to her mother’s new husband in any of the photographs. Within minutes, Bob was shouting, “Dad, dad, move in closer.” The bride retorted, “He is not my dad.” Bob continued to refer to the man as “Dad” and the bride continued to correct him. I was beside myself. By the end of the wedding, I had made a decision. If Bob was the best that Spokane Valley had to offer than whatever I did would be a huge improvement. I was proud of the quality of photographs that I took that day. I handed them over to Bob without reservation and I learned a valuable lesson. I learned what not to do.
Shortly after that, I started out on my own. I was terrified every time I took a family out on a photography session. REALLY, terrified (sweaty palms and heart palpitations- level terrified). I knew photography and how to operate the camera. I even had a pretty good eye. It wasn’t skill that I needed, it was confidence. Would I have enough top quality images to offer my clients choices? To ensure that I could deliver my promises, I would spend almost 2 hours with every family, taking an average of 400-600 images. When I looked at the images, I asked myself one question, “Would I be happy with these if this was my family?” I would leave every session spent and stressed until I got home and reviewed the results. It was a tough year. I continued working with other professional photographers for weddings to gain more experience because I felt that I owed it to my clients. It wasn’t too long before I got the swing of things!
Loyalty & Trust
This lovely family have been booking sessions with me for nine years! They come over to Spokane Valley area every year to visit family and book a session with me! When they come to visit, it’s almost like they are visiting me. Loyal customers are the bread and butter of a business. I ♥ them! As my experience has grown (as shown below), their family has as well! Thank you Crowell family for being such amazing clients and friends. It is a delight to watch your beautiful girls grow.
Below are photographs from the past nine years and a couple of past blogs I’ve done with this family!
I have actually kept a good number of clients as my business and talents have grown. Thank you wonderful clients! Thank you Spokane! Thank you Bob.
Rewards & Referrals
My business is almost 100% referral! Clients share my work and refer me!
I love, love, my clients. I try my best to be generous and work with existing clients. Clients can earn up to $50 off their next session by referring a new client! Contact me today for more information on my referral program!
Tami Siriani, Spokane Valley Senior Portrait Artist.
Beautiful, creative imagery that is flattering to every face and body type!
Maternity | Newborns | Children | Seniors | Family | Large Groups | School | Corporate | Events | Real Estate
all images Tami Siriani photography © 2019