Feb 24, 2016

Re-Branding to Fit Your Passion: An Interview with Heather Floyd of Floyd Family Photography

As an organization dedicated to passionate artists, we at NAPCP can certainly relate to the fluid aspects of art — including and especially photography. NAPCP member Heather Floyd, of Floyd Family Photography, decided last year that portrait photography was no longer primarily what she wanted to give her clientele. How do you re-brand without losing your mind and your client base? What made Heather decide she wanted to make the change to documentary photography and video? Read on to find out and be inspired!

NAPCP: We would love to know more about you and how you started your photography journey …
Heather Floyd:
My journey started long ago as I watched my mother take beautiful photos of me and my family growing up. With a borrowed enlarger and dark room, my mom developed her own film and we have many keepsake photo memories to remind us of those days. The days in which I was young, alive and free. I will never forget that time of my life and I wanted so badly to be able to give that to other people. I never thought I could actually make a true living at it so I did it as a job “on the side” for many years before deciding to quit my full time job as a veterinary technician. Many photography classes and a few life lessons later, I have decided that documentary photography is where my heart lies. And while photos are definitely a huge part of that, movies just seem to be that next awesome step in documented life. Nothing compares to little voices and the pitter patter of small feet as they run down the hallway. You can’t get that in photos. Your imagination has to come in someplace. With video, there is nothing left to the imagination other than what is not featured. Can you tell I love my job?

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NAPCP: You’re moving your business into documentary video and photography. What is it that draws you to that niche? What prompted the change in your brand?
Heather Floyd:
This last year, as I mentioned, I changed my views as to what I wanted to give my clients. Portraits are still a part of my business but a large part of what I offer is documentary photography. I want people to have the memories that I was left with as a child. Those spontaneous, silly, funny moments that, without photos, would possible be forgotten. Learning about the documentary vision that video can have, I was naturally drawn to the story telling aspect of it. It seems to be next step in today’s world of documentary photography and I am in love.

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NAPCP: Describe your ideal session.
Heather Floyd:
My ideal session would include anything that warms the heart of the family I am photographing. I truly want to capture the  moments that make them special an unique and I can only do that after I get to know them a little bit. In person consultations or lengthy phone conversations can sometimes be the best way to meet people. I can talk for hours when it comes to other people’s lives and what makes them thrive and strive. Listening to personal stories is my favorite thing to do.

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NAPCP: Why is video important in this industry? What is your favorite camera/lens for shooting video?
Heather Floyd:
I believe that video is the “next best thing” when it comes to documentary storytelling. It really is the next best thing to a still photo. While a still photo can show you a lot of emotion, the video can tell you the emotion. It really is a different feeling. I think it is important for this area of the industry to grow so that we can more creative ideas spun from this and possibly merge into something else in the future. Who knows what technology will bring forth? But for now- all I have to shoot video is my typical every day camera – my canon 6D. Zoom lenses don’t typically work as well or as easily for video in my opinion than prime lenses, but everyone has their own style when it comes to what gear to use. Are there better cameras out there? Sure. There is new technology coming out all the time. But does it matter? No. The important thing is that you are documenting life.

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NAPCP: There is very real richness and texture to your work. How did you decide to embrace life’s ‘beautiful messes’ as your style?
Heather Floyd:
While I am my biggest critic, I think that is the best thing I have heard about my work. “Life’s beautiful messes” is what life is all about. Nobody is perfect and nobody can claim to be. If we don’t remember life’s imperfections, then we have nothing to strive for, nothing to laugh at and nothing worth remembering. And, who wants “perfect” anyway?

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NAPCP: What advice do you have for others who want to change the direction or nature of their photography business?
Heather Floyd:
I think my best advice for someone that wants to change the way they do their business is that you just have to do it. If you have a passion for something, it will show in your work. People will see the difference in how you showcase it and they will want to be a part of it. It’s not just about showing people what you want to shoot, it’s also about showing people why it’s important to you and why it should be important to them. You succeed in that and you all become winners.

 

A big thank you to Heather for taking the time to speak with us about video in photography, and being brave in business changes! For more from Heather, visit her website, and Like Floyd Family Photography on Facebook.

 

Editor’s Note: The images throughout this post are stills captured from Heather’s lovely video. Thanks to her for allowing us to share them as well!

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About the Contributor: Katie, our Editorial Manager, is our wordsmith and communications extraordinaire!  After college and graduate school, she worked in the nonprofit world, and briefly in politics. She realized she'd be quickly burned out, and started writing for various lifestyle websites. Before landing at NAPCP, Katie shot product photography for Etsy shops and other small business owners. Katie also works with Pinterest, as a member of their Pinfluencer team. She is passionate about making the world a happier, more beautiful place! Katie lives for her husband and two children, updating their totally 90's home, and finding joy in the small things. Even washing dishes.

 

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