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You guys are in for a treat!  I interviewed my amazing and talented client, Valorie Darling and asked her all kinds of great business questions!  She was so sweet to share and there are some really great insights into her highly successful photography business.  You guys, we are talking GOLD here!!

 

Valorie has shot weddings all over the world and has photographed high luxury weddings.  She has been featured in top magazines such as Martha Stewart, Elle, Brides, and People.  She’s truly one of the sweetest and most talented people and I’m so incredibly blessed to have her as a client and friend.

Tell us a little bit about how you got started in weddings.

 

I had been shooting for a couple years professionally at this point, but weddings terrified me and they were the one thing I wouldn’t do. One of my best friends was getting married and convinced me to do it saying she only trusted me (I think sneakily she knew it was what I’d love the most and fear was holding me back), so I ended up shooting her wedding and realized how much I loved it. It was the perfect combination of everything I was best at: photographer, art director, best friend, choreographer, journalist… The wedding was published in Style Me Pretty and that sort of launched everything. I was still unsure about it, but it just felt effortless and fell into my lap so I thought, “Maybe I should look into this…maybe I’m a wedding photographer?!”

 

What’s your favorite thing to photograph during the wedding day?

 

Good question! I’d have to say the “magic hour” portraits during sunset because we’re through most of the big moments that can sometimes feel a little rushed or stressful and and the couple gets to take in the last moments of light just the two of them. It feels so intimate and slows the rest of the night down a bit.

 

Tell us more about your Darling Collective and how having associate photographers are wonderful for your couples.

 

My Darling Collective is incredible! It’s really nice to have an associate program because it allows me to serve more people. I usually have limited availability because of the number of weddings I take on, restrictions in days, etc… so having my trusted team opens that up and allows me to witness my team show up, create art, and leave the rest to me. It’s also at a very affordable price point!

 

Do you offer workshops?

 

I do! I love teaching and creating community! My next one is on March 24-26th at Sunstone Villa in Santa Ynez, CA.

Here’s the link for more info: https://valoriedarlingphotography.com/couturedarlingworkshop-1

 

What drew you to outsourcing your editing?

 

I was ready to untether myself from my computer and get my life back! I was spending so much time on editing because I thought, “Who would care more than I would?” But I realized that it’s not what I’m best at; I’m better at connecting with people and capturing moments, while editing is what some people are uniquely tailored to do. I initially had a limited belief in what was available to me, but as soon as I tapped into seeing what was out there it opened up so much. I was able to build my business even more by doing more of what I was best at behind the camera rather than behind the computer. When you’re wearing all the hats it’s easy to feel burnt out and get too much in the mode of “shoot, edit, shoot, edit,” with very little work/life balance. So ultimately it was better for my inspiration and gave that back to me.

 

If you are looking for more info on editing, this blog post here is super helpful.. also website here

What made you choose private editing over bigger box editing companies?

 

I love how personalized the process is and knowing how much Janelle cares about you and your brand. I’ve found that the bigger companies don’t often have the same consistency and attention to detail. Most of the time you can’t guarantee who’s doing it, it’s just whoever is available. By having a private editor who deeply understands your process and style there’s less back and forth to get it right and ultimately you feel more taken care of and like it’s worth it. I really appreciate having a connection with Janelle and feel like she has an intuition as to what I would do in a particular scenario.

 

 

What do you shoot with? Favorite lens?

 

I’m a Canon girl! I shoot on the 5D Mark iv body and my favorite portrait lens would have to be the 85mm 1.2. It’s pretty magical!

 

 

How has it helped you in your business and personal life?

 

As I mentioned before, it’s given me a sense of balance again and freed me up to be more creative. Before outsourcing my average bedtime was 3:30 AM. As much as I love my company, I knew that that lifestyle wasn’t healthy or sustainable. I feel more inspired by my work again and I’m able to work ON my business rather than IN my business.

 

Any advice you would like to give to other wedding photographers hustling hard in their business?

 

Invest in your business. When you’re in the hustling to build your company it’s easy to feel like it’s too expensive to pay for help, but at the end of they day if you’re not investing in it you can only grow so much. Take that leap and trust that it can be a positive experience, and you’ll be welcoming bigger opportunities.

 

A list of must haves for wedding photographers to help you through your long wedding day.  

 

I pretty much treat myself like a marathoner leading up to wedding days. Haha. I have a water bottle and electrolyte packets called Recovery ORS to help me stay hydrated, and ProBar Organic Energy Chews.

 

I also have what I call my “Oh Sh*t Kit” which basically consists of a lot of little things that come in handy on the big day. (ie. Bobby pins, Advil, bandaids, sewing kit, chapstick, etc…, because it allows me to be another resource for the couple just in case the coordinator isn’t around. This has always helped with referrals as well because it’s comments like, “She’s thought of everything!” that make people feel taken care of.

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Thank you Valorie!  You are a true inspiration!  If you guys want to go check out more of her work go visit her HERE

 

For more interviews with some of our amazing photographers click HERE

 

Interview with Valorie Darling Photography

2/04/19

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