Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Harston
Tiffany, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Straight out of college I was working in hospital marketing departments doing a lot of writing and some design for brochures and websites. The hospital wanted photos of their own staff rather than stock images and so I started taking photos with our department’s nice DSLR camera. To improve my skills, I took a photography course that my boss paid for. I soaked up everything in that class and loved how creative you could be with a camera while shooting in manual mode. I fell in love with using a camera to capture people and got a camera of my own that Christmas. I started taking photos of my sister’s family and assisting other photographers who were shooting engagements and weddings. Soon I was charging for photography sessions and shooting weddings as the main photographer.
Today I photograph newborns and families in Kingwood and the greater Houston area. I focus on printed art and albums that families will enjoy every day and pass on to their children.
I also have a passion to take special needs family photos as my son is non-verbal and autistic. Rather than hiring any photographer and explaining their child’s limitations, hoping they will be able to deal with it, special needs families can hire someone who gets it. I know the difference myself with hiring babysitters for our son. I have trained sitters to work with him but hiring someone who has experience already is so much better! They understand his aggression and are prepared to deal with it. They accept him for who he is and love him despite his challenges. That is what I offer special needs families: The feeling of relief and comfort knowing I get it and will not judge them or their child.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Owning a business is not for the faint of heart! There are a lot of benefits for sure but marketing is always a challenge. In fact, I have moved my business twice. First from Utah to west Texas (Midland). And then from Midland to Houston. It takes time to build up clientele, a name and your Google SEO for a certain area so that has definitely been one of the challenges I have had to overcome. The good part is I am pretty good now at getting my website to come up with Google searches.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am the oldest of four girls and a mama to a special needs son who is non-verbal. I have also been a church music leader, taught Sunday school classes and Boy Scout merit badges. Kids are my jam. I think they are so special, creative and entertaining.
When I photograph families, especially with little kids, I tell my clients not to stress. We will get beautiful images! I know littles will be wiggly and not want to sit or say cheese for an hour. That’s why the session will be kid-led. If the child doesn’t want to be still, we will move to playing and capture those interactions. Then we will move back to posed, smiling and looking at the camera shots. This is great because it gives the family a variety of images but also gives their children breaks to play so they have a good time!
Clients have also told me that they like my calm demeaner and that I am not too loud and crazy but go with the flow. In addition, I have software that allows me to swap heads or combine several photos into one to get the perfect, everyone looking at the camera family portrait. A lot of images on my website are created this way. No family is perfect! And that is okay.
When clients book with me, I know they are worried about figuring out what to wear, where to take photos, and how their children will behave. I let them know that I will help them through all that! I have a client closet with dresses for moms to borrow if they want, I help clients plan outfits, determine the best location for the look they want and remind them that no toddlers behave during photo sessions and that is okay!
Not only do we have a great time during the shoot and capture beautiful images, but I help clients decide how to best display and enjoy their family photos every day and for years to come. I have software that will map out canvases or framed images and scale them to their actual wall size so we can see what it will look like before they order. And my favorite part- I actually deliver and install the artwork on their walls. Moms love this because they don’t have to get on their husbands to hang up the family photos.
I am expanding my reach to Houston special needs families through networking and service. I started photographing some ABA schools last year and then some of the families from those schools. I would like to donate gift certificates to non-profits and charities that help with special needs population, especially those affected by autism.
Last year, I organized a fundraiser unicorn photo shoot for SIRE, a non-profit in Spring that provides riding lessons for individuals with a diagnosis of psychological, physical, or cognitive disability. I hope this can be a yearly endeavor and look for other similar opportunities.
- Sessions fees begin at 250
- Prints begin at 190
- Collections begin at 990
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.tiffanyharstonphotography.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tiffanyharstonphotography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TiffanyHarstonPhotography
Tiffany Harston Photography