We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Porter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, what do you attribute your success to?
As a photographer, I feel there is often a pull between a desire to create beautiful art and giving the best customer service experience to clients. Having clients that are not just content but exuberant about their experience, and the finished product, is first and foremost in my business. The success of my job is not hinged upon how amazing the scenery or the light is in an image. If the couple doesn’t like how they felt in the moment, or they don’t like the look in the finished product, the picture is pointless. Success is checking my ego at the door, listening, and reading the nonverbal cues of my clients to create an environment where they not only feel comfortable but confident in front of the camera. The result at the end is creating family heirloom imagery that my clients will cherish forever.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m slowly learning that what sets me apart is my personality and the client experience I offer. It’s okay to not be the right photographer for every couple and to also not try to be a copycat version of other photographers as well. I love that there is never a sense of arriving as a photographer. There is always a mindset of digging deeper and yearning to capture the next best image. Each session and wedding is a building block for me to be able to do my best work. The block that I’m laying is my highest brick, and the goal is that the next brick will be the next highest. In this way, there is always a continual progression forward and upward which ensures that each client gets the very best from me. The leap from hobbyist to career photographer is the most daring professional leap that I’ve ever made. If someone wants to be a successful business owner, they need to sit down and set long term goals and be realistic with expenses vs income. Many very creative people, who desire to be successful creatives, burn out due to lack of planning and goal setting.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I was born and raised in northern Colorado so it holds a special place in my heart. I’m blessed to have Rocky Mountain National Park less than an hour’s drive from my house. I love supporting local businesses and weaving them into the perfect Colorado day. A drive up the Poudre Canyon to Estes Park via the Glen Haven route is gorgeous. The Glen Haven General Store for some homemade cinnamon rolls is a must-stop on the way to this mountain adventure. Spending the day in RMNP is never a disappointment with its awe-inspiring views and wide-open spaces. Ending the day with dinner in Estes Park at Bird and Jim Restaurant is a must for true Colorado cuisine. A weekend in Vail will always render a lifelong fan of any out of state guest as well. When I’m closer to home, I have a few local favorites: The Hearth restaurant in Windsor, brunch at Snooze A.M. Eatery in Fort Collins or Jersey style pizza at Right Coast Pizza in Greeley.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There have been various people, groups, and training throughout my career that have helped shape and guide my profession. My business partner is my husband, and he truly has been the foundation and bedrock for the success of SPP. As I reflect on this question, my mind also drifts to a fellow photographer, Callie Hobbs Photography. Callie took me under her wing, and has been a mentor and friend to me for the last 4 years. Callie’s friendship and support have meant so much to me and she’s been my own personal cheering squad. With the onset of COVID the wedding industry turned inward and we all looked to our fellow vendors for support and encouragement. I can point to many other people and groups who have been an encouragement and helped me succeed. Colorado has something unique in that we have banded together through this difficult year instead of incorporating a competitive and cutthroat mentality. I’ve always been proud to be a Colorado native but I’m equally proud to be a part of such a supportive wedding industry.
Other: TikTok: @sarahporterphotos
Sarah Porter Photography