My Photography Journey

Denise Benson photography


My Photography Journey


Some of you have been here from the very start and some of you may have just found me this year.  And even if you’ve been here from the get go you likely don’t know my full photography story.  How this went from just a hobby to a full time career (one of which I never even intended on having!).  I don’t want to bore you with a ton of minute details, but thought it may be fun for you to see how things progressed over the last (almost) 12 years!

In the spring of 2009 I decided to take an Intro To Photography course at York Technical College.  It was a night class that met twice/week.  I wanted to learn how to take nice photos that could produce a “clear subject and blurry background”.  Since insurance was my 9-5, I needed a creative outlet as a hobby.  During the course of this class I bought my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D40.  For 2 years I played around, practicing on mostly inanimate objects (flowers, shoes in my closet, my mom’s Christmas tree, the beach, etc).

In April of 2011 I took my best friend and her pup to the park to capture some images, uploaded those photos to Facebook and next thing I knew…I had a budding side gig on my hands.  I immediately began receiving requests for photoshoots.  And because this wasn’t anything I expected (I just bought the camera and took the class for fun) I didn’t know how to price myself accordingly and shot everything from baby showers to little league football games.  And for family shoots…yeah…I was charging around $45 for an hour long session (we’ve come a LONG way!).

On December 7, 2012 I decided to move my work from my personal FB page to a business FB page.  I created a website and began to price myself more in line with my industry peers.  In 2014, I started up a monthly newsletter for clients so that I could share my work, current availability, etc.  That first year I had a “whopping” 67 newsletter subscribers so it blows my mind that there are over 1,000 of you following along on this journey with me now!

In February of 2017 I introduced 1:1 coaching for other photographers that wanted to learn how to create a better client experience and have come to love that part of my business more than I ever could have imagined.  It’s been such a fulfilling role for me!

Over the years I tried my hand at all sorts of photography, but eventually decided to niche down to just branding and some portraits (birthdays, seniors, maternity & bridal).  And on January 2022 I went full time. As someone that never saw myself doing this full time it’s wild to think of where I am now.

I’ve upgraded my equipment numerous times, revamped my website, had countless branding sessions for myself, and taken tons of courses (free and paid).  I’ve had really high highs (being published in magazines and working with high profile clients have made my head spin) and some really low lows (the year burnout almost took me out I knew changes needed to be made in how I ran my business).  But we’re here.  This past April I celebrated 12 years in business and if THIS is what the first 12 look like I can only imagine how amazing the next 12 will be.

Thank you for continuing on this ride with me.  I look forward to serving you as best as I can for many more years to come!



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