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Meet Samantha Davis of Samantha Davis Photography

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Davis.

Samantha, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I first picked up a camera and used it for something else besides pictures of myself (I had to have a good profile picture for MySpace) at the age of 15. I frequented shows and concerts and offered to take pictures of the band members for free as long as they could get me on stage.

My portfolio began to expand and I was becoming relatively well known in the Virginia music scene. When I was 16, after proving to my mom that I was going to stick with photography, she bought me my first DSLR camera. At the time, the camera she bought me was over $900 and as a single mom, it was a big purchase. I started to experiment more and loved taking pictures of everything and everybody. My camera never left my sight, I even took it to school with me every single day.

That same camera shot my first family session at the age of 16, my first wedding at the age of 17, and my first newborn shoot at 18. That camera was with me when I graduated high school and had no idea what I was doing with my life. That camera made me money after I had my son and couldn’t work. That camera was everything to me for 9 years (that’s right, 9 years. I didn’t upgrade my camera until February of 2017).

When I moved to Georgia and married my husband, I decided to rebrand myself. I almost had to; my business card had my maiden name and an outdated phone number on them. So I came to Georgia where I knew virtually no one and had no clientele. I was competing with other photographers for clients with outdated equipment.

For a long time, I carried that around like a chip on my shoulder but what was truly remarkable was the quality pictures I was putting out with a camera that old. I learned so much from that first camera and updating was such a drastic transition but I hit the ground running and shot a wedding 5 days after learning the ropes with the new camera. Today, I am 25 years old and I primarily shoot children/families and weddings. I service all over metro Atlanta. I am a full-time student and I will be graduating in May from Clayton State University.

I am a mother of a four-year-old son and I have an amazing husband who has been nothing but supportive of my photography. I never intended for this to become a business, I picked up a camera because I loved creating artwork and I loved the way taking pictures of people made them feel. I pick up my camera every day for the same reason, not because it is my job but because I truly love it. I am so excited to see where 2018 will take my business and I am looking forward to meeting new people and capturing more memories.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I wish I could say that but I would be lying straight through my…. keys? The main struggle for me I would say is the decision to not throw my entire existence into this business I have made. I am going to school for something other than photography, I have a family who needs a lot of my attention and I love to spend time with.

Sometimes I will catch myself drooling over photographers who are off shooting weddings every weekend, who have photoshoots booked constantly but I have to remind myself that I never wanted that. Some days I think I do but those photographers have made it their life and conduct themselves and advertise themselves in that manner. I love that photography is a way that I am able to express myself creatively and also make some money while going to school and staying at home with my son.

The second obstacle is self-doubt. I suppose that goes for anyone, artist or non-artist. Piggy-backing off the first comment I made, it is so easy to compare myself to other artists but the one thing that makes myself unique and makes my art and photography unique is that it is mine.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Samantha Davis Photography – what should we know?
I photograph people. I call myself a lifestyle photographer because I am just that. I aim to capture people in their own beautiful way. I love capturing important milestones; engagements, weddings, pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, newborns, etc. I love being able to tell a story through my images and knowing that my clients will have a small glimpse of time that they can cherish forever.

I am most proud of how far my company has come from when I started at the age of 15. I hope that all my clients refer to me as a family, I still have brides who text me personally and I get invited to birthday parties for the children I have photographed. I love that I have left a little mark on all of these families lives.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My husband and my mom, hands down. My mom was my earlier supporter. She always believed me and gave me the unfiltered truth, always. She thinks the world of my work and not just because I am her daughter, at least I hope so… mom?

My husband has and currently does play a huge role in the success of my photography. He keeps me motivated and engaged. He picks up the slack around the house when I have a photoshoot or when I need to edit. He has driven to photoshoots and waited in the car for me. He has been my equipment donkey for photoshoots. He is my sidekick, my shoulder to cry on and my advocate, hands down. He has been there through the tough times and the celebrations.

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