Meet Vanessa Durfee of Vanessa Durfee Photography
My love for photography began long before I ever held a camera in my hands. My mother had a 35mm camera when I was a child and my brother and I were her muses. I would spend hours looking through boxes and albums of pictures she had taken. It was fascinating to me.
As an adult, my love for photos grew even more so once I had children of my own. I mostly shot with cheap, disposable cameras but the pictures were precious to me none the less. Once digital cameras came out I knew this was something I could really delve into and eventually I bought my first DSLR: A Nikon D7000. I got Photoshop and started playing with that, as well as finding pro photographers online that had educational classes and tutorials. They were vital in helping me improve my skills and knowledge of cameras, shooting and editing. I started taking photos of my pets and kids and before I knew it, I was hooked! I upgraded my camera to a Nikon D750 and invested in some lenses. I started showing my photos on Facebook and soon after I had family members requesting sessions. Things really started to progress after that and it wasn’t long before I realized this could be more than just a hobby for me. I had found my calling.
Photography has been such a joy, especially once I focused on doing Newborn Sessions. I could cuddle with those sweet babies all day! The struggle for me was getting paying clients and learning the business side of being a photographer. I was in a very small town and didn’t have a clue on how to market myself. I decided to take some business and marketing online courses and that really taught me a lot. I also took numerous courses on Newborn safety, posing, lighting, and so much more. I knew Newborn photography was what I wanted to specialize in so I wanted to make sure I invested in myself as much as possible. As a parent myself, I know how hard it is to entrust a stranger with your brand new baby.
I decided to take Vanessa Durfee Photography, to the professional level in 2016. I focused on families, maternity and newborns. I also did seniors and pets. I enjoyed them all but felt like I was all over the place and not able to really settle into one thing. I decided to specialize in newborns and maternity about 2 years ago and it has been extremely rewarding. My love for newborns has been lifelong, even as a child. It takes a lot of patience and calm energy. I pride myself on my ability to soothe a crying baby into a sweet little sleeping angel, ready for their pictorial debut. Of course, not all babies are easy, but I have a pretty good track record in that regard.
In addition, I love creating beautiful works of art with my maternity clients. Getting the pose just right to show off the baby belly is vital! I take the time to really get to know what type of maternity session the mamas-to-be are looking for and then make that happen for them. Some sessions are more casual, outdoor types and others are more artistically done. It’s all about creating that beautiful portrait that my clients can’t live without and will love forever.
For me, success is all about being in love with what you do. Money is fine and dandy but I have seen so many people who dread their jobs, jobs that pay very well, and I’ve seen the stress and anxiety it can cause. You always hear that if you love what you do, it’s not a job, and I am a firm believer of that! And, if you love what you do, the rest will come. As for me, there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing your client’s expression when they view their portraits for the first time. These are treasures they will keep forever of a very fleeting moment of their child’s life, and I helped create that for them. It truly is the best and most rewarding aspect of photography for me.