The story of a photographer
I grew up in front of the lenses of my parents' cameras. My mother, an art hobbyist with a creative eye, and my father, a romantic comedy film director. I was given disposable cameras throughout my childhood and a polaroid to play with and create. I have always enjoyed being behind the scenes and observing the world around me. I started taking portraits in high school to document my friends, continued through college, and was a contributor to the school paper. Since then, I have participated in art shows, been published, and have been lucky enough to work with many inspiring people.
I love a great love story and that is why storytelling through photos has always been my purpose. My goal is to work with non-traditional individuals, couples, and families . . . to create images that break down societal norms, and show that all kinds of people and love are valid and beautiful.
What should the customer know about your pricing?
I price competitively with other photographers in my area, and perhaps a bit lower, as I am sensitive to my budget-conscious clients. I also offer booking incentives to repeat clients.
What education and training do you have that relates to your work?
My BFA minor is in photography and I have taken other college level courses as well. I am also mentored by other industry professionals.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
My friend Ellie asked me to take her engagement photos for $50 when I graduated college in 2011 and I have been working as a lifestyle photographer ever since.
What types of customers have you worked with?
All kinds! LGBTQ+ is my specialty. Individuals, pets, couples, families, Airbnb rental property owners, and all ethnicities.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Typically, I will direct you to my website to complete my contact form. This form does a great job at asking what you are looking for. From there, I will provide a rate sheet based on the service you are seeking and we will set up a time to chat over the phone or on Zoom. If we proceed with the booking, I will draft a contract and collect a 50% non-refundable deposit to secure your booking. Leading up to your shoot date, we will be in touch over email or phone and all details will be notated in writing. I will help with scouting locations, finding information on permits, and drafting event photo timelines. If you are booking a wedding or elopement, I will scout the location prior to your date to familiarize myself. The day of the shoot, I will arrive early with my main camera and my back up, with fully charged batteries, clean lenses, and empty memory cards. I run backup memory cards during our shoot. During our session, I will help direct you in a natural and candid way, as I have a more photo journalistic approach. After your session, I immediately upload your photos to my computer, cloud drive, and external hard drive. I also keep your memory card backups until your album is delivered. I will send you sneak peek the next day to five days after the shoot date. Your gallery delivery time depends on the service that is booked. When you gallery is complete, you will get an email with a login to view and download your gallery. I recommend that you download immediately and back up to a cloud and external hard drive for safe keeping. I encourage you to share and tag me in photos, and leave a thoughtful review once you have viewed your gallery.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I shot an engagement for a LGBTQ+ couple in the Angeles National Forest. The drive took 1.5 hours each way and the shoot took 2-3 hours. But we got the most magical forest scenery and the light was perfection!
What advice would you give a client looking to hire a photographer?
Make sure you vibe with them and always do a consultation call. If you are booking a wedding package, do an engagement session with the photographer you are seeking to hire for the wedding.
What questions should customers think through before talking about their project?
Knowing your budget range is key. Do not ask for free services, especially if you've never met the professional before. Ask if your pro carries liability insurance if you are shooting at a venue or residence. If your pro does not provide a contract, neither of you are covered, if the worst happens.
“Emily Claire Petrie is a master in her craft! I am so inspired by the ease, eloquence, patience and love that she pours into every photo she captures! She is THE BEST photographer that we have come across and will be working with her for years to come! Our family thanks you for doing what you do so brilliantly!”