I was asked to fill out a questionnaire so I could be featured on the Flourish (photography workshop) blog site, and I figured I’d post the survey here, too, since there are some fun questions I had to answer. It’s long, so if you’re reeeeeeally bored here’s something to read:
Name: Susan Solo
Where do you live: Ashburn, Virginia which is about 30 miles outside of Washington, DC
How long have you been in business: I am just now starting up! But I’ve been interested in photography since I was 10, and really obsessed with it for the past 10 years, so photography has been at least some part of two-thirds of my life.
Show us one of your favorite images you took recently:
Show us an image you took when you were first starting out:
I’m critical of this image because the focus is softer than I wanted it to be – a fellow photog in a workshop instructed me to use a soft-focus filter for all portraits, and I did it without knowing what the effect would be (duh). Of course I’m open to different techniques and new ways of doing things, but since then I’ve learned to take suggestions and shoot how/what *I* want to shoot.Show us an image you wish you took: Literally anything by Jessica Claire or Audrey Woulard!
From what do you draw your inspiration: People who are excited about life. Other photographers’ work. Emotions. Nature. Culture.
If you were not shooting weddings (or portraits), you would be shooting: I love stuff. I can keep myself pretty busy with shooting everyday objects around the house. I also love patterns and textures: an intricately patterned fence, a strong shadow with an interesting shape, macro work.
Why did you choose Flourish: I felt the genuine excitement when people talked about Flourish and I wanted to be a part of it!
What three things would you like to learn more about at Flourish: I have little-to-no experience with wedding photography, so I’d like to get a beginning grasp on that in general. I’d also like to hear about lessons learned from other photographers, and of course I can always use more lighting tips/tricks.
What area of your business needs more attention: The nitty-gritty of the business: contracts, policies, and pricing.
What area of your personal life needs more attention: I want to make sure that while I’m busy starting and growing a business, I don’t let my relationships slide. I have an amazing network of family and friends who are so supportive of my endeavors and I want to ensure that I continue to give back and be supportive of them as well.
What are you most excited about for the next year in your business: I’m excited to get started! I’ve been considering having my own business for a long time and I’m finally ready. I’m excited to share my joy of photography with a wider audience. I love making people happy, and I think this will be a great way for me to do that.
How is your business unique: I hope to be unique by offering really personalized images that reflect the individuals, rather than having one style that is applied to every photo I take.
What is your favorite indulgence: It’s a toss-up between shopping and chocolate. It’s such a girly-girl cliché, but then again, I’m a total girly-girl. Oh and of course I love to indulge in new photography equipment!
What are you motivated by: I tend to look inward for motivation because I’m usually only motivated when I’m truly ready to do something. I’m admittedly stubborn like that.
Do you have any personal photography projects: I have a thing for photographing doors – the threshold, arches and awnings, doorknobs, locks, and the door itself.
Tell me one of your favorite colors without showing me the color. My favorite color is the ocean surrounding a tropical island; it is also the sky on a crisp spring day. My favorite color is a delicate robin’s egg or a sweet and tart berry…or a Tiffany box!
What is one fearless thing you wish you could do and soon: I’ve already gone skydiving, so the most fearless thing I’m doing in the immediate future is starting my own business! It can’t possibly be as scary as jumping out of a plane at 14,500 feet, but I know it will be just as thrilling.
Tell me your favorite piece of artwork and why it moves you: The Invisible Art project: http://ddm.caad.ed.ac.uk/mscpages/2006/s0672591/invisibleArt/index.html My younger brother, Mike Solo, collaborated with another artist on this innovative high-tech work of art – it just blows my mind. Michael is an amazing graphics designer, a creative genius, and one of the most talented people I know. I’m incredibly proud of him.
What is something you have recently sacrificed in your life? Would you do it over again? I have sacrificed working in a job for several years that I’m not entirely passionate about (IT) so that I could afford to pay bills and put more time and money into the one thing I am passionate about (photography). I don’t regret it at all and would certainly do it over again. I’ve learned skills at my day job that will easily translate into the photography business. Not to mention I’ve met some great people and have formed wonderful friendships.
How do you celebrate when you are alone? I crank up some music, sing at the top of my lungs and just dance like a maniac!
What gets you so worked up that you want to scream/cry/dance? People achieving their goals and dreams gets me so worked up and emotional (in a good way). I love to hear stories about accomplishments and overcoming challenges.
And finally, What is fabulous about you: I’m a glass-is-half-full kind of person! I’m the one to go to if you need a dose of optimism and help finding the silver lining.