New book

Photo Nuts and Post is the third installation in the Photo Nuts series and it just launched!
Written by professional photographer, Neil Creek, it gives you the tools you need to make processing work for you. Even if you have experience in editing, you can always learn new tricks.
To celebrate, they are offering 33% off if you buy today -Click here to read more!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Featured Vendor: Chasing Dreams

This weekend was spent searching through thrift stores, looking for neat clothes for photo shoots and props. I came across some great finds that I will share with you tomorrow. Right now, I want to share with you an awesome photographer who also runs another business called, Chasing Dreams. She so graciously agreed to let me ask her some questions about her wonderful business!

I am Colleen, wife to my best friend and mom to six (four boys born to me and two little girls born in my heart). My company is "Chasing Dreams".

What type of product do you offer to photographers?

I create high resolution textures for photographers to use to enhance their photographs and fine art. I offer a wide variety of textures that can also be used to design cards, blogs, storyboards amongst other things. I often use my textures to add color to an image while removing the texture. There are so many things you can do with textures and I find myself discovering something new every day.

What made you want to start this kind of business?

I started out in photography and soon found myself addicted to photo shop. I came across some really cool textures on flickr and thought "hey, I can do that". I started messing around with color and brushes. The more I played, the more I wanted to play!!!!! I Googled and researched textures like crazy. Before I knew it I was creating textures for my own personal use and asking(begging) a few friends to test them on some of their photographs. A few of those "tester" friends encouraged me to put a small set of textures together and sell them on my photography site. I didn't advertise, I placed them on my blog and that was that! I could not imagine that anyone would want to pay me money for my scribbles. Then along came Angie (iheartfaces). Angie came across my textures when I entered an iheartfaces challenge. She wrote to me and asked if I would be interested in doing a giveaway on her blog. After I jumped out of my skin with excitement I wrote back saying "yes yes yes".. Angie put me on the map and I will be forever grateful to her!!! My textures started to sell like crazy!!! So to answer your question, I would have to say that Angie made me want to start a business.

What is your favorite of your products?

Oh my goodness this is a tough one. Every time I create a new set I think to myself "this is my favorite". I tend to create around feelings, family or a time in my life. I would have to say at the moment "The Tour of Europe" Collection is my favorite. I also love "The House of Vintage" which was designed from old wallpaper and other scraps I found in a box of my Grandmother's belongings. I am working on a new set called "Songbird" and the textures are being designed around my late Grandmother's favorite piano pieces. My Grandmother was an artist and piano teacher and I spent almost every day with her. I am really happy with the way the new set is turning out.

Are you a photographer as well, or at least a photo-taking junkie?

Yes I am a photographer as well. Although some may say I'm a photo-taking junkie LOL Either title is ok with me. I love viewing the world from behind my lens. I photograph children, families and seniors. I think children are my favorite because they are so unpredictable

Do you have a favorite photographer that you drool over their photos?

There are several photographers that I drool over. Amy Wenzel's work is totally drool worthy!!! She captures children like no one else!! I was lucky enough to attend one of Amy's workshops last year and she is phenomenal!!! Sweet and super duper talented!!! Amy is in a class all her own. And if only I could photograph florals, still life and scenery like Sylvia Cook, Claire Penn and Isabelle La France. Their work is exquisite!! Then there is Jessica Drossin who makes everything she touches look gorgeous!!!!! As for wedding photographer's, Jasmine Star or Salvatore Cincotta are at my top drool list. They make me want to get married again just so I could have them photograph my wedding (ssshhhhh, don't tell my husband that).

What do you like to do when you aren't running your business?

This question should read "what do you like to do when you are not being a mom". My answer "creating textures and photography". For me, the role I take most pride in is being a mom...that always comes first. Although I am very proud of my business it is not what defines children and family define who I am...: )

Any advice to someone wanting to start a business?

Start off slow, research and don't be afraid to ask others for help and advice. The one thing you don't want to do is go in debt while starting up your business. Taking baby steps is smart. I believe in chasing dreams. You only live but one life, why not live it knowing that you went for it!!! I would rather fail at something knowing that I tried then succeed at something that didn't make me happy. Everybody has a story and something unique about them...find out what makes "you" unique and different from the others in the same field and use that as your plateau.

Thanks, Colleen!

Colleen is offering free textures for her fans on Facebook-check it out here.


Michelle Stiles said...

Great profile of a successful woman. I am on the verge of diving into my own business. I have found what I love to do and now I just need to jump in and make it happen. It is scary and the most exciting experience in my career. I love to read stories like this, we all need encouragement and inspiration.

redmaryjanes said...

Colleen is an amazing woman. Always the professional and extremely classy. She puts her heart and soul into everything that she does. Pure Magic!

Sylvia Cook Photography said...

I'm so glad you featured Colleen! She's one of my favorite people and photographers.
She has the most kind and generous heart, and deserves all the recognition she can get!

john said...

Very nice blog post. I love the way you covered all the perspectives of the photography from the very basics. Thanks for writing such a worth posts.
-Business Pictures

Lisa said...

I absolutely <3 Colleen and her great textures. I am pretty sure I've bought all of them so far. She's an inspiration to me as I am also a Mom first, who struggles with a full time job as well as being a startup photographer on the "side".

Kristy Jo said...

Wonderful interview! I have purchased Colleen's textures and overlays and they are amazing! Love! Love! Love them!!!

angie {the arthur clan} said...

Your interview brought tears to my eyes are such a beautiful person and I'm so glad that our paths crossed when they did!


Dita said...

Wow...what a FANTASTIC interview with a very talented lady.

Colleen's gorgeous textures add life to my photos that on first glance I might not think were very good...then I apply her "magic" and voila!

I have watched Colleen's business grow over the last year and it doesn't amaze me at all....because its always been clear that her passion for photography and textures...and anything else she sets her sights on will take her to great heights!

Thanks for spotlighting this very talented photographer!