Rosemary Taglialatela of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania talks Photography and Business

Rosemary Taglialatela is relatively new to the photography business but she’s easily one of the most visible photographers on Taproll, and we’re excited to have her here with us today.

Meet Rosemary Taglialatela, PRO Photographer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1.Briefly introduce yourself and your photography business.
I am a fairly new photographer in the big scheme of things. Got a camera under 4 years ago, played around with it and found I truly loved it and had the “eye”. I think having the eye comes from growing up in a very artistic family or at least it helps 🙂

“starting a new career at the age of almost 50 really makes you shift into high gear”

Starting out I literally begged people to let me photograph them to no avail! So I shot things that could not say no, like landscapes and flowers. I was good enough at that to land an apprenticeship less than a year later with a prestigious studio with a pro photographer who shoots environmental portraits for large magazines. Hence my trial by fire so to speak, lol, This experience really opened my eyes to what real pros do, how they do it and what they charge to do it! I felt blessed to have this 6 month apprenticeship with access to high end equipment and a studio. I must confess, I never would have thought I would love studio work or even photographing people, wow I surprised myself! I took a totally different path than I originally thought.

After my apprenticeship I had to figure out exactly what I wanted to shoot and how I was going to put a business together to give myself the best chance to excel and be successful. Hard work, due diligence, persistence and striving to keep learning and working to produce the best work I possibly can is paying off. I really feel starting a new career at the age of almost 50 really makes you shift into high gear! I dont have time to waste and wish I could have started back when I was in my 20s!

“Working at photography for money is a business, as a business owner to be successful it is necessary to figure your true expenditures.”

Getting work has been interesting. In my career so far I have had the chance to work with some large companies as well as some local Philadelphia PA (USA) fashion designers. I love the challenge of putting together large and complicated shoots, seems to be a natural talent I am blessed with. I had thought I might like to travel for some shoots and it looks like I will be doing that this summer.

I specialize in portraiture, fashion, high end artistic old world look portraits and impressionistic art images.

2. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Hm, what do I enjoy most? That’s hard to answer. For me, it has to be the interaction with people, the creative energy that takes place and the images that are produced. If I have to say on think I guess it would be the challenge.

3. What was your very first camera?
My husband bought me a Pentax K10D for my birthday a few years back but that is not what I shoot with now.

4. What are the keys to a great photo shoot or client engagement?
Communication, a clear understanding of your clients’ needs, research and preparation for the shoot.

Some things I do before a contract is signed: Research the person/product or location you will be shooting so you have better knowledge to get to the contract stage.  Once the contracts are signed I do more research on the person/product/location I will be shooting, the more you know the more prepared you are and the more you understand who/what/where you are working with.

I make sure I have everything I need for the shoot ahead of time and check my equipment using a check list which gets packed if I am not shooting at my location. Having enough assistants for the shoot is also important and I double check with everyone confirming times and dates of shoots.  All shoot team members are contacted again 2 days before and the night before the shoot to reconfirm and to discuss any last minute changes. By the time the day of the shoot arrives all team members are on the same page and understand what the end result should be.  My trusty note pad with ideas and notes will be with me as well as back up numbers in case a team member has an emergency and can’t make it at the last minute.  If any problems pop up we discuss the resolution as a team and deal with them.  I have a plan that we will start with but allow for adaptations as we move through the shoot.

Lunch is planned or catered depending on the size an length of the shoot.  Once the shoot is complete equipment is check off the list as it is packed up and all paper work/signed releases are packed.  Before disbanding I make sure I speak with everyone involved with the shoot including the client if they are on set and I thank everyone for a job well done.

5. What are some common mistakes that emerging business photographers will make?How can they be avoided?
Not investing in themselves, progressing and learning to improve the quality of their work. Not putting together a business plan and getting insurance for their business. Working at photography for money is a business, as a business owner to be successful it is necessary to figure your true expenditures.

6. What social media strategies or channels have worked best for you in expanding your photography business?
I use facebook and Linkedin with success. I pull a lot of different types of clients from those two sites.

7. Any last thoughts, comments and/or suggestions for our photographers and clients?
For photographers, keep learning, growing and providing clients with excellent quality work and service.

Clients keep in mind it’s not all about the money, it’s about the finished product you receive and how well you can work and communicate with your photographer. Does your finished product /images do for you what you wanted them to? Then you made a good choice.

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