"I have loved photographing people and capturing emotions that you just can't get with landscape photography," Johnstone says of her shift in focus. Ironically, she was inspired to shift to photographing weddings after a bad experience with her own wedding photographer.
"I was inspired and, at the same time, driven to create a niche in our Lake Tahoe/ Reno market that would give others a better experience than we had as a bridal couple," she explains. "We wanted to make a difference and provide our clients an experience they could be proud of. My expertise as a photographer, coupled with Trevor's graphic design background, was just what we needed to jumpstart a successful wedding photography business."
She and Trevor opened their business in 2005. Then, in 2008, she made the move from part-time wedding photographer to full-time studio owner. Johnstone admits that the move was a risky one for them because of the economic downfall. She now considers surviving her first full-time year to be one of her biggest accomplishments as a photographer.
"We creatively designed a variety of portrait promotions and monthly specials that brought in the additional income we needed to sustain our studio," Johnstone says, remembering how they made it that first year. "Going full time quickly taught me that my business success was driven primarily by business management and marketing...and secondly by my talent."
While Johnstone Studios still does a wide variety of portraits, including families and children, Johnstone says that wedding photography is her favorite work. "I enjoy taking the elements of the wedding day--the weather, venue, atmosphere and couple--and creating amazing imagery just for them. Each wedding is a new opportunity to create something unique and fresh."
As you can see, Johnstone has worked hard to keep her business alive and thriving, while maintaining her love for the art. And she believes that becoming a member of Professional Photographers of America (PPA) was one of the best things she ever did for her business.
"Driven by national resources, PPA offers a perspective outside of our local industry from which we cull ideas to implement in our business," Johnstone adds. "PPA is a universally helpful membership organization, providing business advice, protection for our business practices, networking with amazing colleagues and access to numerous resources. Where else can you get all this from one organization?"
Johnstone Studios won Best Wedding Campaign in the 2009 AN-NE Marketing Awards. Read more here.
Read more about Tourine Johnstone here.
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