If You Have A Minute: Elaine Laverty
Elaine is a Tipperary based professional photographer who runs her own business. She shoots all manner of events and situations, from weddings and family photoshoots to product photography and landscapes. She also offers photo restoration services for those old prints that you could never part with.
What first made you want to get into photography?
I discovered photography quite late getting my first decent camera in my late 20′s as a present I then moved up to digital a few years later and when i disovered I loved it and wasn’t too bad at it my family bought me a DSLR for Christmas and I have had it in my hand ever since
What made you decide to turn it into a business?
I moved to Tipperary when I was pregnant with my first child and as a result I lost my job in Cork. I wanted to be able to work and bring up my baby so I applied for The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance in order to set up my own photography business. It was granted while I was pregnant with my second child and I started taking out advertising on wedding websites.
What is a typical day (in the office?) for you?
The great thing about photography is I don’t have a typical day. One day i could be out shooting a wedding all day and the next I am taking pictures at a 1950s style hen party! The most typical thing about my job is the editing of photographs which often means I am in my office at home for long hours. I like to get them edited as soon as possible so that I still have the feeling of the shoot fresh in my mind.
What’s the most interesting or exciting project you’ve ever worked on?
To date the most fun project I have worked on was the photoshoot for the Rock & Roll Tea Party Co. It was a 1950s style hen party which was also being filmed for part of the TV3 programme Battle of the Bridesmaids. We had vintage cars and motorbikes as props and the hens got right into the spirit of the shoot posing like real 50s pin up girls. It was great fun.
What’s the most difficult part of your job?
I don’t find much of my job difficult. There is a lot of standing around waiting at shoots and at weddings but I have gotten used to that and don’t mind it so much now. I do find the Irish weather can make my job challenging though!
What inspires your work?
Everything inspires me! From old Hollywood shots to just seeing people in the street and having an idea for a shoot I want to do. I also get inspired by other photographers, particularly a guy called Robert Wyatt who does fashion photography and is brilliant.
What are the most interesting trends you’re seeing in photography these days, particularly online?
The most interesting trend I am seeing right now with regards to photography is the move towards more vintage looking shots. Vintage is so huge right now which is great for me as it is my favourite thing to do.
How do you keep up to date with what’s going on in photography?
I keep up to date mainly by looking online at other people’s work and through the SWPP’s monthly magazines. When I have an idea in my head for a shoot I often look online at photos from the era I want to work with and get a feel of what I want to do.
What advice would you give to someone starting out as a photographer today?
My advice would be don’t be afraid to try it for yourself, it’s hard work and there can be lows but when you get a great shoot and the photos come out exactly as you had envisioned it is totally worth it.
Also for wedding photography advertising is key and coming up with special offers or different angles to your photography (or both) will guarantee more interest. Don’t be offended if a couple don’t choose you for their big day it doesn’t mean you are not good it’s just that different people like different styles of photography and maybe your style just doesn’t suit them, there will be another couple who will be over the moon with your style and be delighted to have discovered you!!
We’ve had a great response so far from people looking to be involved in this weekly series but we’re still looking for more. If you are a creative, drop me a mail at nicola dot graftonmedia dot com and we’ll send on the questions and let you know what details we’ll need from you.