Former student Angela Michelle returns to this college to give advice.
By Matthew Reyna
Before starting her lecture last week, Angela Michelle, professional San Antonio photographer, warned her audience about the risqué nature of her work.
“If you are offended by scantily clad women take a quick step out,” she said March 26 in Room 100 of Loftin Student Center.
No one stepped out. She then showed the 23 students, faculty members and other guests a series of pictures that included women wearing lingerie, bikinis and, in one case, just a pair of hands strategically placed over the woman’s breasts.
The photos consisted of fashion, boudoir, and bridal and engagement shots.
Her lecture was the first in the photography program’s Photography Enrichment Series.
Michelle, who attended this college and worked as a photographer for The Ranger in 2004, was introduced by journalism lab tech Tricia Buchhorn.
Michelle said “the power of hair, make-up and lighting” helps bring out the beauty in her clients.
“Make people see how beautiful they are and that can change how they think of themselves,” she said.
Michelle said most of her clients are women dealing with some kind of personal transition, such as divorce or major weight loss.
“Seeing yourself outside of yourself can transition the way you think of yourself,” Michelle said.
Michelle added her job allows her to shoot at interesting locations including the adult arcade Main Event and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
“It never hurts to ask,” Michelle said. “Sometimes I get to shoot at some really cool locations.”
Michelle said there is a lot more to the job than taking pictures.
“People come in and want me to come up with a creative concept for them,” Michelle said.
She credited hair, make-up and wardrobe artists for increasing the quality of her work.
Michelle stressed great photographers do not need an expensive camera to create art.
“You just need a good concept and a strong idea and you can create a great image,” Michelle said. “I am the one creating the image, not the camera.”
Michelle also gave advice on the business of photography to aspiring photographers in the audience.
She mentioned she prints the final pictures to give the client, instead of leaving the customer to find a third-party company to produce the work.
Michelle said the customers are paying for the consultation, session and order when they work with her.
“You give them a USB, they don’t know what to do with it,” Michelle said. “It’s important to finish the product all the way through.”
Michelle said knowing how to run a business is more important than being a good photographer to be successful as a business owner.
“The biggest problem with new photographers is that they don’t do the legwork of running a business,” Michelle said. “If you want to do this as a living then treat it as a business.”
“When you value yourself too low, your customers will do the same,” Michelle said. “When I raised my prices, my clients got so nice.”
Michelle attributed this to the psychology that goes into running a business. If a service costs more, potential customers will value it more.
Michelle also did a lighting demonstration using an 11-year-old girl from the audience to demonstrate different lighting techniques when photographing.
For a look at Michelle’s work, visit www.ravenredphoto.com.
Ubertronix is presenting its products at the next Photography Enrichment Series 5:30 p.m. April 2. For more information call the photography department at 210-486-1766.