Today, we interview Norway-based photographer Lena Saugen of www.lenasaugenphotography.com about her photography business.
Lena is an experienced pro photographer with the goal of capturing the magical interaction between animals and people. In addition to weddings and rider portraits, she also does illustrations for EQUILIFE.
I live just outside Oslo in Norway.
I work as a freelance photographer beside my job as an advisor for the Drama-television department at NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Company).
It’s not easy to describe my own personal style, but perhaps I could say it’s a mix of documentary, romantic and poetic? I work mostly with the paid assignments nowadays where I try to bring out a special feeling or specific atmosphere given from the place I’m in whether it’s a wedding, equine photography or editorial. When I work with my personal projects they are different.
I started to use Lightroom a year ago, as a supplement to Photoshop. I really love LR, and always import my projects in LR before importing to Photoshop. It is a great tool for my workflow. Use the library module as an effective way to categorize and name the different pictures, so it is easy to make quick selections. I also use the developing module for basic adjustments, and import to PS for more complicated actions/retouch etc. I use Jottacloud for backup and in addition I have external hard disks for extra storage and safety.
Since I have an almost full – time job, my photo business is still not too big. But hopefully I will find more time in the future to spend on my photo business. My main assignments are weddings, portraits, editorials and quite lot of Equine photography for both magazines and private clients.
I have a long & lasting passionate relationship with photography. Changed from analog to digital camera in 2008, and started to do small personal projects just to get started. I published some of these images on FB – and that really made an impact
– on my small slow growing business. People started asking me to photograph their horses or take portraits, and word was spread by mouth. In 2011 I had my first big wedding assignment, and my business has just been increasing and my work has been shown in several magazines, like Kentaur in Sweden, Kavallo in Switzerland, Madame magazine in Dubai, Equilife in Norway. Also been featured in Norways biggest weekend newspaper magazine.
Social media like FB has really been a door opener for me. I made my own website approx. a year ago – on WordPress. I would describe myself as a not very computer skilled person, so after a while, I found WP a bit frustrating and a bit difficult to manage. I discovered PhotoDeck via some fellow photographers, and I really like the concept. But I can’t really underestimate the importance of people talking about your work and spreading the word.
Perhaps it is having a paid job besides the photo business which makes it more comfortable to pick the projects you want and keeping up the passion and dedication for photography.
I have made several mistakes, and will for sure do in the future as well, but then I learn, and make an effort to continuously improve myself. I’ve done stupid mistakes like not bringing enough memory cards, no tripod, not right lens etc. and the result is that I now bring far too much gear !
I hope to continue doing what I love the most and finding the right balance between my own projects and paid jobs. Work hard and hopefully continuing to develop myself.
Work hard and follow your heart. Practice and practice! It might be easier if you start to photograph what you have a real passion for.
Find the right balance between doing personal work and paid assignments.
I love my new PhotoDeck website. I really like the simple, clean design, developed for photographers.Like that there are many possibilities for customization. It took me a few days to set up my web site, and for a non-technical person like me I managed to do it all by myself.
That said, I have several adjustments I want to make. But then again, I have the basics ready on my site, and love the easiness of uploading new images, making private galleries for customers etc. Works perfect for weddings, for example, with up to 300 – 400 images I want to display.
Basically the same as I think – clean, nice design, looks very professional.
First of all, you are excellent when it comes to personal service! Very quick to respond by mail and come up with suggestions on solutions. Since I am quite new on PhotoDeck – I am not an elaborate user yet, I am sure I will make use of your expertise in the future.
Too early to say, it works perfect for me so far.