Business Name: Samantha Kurtz Photography, LLC
Where are you based out of? Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Are you currently a part-time or full-time photographer? Full-time
What is your predominant photographic specialization?
Wedding and Portraiture
What camera(s) do you currently shoot with? Canon 5d Mk II
How would you define your style?
A mix of bright, colorful, and occasionally moody. My work is highly driven by the client, light, the current season, and environment.
What motivated you to become a photographer?
My family inspired me to become a photographer. Documenting trips, family holidays, birthdays have always been important in my family. My father was always taking photos at our soccer games when my sister and I were younger. When I was seventeen he was overseas for a year. During that year, I started using his camera equipment as a way to express myself and honestly, pass the time. I started photographing my friends, landscapes, flowers, etc. and it blossomed (ha, puns) into a passion of mine. Eventually, it turned into a business.
What is it that you try to convey with your work?
Authenticity. It’s important to me to capture real, genuine moments. The everyday moments that may be overlooked because they’re not “big” moments. For example, during weddings, I love photographing children eating their cake. Talk about a face of pure joy! During family sessions, I love the little moments, such as a mom tucking her daughter’s hair behind her ear. Those moments that may not have been seen or intentional during the wedding day or session are normally my favorites.
How do you accomplish that?
A lot of patience, observation, and trying not to force moments. I try to do as little posed photos as possible but engage more in movement. So I’ll tell clients to hold hands and start walking or tell secrets to each other. Things like that. This generally produces the desired look I’m going for. For weddings, I follow the couple around during the day telling them not to pay attention to me and capture how they naturally interact with each other and their guests.
What do you do during a session or wedding day to help make your clients feel comfortable?
I do a few things. First, I tell a lot of corny jokes. If I get a natural laugh from a client it doesn’t bother me one bit that it’s at my expense. Secondly, I’m upfront and honest at the beginning and say something along the lines of, “You may feel awkward and weird for a few minutes, and that’s OK. I promise you’ll be a pro at this by the end.” I tend to find this itself is comforting to my clients and makes them feel less nervous. Lastly, I bring an “inspiration board” to my sessions as a visual for my clients. I’m a visual learner and I find when my clients have some idea of what the end product will look like, it makes them more eager to try something different.
Have you had a photographer inspire your work, and if so, who and why?
I am greatly inspired by Rosie Hardy’s work. I admire how she uses emotions, seasons, and locations as the driving force behind her work, which is not the norm but is similar to my aesthetic. It encourages me to stay true to myself and shoot how I love to.
What is your most memorable accomplishment so far in your photography career?
My most memorable accomplishment is the relationships I’ve made with clients. Many of my clients are repeat clients that I’ve photographed every stage of their life: from senior portraits to their wedding, to their family portraits. Many of my past clients have become dear friends. I love the feeling after weddings or sessions where they’re so excited to see the final product and they can’t stop thanking you for capturing their wedding day or portrait session. That is the best feeling.
What is one important lesson you have learned during your career?
Adaptability. Schedules change. Weather changes (Hello, Oklahoma!). Sometimes a groomsman forgets a tie. Sometimes you allow a certain amount of time for photos, and you have to get it done in half that time. Being able to adapt during the day and not get thrown off by it is crucial, especially for weddings.
Which Photographer Supply Company products do you currently use?
Wood Boxes and Glass Boxes
How have Photographer Supply Company products helped your business?
The wood and glass boxes from Photographer Supply Company have helped showcase my final print product for clients in a beautiful, physical way.
How has packaging elevated your brand?
Packaging has helped my business feel more personal to my clients. In a field that is dominated by digital format, it encourages clients to print their photos and display them in their homes.