Swoon-worthy. Stunning. Drop-dead gorgeous. Los Angeles-based photographer William Innes’ wedding photography is all of these and more. There’s a reason why he’s been voted Best Wedding Photography for nine years straight on WeddingWire!
But William doesn’t just shine behind the camera, he’s also a professional speaker and educator who travels the globe teaching and inspiring others in his craft. You can catch him this month at ShutterFest in St. Louis April 23-24, where he’ll be giving talks on posing weddings and families, as well as how photographers can improve their workflow.
William kindly shared a bit of his story with us. We love hearing how ProPhoto users achieve their dreams, and for William, pursuing his passion took him from a career as an aerospace executive to being one of the most sought-after wedding photographers in the business. We think you’ll find his story as inspiring as his photographs.
Please tell us a little about yourself. How did you become interested in photography, and how did you get started in the professional photography world?
I became fascinated with photography at an early age, thanks to my father. It was his 35mm camera that got me hooked. I am definitely both right- and left-brained, and I loved all the controls on the camera and the way it felt in my hands. I still love the way cameras feel to this day. A manufacturing career called after college, and I found myself traveling the globe as president of an aerospace company that specialized in aircraft engine components. I had given up photography for 13 years, but during a business stopover in Washington, D.C., I visited a camera shop and left with new equipment and a rekindled love for photography. That was over 15 years ago. I have been a full-time professional photographer for about 12 years now.
What types of services do you offer?
I shoot 30 weddings per year, and also do travel photography and a little commercial photography.
Do you have a guiding philosophy as a photographer? Or maybe for life in general? 🙂
It is hard work! You have to keep pushing yourself every day to grow–both professionally and personally.
How has ProPhoto helped with your business?
ProPhoto has made the process of having an amazing website so easy. The results look like there were a lot of time and effort involved, when in fact it only took a few hours to get it all up and running.
What’s something you’ve learned that you wish you had known when you were just starting out as a professional photographer?
You do not need to have every new piece of gear and software. You can usually make it work with the gear you have.
What’s something that has helped you market your business online?
For me, it started with going out to meet vendors and venues in person, in order to build relationships. Once that groundwork is laid and people start referring you, you need to be online with a killer website.
Lots of newer photographers struggle with deciding on how to set their pricing. Would you be willing to share a little about your experience with deciding on that, and advice for others who are trying to make those decisions?
Don’t base it on what others are charging. That is a huge mistake. Base it on your costs, including your time and labor. Then mark it up to cover all your expenses (overhead) and add in your profit. Price your work based on what you are worth, with profit.
What inspires your photography?
Other photographers. It is so easy to get inspired these days–it’s called Instagram. 🙂
Do you have any new projects/ventures in the works that you’d like to tell us about?
Lots of travel photography–which is my passion. I am leading a workshop in Vietnam this September on culture, food, and photography, and that has me very excited.
We’re so glad you followed your dream, William–and we’re sure your clients feel the same way! 🙂
ProPhoto users, do you have an interesting story to share? We’d love to feature you in an upcoming Spotlight interview. Let us know if you’d like to chat!