The Seniorologie Directory is a listing of senior portrait photographers across the country. The purpose of the directory is to provide seniors a place to find the perfect senior portrait photographer for their senior photos. As a member of the Seniorologie Directory, photographers receive a blog post that gives them the opportunity to share a little about their business and themselves.
Today’s Seniorologie Directory Member Share is from Carolyn Ryan of Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography in New Jersey and New York. Check out her work and read all about her below.
How long have you been in business? I launched my business in 2009.
What percentage of your business is a senior? Senior portraits represent about 15% of my business, but it is growing.
What do you think makes a perfect senior session? There are so many things that make a session amazing – it could be the beautiful light during the late afternoon, the perfect location that we just happened to stumble upon, an amazing outfit with cool accessories, or just a client that is relaxed and wants to have a great time and enjoy the experience of feeling like a model during their session. Any one of these can make a session feel just perfect.
What do you love most about photographing seniors? I love seeing all the latest styles and showcasing each Seniors unique and individual style. I have fun working with all their accessories and pairing outfits together. And I’m always so impressed by the Seniors that I’ve had the opportunity to work with and learning about their goals and dreams and their hopes for the future. I’ve met some truly wonderful people, and they have bright futures ahead of them.
What would you say is the biggest challenge in your business? For the Seniors Market, it is just starting to grow in the Northeast, so just expanding and showing this as an option to Seniors and their parents has been a challenge, because it is not something that others have done in the past. But that is changing. The more my clients love their images (and I work hard to ensure they do), the more they share them with others, and new clients are then referred to me. I’m enjoying this challenge and seeing this side of the business grow.
Describe your photography style? I often use the terms bright, happy, shiny when I think of my own work. I LOVE pops of color, beautiful sunlight, and giggles and laughter.
What motivates or inspires you in your photography? Happiness. I love what I do, and I love that I have the opportunity to do what I love, and those two things make me happy. Being happy is the best motivation, and therefore I want to photograph beautiful moments with giggles, laughter, smiles and pure happiness.
Twenty Questions Game…Just for fun!
Where are you from/live? I was born and raised in Staten Island, NY, and currently live in Fanwood, NJ. I spent a few years living in NYC, and while I do love NJ and have lived here for ten years, a part of me will always be a New Yorker.
Married? Yes, almost 9 years
Kids? Yes, two children – a girl and a boy
What are their ages? My daughter is 7 1/2 and my little man is 4 years old. Nicknames: My Munchkin and Pumpkin
Nikon or Cannon? Canon
What kind of camera bag do you carry? The Tote & Shoot by ShootSac as well as the original ShootSac and my Tenba roll bag.
Favorite music to edit to? Mumford & Sons, Soundtrack from SMASH (or catching up on episodes of SMASH with the iPad next to me), and Phillip Phillips
Favorite Photoshop Action? I primarily use Kubota Actions
A photographer that inspires you? Susan Stripling – continues to amaze me with her images. I have enjoyed assisting her on a couple of occasions (you can learn by just watching her work). I love that often you look at her images and you have to ask – how did she do that?
Favorite Food? Sushi
Favorite place to shop? Local boutiques – Anais Boutique in Westfield, NJ and The Farmhouse Store in Westfield.
Favorite drink at Starbucks? Steamed Apple Cider in the Fall
Favorite Guilty Pleasure? Dessert Wine (dessert not necessary, but always a welcome pairing)
Favorite memories from when you were a senior? Acting in the school plays, working at a veterinarian’s office, attending dances at West Point, and believe it or not 7:30 am Latin Class (one of the few classes I shared with my best friend, who helped make those early mornings fun)
Favorite Quote or Saying? Two Roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
Favorite Workshop or photography event you have attended? Cliff Mautner’s Lighting and Skillset bootcamp changed how I shoot and put me on the right track to pursuing this business. Tamara Lackey’s CreativeLIVE workshops and Sal Cincotta’s Senior Tour were also extremely valuable.
Favorite Magazine? Click Magazine
Favorite Vacation Spot? Lake Placid Lodge
Favorite Movie(s)? Shining Through, American President, Family Man, and Mona Lisa Smile
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For signing up for the Seniorologie Newsletter, I would like to give you the actual model application I use in my senior business! Asking the right questions, helps you determine who is right for your program and this application will help you create one for your business!