Vancity Entrepreneurs: Christie Graham Photography

Photos shape our world in many ways and influential business’s such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, have capitalized off this fact in ways that have changed human behaviour. Taking a few steps back, photos can best be brought to life when a professional takes them. Someone who understands exactly how to take them, when to take them, and how to influence the environment around them to create that perfect shot. There are very little things that have more importance than remembering weddings and newborns. This week, UBC alumni Christie Graham, talks about how she best captures these memories in her own unique style and artistic ways. 

1.     Who are you? Tell us about your business/core idea and how it got started.

Hi lovelies. I’m Christie— owner at Christie Graham Photography.

Christie Graham Photography celebrates your love story through photographs. Creating beautiful images of first loves, weddings, newborns and families to live on your wall and in your heart forever. I feel blessed to meet so many new faces each day, and believe moments of love should be honoured.

With a Minolta hanging from her neck instead of a necklace, my mom is the true inspiration for my business. But it was my dad—the business professor—who made me realize owning my own business was something I needed to go after.

2.     What got you so passionate about photography and what sorts of events/shoots take up most of your time?

While most of my time is spent shooting weddings here in Vancouver and throughout BC, I am also lucky enough to bring newborns into the studio and work with lovely families on location. 

I’m an artist at heart and my passion comes from the need to be creative in all aspects of my life.

3.     There are countless photographers that offer a similar service, what makes you stand out from the rest?

It’s all about giving a client the best experience possible—opening up to them and sharing my insights to ensure they are comfortable and confident, letting the intimate details and quirks of their love story shine through.

Since most people feel nervous in front of the camera, I’m grateful that all my clients walk away from the shoot with a smile, letting me know how much fun they (actually) had! I’m still not sure why people expect a photo session to be this scary thing, but they do. So I would say my ability to pleasantly surprise clients is my greatest asset.

Instilling confidence and ease. That’s what I do best.

4. Tell us about the long term vision of your business…how do you see yourself evolving the business?

It’s a really exciting time for Christie Graham Photography. I’ve just finished up my largest wedding season yet, and have booked fifteen weddings for 2013 already, one of which is in Ireland.

Moving forward, I hope to establish stronger relationships with local and international wedding vendors and publications. Partnering with inspiring wedding vendors is when I do my best work, so relationship building is really important to me.

5.     How do you see your business improving the city of Vancouver? What problem is your specific service solving?

A wedding photographer is often seen as an outsider.

But I don’t see it that way, and I make sure my client’s don’t either. By taking the time to get to know couples and their guests, lightening the mood with a fun game or story and providing the right amount of creative direction so no one feels nervous, I am able to get an inside look—the real look—at their personality. And those are the types of photographs that can take you back at a quick glance.

6. What’s your advice for current or future entrepreneurs?

Be open to the idea that your business is always evolving. While it’s important to have structure and processes, welcome new opportunities and try new things. Chances are it will turn into something great.

You see a lot of photographers who target the same space as Christie but her passion and entrepreneurial spirit are what sets her apart. It will be interesting to see how she grows her brand and continues to find interesting ways in capturing those memories we value most.

You can follow Christie’s work on Twitter and Facebook.

Stay in touch @pauldavidescu

*Vancity Entrepreneurs is a weekly feature on the city’s most notable entrepreneurs or startups that are making Vancouver a better place. If you think your venture deserves to be on the series, [email protected] an email explaining why*