What is your DWF Username? marissa moss
What is your Full Name? marissa moss
What is your business Location? Tampa, Florida
What is your website URL? www.marissa-moss.com
What’s your facebook page URL? www.facebook.com/marissamossphotography
How many years have you been in business? 2-1/2

Was there life before photography or has this been a lifelong passion for you?
I have a degree in interior design from the university of florida and went right into corporate interiors after graduation. I worked for a really wonderful firm in los angeles and had a great experience there. I really value that time working as part of a small company and having a really wonderful project manager above me and a boss very interested in letting his employees develop and foster their potential.

How did you become a professional photographer?
Just like so many others… I’m self-taught through hours (and hours and hours) spent reading many books, and browsing lots and lots of blogs, and stalking forums and taking hundreds and hundreds of very bad photographs. I was also extremely interested in the business side of the deal. I like owning my own company and being responsible for my own successes and failures.

What’s been your biggest business challenge? How have you faced that challenge?
Just taking the first big step was the hardest part! In the beginning there are 10,000 things that all seemed mutually important and I wanted everything finished at once and there just weren’t enough hours in the day. I still get that feeling fairly often, but it’s easier to focus on one aspect at a time. In those first 6 months everything needed to be created from scratch and there weren’t any systems in place, because the systems needed to be created too. It was so over-whelming!

I also tried to do everything with purpose and thought and I avoided taking short cuts that I’d regret down the road, which has helped tremendously! I never had to dig myself out of the hole of being a photographer that will shoot your family and give you a disc all for $100, because I never let myself be that photographer – even when it was tempting.

What’s the most effective way you’ve found to market your studio?
Just good ol’ word of mouth, which is turbo-boosted by way of facebook. I post images from every session (after the sale!) and every wedding onto facebook and encourage the clients to tag themselves.  I know, so not innovative… but I’ve kept busy enough that I haven’t had to explore other means of marketing (yet).

If we needed a photographer today why would we book you? What makes you unique?
I am approachable and honest and upfront and I don’t employ high pressure sales techniques. Oh, and I’ll do a good job. I think my website/facebook/blog are all very honest representations of my work and you’ll get my full effort to make sure your images are of the same quality and standards. I’m also easy to work with, and I’ll show up on time and in a good mood. What more do you need? ;)

What is the one item used in your shooting or editing workflow you can’t live without? What makes it indispensible?
Lightroom! When I meet the rare wedding photographer that doesn’t use lightroom (or aperture), I just literally cannot wrap my brain around how that is possible. It’s so, so, so clutch.

What advice would you give to an aspiring photographer?
Plan out your business so that you know what you need to do to make it work. Both strategically and financially. If you aren’t ready to charge an appropriate amount for your services, than don’t launch your business. People get trapped being the low end photographer that they don’t want to be and then they feel frustrated and overworked and underpaid. Start out on the right foot.

What has the DWF done for your business?
I learn things I never knew I needed to learn. Questions I never would have even thought of are asked and answered and I’m there reading to reap the benefits. It’s also a HUGE resource for me when making purchasing decisions on software and equipment.

How do you use the DWF?
I lurk… a lot. haha. I’m so bad about posting – but I’m going to try to be better!! I just love to sit back and read and read and take it all in.

Optional, but come on, be a sport: If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
I’d love to be able to control time; to speed up the hard parts in life, to sloooow down the good parts, and to take a big timeout and curl up for a nap in the middle of a hard work day or a 10 hour wedding without missing a beat.
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