Reilly and Miranda Lievers are an award winning duo capturing amazing editorial style portraits and wedding images. We love their photojournalistic style, and it’s easy to see why they’ve been voted one of the “Best Wedding Photographers in Vancouver” as well as one of the “Most Inspiring Photographers in Canada.” We hope you’ll enjoy this week’s interview and get to know our awesome PRO Photographers.
1. Briefly introduce yourself and your photography business.
We are Reilly & Miranda Lievers, a husband and wife duo based in Vancouver, BC. We started our photography studio 9 years ago and are still madly in love with what we do. We are most well known for our wedding and engagement photography, but we also photograph lots of kids and new families (usually when our wedding clients return after having a baby!)
2. What do you enjoy most about what you do?
The tears. No, really. Happy joyful tears – mine (behind the camera on pretty much every wedding day. Ssshhhhh), the tears of joyful parents and grandparents and bridesmaids, and the tears shed when our clients view their images after the day. It’s a feeling that can’t be beat.
3. What was your very first camera?
The dusted off Pentax K1000 found in the depths of Miranda’s Mom’s basement set this ball into motion.
4. What are the keys to a great photo shoot or client engagement?
Great light. Being yourself. Real laughter.
It’s *nerve wracking* having a camera pointed in your direction, so it’s important to remember that when meeting with clients for their shoot! Lots of laughter and taking some time to get to know each other goes a long way to helping your clients relax and have fun. The best photos will always come from clients who you can help to just relax and be themselves.
5. What are some common mistakes that emerging business photographers will make? How can they be avoided?
I think it can be hard to remember that this is a business first, especially when you’re new! We spend significantly more time marketing, editing, designing, and overall business building than we do actually behind a camera. Beautiful photos are beautiful, but they don’t mean much when no one gets to see them! It’s a balance, and especially when you’re new the vast majority of your time has got to be working on the business, not being behind a camera. Of course, the quality of the work has to be there too – but that should be well established long before someone even thinks about opening up shop!
6. What social media strategies or channels have worked best for you in expanding your photography business?
A large part of our success had to do with the fact that we’ve been blogging since 2005 – long before many people even knew what blogs were! Now, blogs are required to even be in the game. Social media can be a time waster, so a solid plan upfront is key. We stay up to date on what’s up and coming, but we don’t jump in until we know it makes business sense (rather than just because something is new). Different social media channels are also great for different things – we use Facebook to keep in touch with clients, but twitter to keep in touch with colleagues for example.
7. Any last thoughts, comments and/or suggestions for our photographers and clients?
As photographers we are very lucky to be able to spend our days creating art for people – images that will be cherished by our clients, their children and their grandchildren for decades. It’s an incredible honour. As long as you keep that in mind and business decisions and choices are made based on that (everything from how trendy your editing should be to just how many layers of backups you think those photos should have fall into this category), I think you’re heading in the right direction.