Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Tannenbaum.
Hi Laura, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’m Laura Tannenbaum, the woman behind the camera of Oh, Tannenbaum Photography. I’ve been living in San Antonio with my husband and two dogs for a little over 10 years now.
As a kid, photography was always a hobby of mine after I got my first film camera when I was about 12. I was the kid documenting my life with disposable cameras. After I got my first digital camera, the hobby turned into a passion. As I started to travel more, the passion continued to grow. I was deeply invested in photography wherever I went. Simply snapping photos of my family and friends was no longer enough, I had to capture the cityscapes, landscapes, and everything in between! Everyone had a camera on their phones, but I felt compelled to carry my DSLR anywhere I went: through cities, hikes up mountains, everywhere.
The thought of turning my passion into a profession was a daunting one. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I quit my job and was trying to figure out what to do next that I took the leap. Do I stay in a legal career I spent years preparing for (even though I wasn’t in love with it) or start from scratch with something new? Someone I know suggested I start a photography business and team up with her on a project. And that small push was all I needed. Within a month, I was up and running.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It’s always been two steps forwards and one step back. Launching a business in a competitive space and growing quickly meant I had to backtrack at times to handle the business aspect, which meant less time to focus on the more creative aspects of my job.
Of course, like all businesses, the pandemic has been a massive challenge for my business as well. Every small business owner was affected when the closures started. We had to get creative on how to keep going amid a new reality. I was only two years into my business when everything shut down. Aside from not being able to work, I had to find ways to continue marketing my business when I had no new content to share. So, I used that time to update my systems, my website, catch up on blogs, and explore new locations.
The way I photograph people had to change a little, too. Wearing a mask and not being able to physically interact with a client (to adjust hair, hand placement, give an encouraging high five, etc.) was a hurdle we all had to overcome. Photography is intimate. You have to create an atmosphere for your clients where they feel comfortable in front of the camera and show their true self to you. As a family photographer, being able to create this environment for kids is important. Being able to see your photographer’s face helps. Being able to be close to your clients to talk, explain, and guide helps. During the early phases of the pandemic, needing to provide a safe distance and wearing a mask added a unique challenge to sessions. Often, I’d forget I was even wearing a mask and would make goofy faces at kids and then realize “Oh! Right… they can’t see me.”
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I focus on lifestyle portrait photography, specializing in families. I love to photograph every stage of becoming a family from couples, to maternity, to newborn, or to a family of seven with teenagers. Capturing real moments between loved ones is what I enjoy the most. Rather than posing clients to create a perfect “everyone smiles and says ‘cheese’” moment, I photograph moments that are already perfect because they are real. My families are encouraged to be themselves and show off their individual personalities and family dynamics.
Every family is different and I want their photos to reflect that. I do this by letting my clients choose where their session takes place, allowing them to wear clothes that fit their style, not mine, and capturing those truly candid moments when people are less focused on the camera or what they look like but instead on how they are feeling in the moment when looking at their child or spouse. My clients can also expect a little bit of a workout during their session because there is a lot of play and exploration involved.
What matters most to you?
I want my clients to walk away from a session with photos they can put in an album, not just on a holiday card or as decor in their home. I want families to open a physical album years later, when their kids are grown, and reminisce on what it felt like to hold their child’s little hand, or laugh at a photo because they remember why they were smiling goofily or why their toddler was crying, or to tell their kids about something they used to love doing at that age because there’s a photo that reminds them. Rather than just creating beautiful images to hang on a wall, I want to create moments that can be revisited. Because memories fade, but photos last.
- One hour portrait session – $300
- Newborn session – $350
- Two hour couples portrait session – $350
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.ohtannenbaumphotos.com
- Instagram: @ohtannenbaumphotos
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/ohtannenbaumphotography
Brittney Welch Photography (main photo)