We talked to: Tiffany Chapman Photography
Hi, Tiffany! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your photography business?
My love for photography started over 20 years ago; I have had a camera since my boys, who are now 29 and 23, were born. My husband bought me my first really good camera in 2011, after we moved to the area. In 2013, I saw a post on Facebook of another local photographer in Hatfield. We met for coffee, and we quickly became best friends. She mentored me for almost two years, and we did senior pictures and weddings together. Then, in 2015, a friend of mine asked me to shoot her friend’s wedding, which is how I officially got into the business. I went on to do many weddings, seniors shoots, and families to begin with.
In 2016, as my business was growing, I was in a Facebook group and saw a photographer asking for an assistant for a women empowerment portrait shoot day. As my compensation for helping, the photographer I assisted said she was going to treat me to a hair and makeup session, and then to having my pictures taken. Those photos were honestly life-changing for me, as I’d never loved a photo of myself until then. I feel certain that these photos helped to propel my business forward, as I looked more professional and it gave me a brand and vision to follow. I began doing more portrait work, and had my friends come to my home in Haydenville for complimentary hairstyling, makeup, and photos to gain experience and add to my portfolio. I went on to rent a space from a local photographer for a couple of years before moving into my current studio, which I discovered through my friend Tracy Roth, in Florence. I’ve now been there for over four years!
From 2019 to 2020, I was attracting more and more clients, from women-owned business owners to realtors. I was also still working full-time in IT for Trinity Health, where I’d been for18.5 years. I ended up getting laid off in 2020, so it was a truly bittersweet time for me, as I loved my IT career, but also realized it was an opportunity for me to finally live my dream job.
My approach is to give people a chance to meet me before they book a session, as well as to give clients the opportunity to “go shopping” in my studio and try on clothes they might not otherwise wear/purchase for themselves. They also have the opportunity to have a full hair and makeup session pre-shoot, and truly feel like a model for a day.
What are some challenges you endured, and what are some positive things that you’ve learned/that have come out of the past two years?
Being laid off from my IT position was initially very challenging, especially since my husband was put on medical leave from his job as a police officer at the same time.
I was also feeling a bit burned out from the number of weddings I was shooting, as it can be taxing on the body, and I wanted to switch gears. That’s when I really started to focus on what I could do in my studio. There are ups and downs, but I also have a wonderful community and fantastic clients who help to promote my services. I also feel like photography has brought out an extroverted side of my personality that I did not necessarily know existed before!
Another positive in the past year is The Resilient Project, which is a passion project I’ve been working on with Megan Marie Allen of The Community Classroom which features, uplifts, and promotes local business women.
As a business owner, what do you do to unwind/relax/rejuvenate?
I enjoy kayaking, though I don’t have as much time to do it as I would like! I love doing yoga at Yoga of the Valley (shout-out to Laura!), hiking, and walking in nature. I also get on my Peloton and ride at least a few times a week. I’m also trying to stick to a daily habit of taking some time to read, meditate, or just breathe and chill out.
What are some exciting events, photoshoots, etc. that you have coming up?
My monthly headshot days are just so fun—I started them back in April. We are also working on kicking up phase two of the Resilient Project, so stay tuned for that! I’ve also been doing Instagram Lives to keep the momentum and buzz going. It’s a new experience for me, but I’m really enjoying interacting with people in that manner.
I’m also working on moving my brand more toward luxury and the idea that a client can be treated like a queen OR King for a day. I want everyone to walk away feeling great about getting photos for work, to pass down to family one day, or just for fun. I want to encourage people to treat themselves and also make memories with my help!
Fun little new Q: what’s your favorite summer food?
I would say vibrant summer fruits, including watermelon and blueberries. I also love corn on the cob, and my family and I are currently working on tweaking and perfecting our Street Corn recipe!