I love taking pictures, but I don't like being in them. And I've had some bad photographers who made the situation even worse, including my wedding photographer. So...I'm not going to let that happen to you. I'm going to give you directions to make sure you look your best. I'm going to make jokes and play so that you feel relaxed. I'm going to keep the pace fast and high energy so it doesn't feel awkward...because I want you to have a great experience. So many people comment on how natural and authentic my pictures look, but it's because my clients are generally feeling relaxed. They know I'm going to make them look great, so they don't have to worry about knowing what to do. I'm going to take care of them.
Among other national and state awards, Ellen received the prestigious Kodak Gallery Award and the Professional Photographers of North Carolina President's Award for the highest scoring new artist in print competition. In 2011, Ellen received her Master of Photography degree from the Professional Photographers of America for her achievements in international print competition. Ellen was recently interviewed and featured in the international magazine Professional Photographer for her expertise in beach wedding photography. Her photography has been featured magazines such as Southern Living, Coastal Living, Southern Bride, Carolina Bride, Crystal Coast Bride, Unveiled, and The Knot. Ellen has a fine art degree from Tulane University and studied figure drawing at Oxford University in England.
(PPNC is the Professional Photographers of North Carolina)
A Personal Message from Ellen About Her Photography:
I tend to have a very spiritual view of my life, and I see photography as a God-given gift that I'm meant to share with those He matches me with. I pray before each session that God will give that client something to treasure--something that will capture what He wants you to see. For some, it may be hidden beauty that you didn't know you had. For others, it may be the joy that you feel on your wedding day. Many times it is a connection between family members. It may even be a quirky face your child makes when he's concentrating--one that he may not make forever. Whatever it is that God wants me to see, I pray that He will show it to me so that the client can treasure that memory, that moment, forever. That is the gift of photography--letting you savor a moment or a feeling forever.
On the practical side, I am consummate learner. I am driven to always grow and to push myself to the next level. I spend a lot of money on learning from the photographers I most admire--several thousand dollars a year. In return, I believe that I am a better photographer today than I was two years ago. Hopefully, I'll have grown two years from now. Each year, I pick a skill that I want to develop. Then, I focus on classes, webinars, and workshops to get me there. I want to provide the best pictures possible to my clients.
I am a former teacher and the mother of two wild boys--which has helped me develop patience and calmness in chaotic situations. I'm prepared to work with all types of children!
I prefer working by myself as an artist, though I would make more money growing my business with a team of support staff that could help me produce more. I am a bit of a control freak about my work and don't know how anyone but me could know the vision I have for my images. I want to be the one to handle them every step of the way. I also like being the one to interact with my clients throughout the creative process.
I am the typical woman who doesn't feel comfortable in front of a camera, so I spend a lot of time learning posing to make my clients look their best. I believe it is the photographer's job to understand lighting and posing so that they can flatter every figure and age group. It is a skill set that some photographers have neglected, but I think it's critically important to the client's experience and satisfaction.
My ideal client:
I want to work for someone who loves photography as much as I do. If you can't tell a difference between my images and someone else's, then you are probably wasting your money hiring me. On the other hand, if you have an emotional response to my images and would love to see yourself or your family in the same style, then I really want to work with you. If you look at my prices and immediately dismiss me, then you probably aren't my client--but, if you look at my prices, even if you can't afford them, and you reach out to me saying, "I really respond to your photography but I can't find a way to make it work financially," then I will bend over backwards to find a way to work with you. I'd rather work a low-budget wedding for a photography-loving bride than sell my top package to someone who is hiring a photographer because they just want some coverage of their event.
This is not something I share with everyone, because I have to protect my business income and provide for my family. But, if you have read all of this, then chances are you do really care about photography. I hope we can work together.
Give me a call at 252-725-3262 or email me at Ellen@EllenLeRoyPhotography.com.