Whilst working as a primary school teacher, Melissa Cutter is a part time photographer with her own business, Honeybee Imaging. Mainly capturing natural, lifestyle photos, Melissa believes that working as a teacher has given her the edge when it comes to photographing children.
Q: How did you become a photographer?
A: I have always enjoyed taking photos. From a young age, I would have a small camera attached to me. I did photography AS Level in 2001, where I learnt how to use black and white film, and how to develop images in a darkroom. It has always just been a hobby, until in 2012, I bought my first digital single-lens reflex camera, known as a digital SLR. This started the ball rolling to take photography a bit more seriously. In January 2015, I took it even further and did a part time course at college, which was a City and Guilds Level 1 in Photography. This is where it all started for real. I noticed a huge improvement in my work, even within the first few sessions. It was then I decided to start making photography into a job.
So, I’ve been doing my photography business for a couple of years now. I’m doing it part time, at the moment, as I build up a portfolio and client base. I also work as a primary school teacher, which I think helps when it comes to photographing families and children. I can interact well with them because I do it all day, every day, at school. I mainly do family and children’s portraits, but I’ve also done a few portfolio shoots for models.
Q: Who inspires you as a photographer?
A: There are some great photographers who I love following on Facebook and Instagram. Scott Kelby is great. He has a website where himself and other professional photographers, do video tutorials. I’ve learnt so much from that site. Also, Emily Soto and Lara Jade who are both fashion photographers. I’d love to be as good as them one day!
Q: What is your favourite thing to photograph?
A: I really like photographing people. I love capturing natural images particularly when it’s children and they’re laughing, or sulking. And it’s so natural.
But one of the best experiences as a photographer, is seeing the reactions people have to their images. It’s great. Then getting good feedback and their recommendation to others, is always nice.
Q: What is the most difficult experience you’ve had as a photographer?
A: There have been a few challenges, such as when equipment doesn’t always work exactly how you want it to, but that is why I always have I back up. Sometimes it can be difficult if children aren’t happy during a shoot, but there are things to do to get around it.
Q: What service can you offer to anyone interested in hiring a photographer?
A: I offer a wide range of services and packages.
- My Family/Children sessions are £30 for a two hour session, with around ten edited digital images.
- Model portfolios are £35 for up to three changes of outfit, plus around ten edited digital images.
- I also offer Wedding packages and Boudoir packages which are both tailor made to the clients, so prices vary.
- I have a Bump to Baby’s First Year package which is £125 and covers a maternity session, new born session, plus four other photo shoots throughout the year.
Written by Laura Polkinghorne
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