TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR COMPANY
Hi! I’m Gina, a 30 year old wife and fur-mom! I love hanging out at home with my Ridgeback/Boxer mix! Her name is Lilly, and she’s the best cuddle partner! I’m a huge fan of Dr. Who, Supernatural, and Gilmore Girls. You can find me watching a Disney movie at any given time too. I was a 90’s kid, and let’s face it, those were the best movies!
I started photographing clients right out of high school in 2005, but I say I really started knowing what I was doing starting around 2008. Since then, I’ve photographed countless families, couples, and weddings. I love being able to give people photos they can look back on for many, many years.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?
I started my love for photography by taking a class in high school. I absolutely loved the dark room process and could spend hours in the lab. After I graduated, I was able to buy the very first DSLR. That’s right, THE FIRST, the original Canon Rebel. I’m completely self-taught in editing and Photoshop and over the last 12 years, I’ve upgraded both my equipment and my knowledge to be the photographer I am today.
WHAT IS THE MOST AWKWARD MOMENT YOU’VE EXPERIENCED WHILE ON THE JOB?
For me, fighting amongst families is super awkward. Throw in the stress of a wedding, add some drinking, and you have some big blow outs during the family portrait times on occasion. It’s hard to stand back, let them hash things out, then jump back in and try to get everybody smiling again.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VENUE AND WHY?
I’ve been to a lot of great venues over the years, but my favorite so far is Highland Springs Ranch in Cherry Valley, CA. Not only can you get married under a 1000 year old oak tree, but you can also have the reception in the olive groves and let me tell you, it is simply stunning! The staff and coordinator on site are just as amazing to work with as well, which makes all the difference for the other wedding vendors during the day.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM LOCATION TO SHOOT A WEDDING?
I would love to photograph a wedding in Sequoia National Park! I visited the park with my now husband when we were first dating, and we highly considered having our wedding there. If I were able to do a wedding around the beautiful trees and lakes in the park, I would be beside myself with joy!
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED, AND WOULD PASS ALONG TO OTHER NEW PHOTOGRAPHERS JUST GETTING STARTED?
Don’t judge your worth by others in the industry. There is always going to be somebody out there who will offer things cheaper, but you need to know your value of your art. Be honest with yourself and know that the quality of your work should dictate your price. Also don’t jump the gun and charge too much when you’re just starting out, you won’t be able to justify the old pricing once your work improves.
WHAT TIPS OR ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO ARE LOOKING TO HIRE A PHOTOGRAPHER TO COVER THEIR EVENT?
My advice, please do not just go off of pricing. Make sure they offer what you want, the style you want, and it’s somebody you get along with! I always suggest meeting with vendors before the event, so things are completely clear AND you can talk with them and see if you get along. Some vendors are more involved than others, so think about that. Do you really want to have a photographer or videographer around you all day who you don’t get along with? It makes a difference, and not everybody matches up perfectly. Don’t be shy to say you don’t think it’s a good match, and find somebody who is.
Name of interviewee: Gina Toth
Title of interviewee: Owner/Photographer
Name of company: Gina Marie Studios
Company’s business URL/website: www.GinaMarieStudios.com