Anita first shot us for a collaboration with another local artist and instantly made us feel comfortable and in awe of her unique approach to photography.
Anita’s thoughtful and creative take on photography really brings her photos and subjects to life that tells a story and really captures candid moments.
1.Tell us a little bit about your business?
Hello! I’m Anita, and I’m a photographer. I mostly photograph weddings, with some portraiture, family and commercial work as well. I take a candid, journalistic approach to my photography, focusing on capturing authentic moments that tell stories. I specialize in intimate weddings, such as backyard weddings, elopements, rural and outdoor venues. I also love to photograph urban weddings in Ottawa’s downtown core and of course in my own Hintonburg neighbourhood as well.
2. How did your interest in photography start?
My high school had a film photography class – I always loved the idea of photography, and once I got myself into the darkroom things just clicked, I loved it. I was probably in one of the last age groups where, during high school, not many people had cell phones (and if you did have a cell phone it certainly didn’t take photos) so this was my first real opportunity to make photos happen on a regular basis.
The first thing that peaked my photographic interest were animals – our dogs and cats, the horse I had at the time. I’ve always found animals very easy to photograph because they really don’t care that you’re taking their photo, they just do their own thing and you try to capture the right angles and moments. This is probably part of what drove my work towards a more candid style.
When I was in my early twenties I had the opportunity to start second shooting weddings with a friend, and the rest was history!
3. Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?
I honestly try not to focus on other photographer’s work all that much. I think it’s really easy to become caught up in how your own work isn’t like someone else’s, and I think that’s a dangerous and frustrating path to head down. I love looking at other photographer’s work on Instagram every now and then, but I really just try to do my own thing. If someone’s hiring me, it’s because they like my style, so I think it’s important to be true to that.
4.What is it like running your own business? What’s your day-to-day like?
I try my best to keep semi-normal Monday-Friday hours for computer work, especially for things like emails – I think it’s important to have cut off times when you work from home, or else you can easily fall into the pit of never-ending work. There’s always something to do – client work, social media, marketing, blogging, financial stuff – the work never ends, so for my own sanity I try to stay off my computer in the evenings and on weekends.
Of course, weddings and most photo-shoots end up being on weekends, and meetings with clients are often in the evenings…so I do still end up working a lot more than 40 hours most weeks!
The winter months are less busy for me, which is a nice break, but the summer is just crazy. Sometimes it’s not fantastic having literally no free weekends over the summer…but when your job is watching people throwing the biggest party of their lives to celebrate their love, you really can’t complain!
5. Who has provided the most inspiration for you along the way, as you’ve built your business?
Probably my fiancé Josh. When I left my graphic design job to try photography full-time, it was scary. It was very much a risk, I had no idea if I’d be able to get enough work, if I had it in me to run my own business…but he supported me the whole way through, he encouraged me to keep going for it and has always had my back when I become frustrated with some aspect the job. It can be tough living with a full-time creative person when you’re not one yourself, and he’s a real champ about it!
6. What do you think were the most important mistakes you’ve learned from?
Learn when to turn down clients. It can be hard (especially when you’re starting out) to turn down money, but if someone wants work done that isn’t your style you need to be honest with yourself, and with them about that. Trying to force a style of work that isn’t what you usually do will never turn out well. Focus on taking on like-minded clients, who love YOUR work, and YOUR style, it will save you a lot of headaches down the road.
7. What motivates you to continue taking pictures economically, politically, intellectually or emotionally?
I don’t think I could stop taking pictures if I tried. Visuals drive me, creating things drives me…when I’m making things I’m happy. It’s a huge rush when I really nail a photo I was trying to get. It’s amazing that I’m able to do this, to take photos and make a living doing it, and I’m incredible grateful for that every day!
8. What advice can you share with other #GIRLBOSSES in training?
Be nice to everyone, you never know how you will find yourself connected to them in the future. Trust your instincts; you know what you’re doing. Taking time off, being a workaholic isn’t something to be proud of. Ask questions, you can’t be expected to know everything. Let others help you, and help others as well. Take compliments gracefully, you deserve them!
Find Anita on:
Facebook: Anita Peeples Photography
-Country meet City