No matter how you look at it, photography is an art form. If done right, photography can be turned into a profitable business. Bonnie didn’t realize the potential she held until she had the opportunity to show her work. The response she received was enough to drive her into the business world with Photography By Bonnie.
Using photos that speak for themselves, Photography By Bonnie has continued to grow in leaps and bounds. Expanding from the photo work, Bonnie also creates painted portraits by request. As amazing as her work is, she does it all with three children at home.
What do you offer from your web site, Photography By Bonnie?
I offer limited edition fine art prints, open edition prints, original works of art, and commissioned portrait paintings. Also, I create custom Artbags from your personal photographs.
How long has your business been online?
I have been online since 2003.
What services do you offer offline?
Anything online I offer offline, as well as taking photos of clients for commissioned portraits. If a client can’t come to me, I can use personal photos for paintings.
Is there a style of photography that you prefer?
Nature, partly for tramping around outdoors, but also, the same place is always changing over time. I capture it as is, and then enhance the photo digitally to create the mood I want.
What are some of your favorite photos from your collection?
Lei Hala is not only a personal favorite, but a public favorite as well. Many people feel a connection to the older hands that are still working hard at a dying craft. I also really enjoy The Stand, which is interesting with all the textures and colors contrasting with the simple linear lines of the trees.
What inspired you to get into photography? Have you always loved this art form or is it something that found you?
I took my first photography class in high school and have been taking photos ever since. No one in my family took photos and all we had was a 110 film camera at home, so an SLR was all new to me. I had a great teacher that disabled all the auto features on the camera and made me take all black and white, and then develop them myself. It was the first time I really was aware of photography as an artform.
Why did you decide to start selling your art?
When I realized people were willing to pay for it! Really, I had a lot of images and didn’t think they were very special. Then I did a show at a local art gallery, and I ended up being their highest grossing artist to date. I was shocked and inspired by the public’s response to my work. It’s difficult to be creative in a cave, you need to get a bit and see what people think of your creations.
What inspired you to start up your studio?
An online portfolio is far and away the best way an artist can show their work to the world. If you want people to know who you are, you have to have one.
What is an artbag?
My favorite thing!! I take one or more of your personal photos and create a work of art for you. Then, you choose from over a dozen styles of bags and totes, and your customized art is made portable. I guarantee you will get stopped over and over by people who want to look at it. The most popular style is the Bucket Bag.
What do you feel your art has that separates it from the work of other photographers?
I’m always trying new things and taking photos from a different perspective. There will always be the perennial favorites, like florals, but you need to keep it fresh and new.
What has been the hardest part of getting the word out about your studio and photos?
Time, or lack of. With three children at home being schooled, they take priority over pounding the pavement, so to speak.
How much time do you spend, on average, on your business?
It varies from week to week. I may spend 10 hours one week if I’m busy with my children, and then 30plus another if I have a painting to complete, or a number of Christmas orders to complete.
Do you have any advice that you’d like to offer any aspiring photographers reading this?
It’s not the equipment or gadgets that make you good. It’s practice, practice, practice. Also, don’t get lured into using technology to “fix” a bad photo. All the classic rules of good photography still apply, even with digital technology.