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Meet Whitnie Williams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Whitnie Williams.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My photography story began by looking into the camera lens. At fifteen years old, I started modeling for local department stores and runway shows. Through the years, I collected a portfolio of dream jobs that extended from Tampa to South Beach to Greece; Modeling is a part of my identity, thanks to all of the experiences I had, good and bad. Along the way, I learned the lesson of accepting myself and staying true to it… even though I didn’t realize it at the time. Being in front of a camera can be a scary thing, especially if you’re not used to it. From the beginning of my modeling career, I was always interested in what the photographers were doing with their cameras and lighting equipment. In 2009, I leaped and started my own photography practice. I started out photographing models and ended up meeting a publisher who owned a wedding magazine. From there, I worked with her as a second shooter for weddings and fell in love with capturing a story. A photo does not exist when I wake up in the morning. Hours later, I meet my client for a session or a wedding, and by bedtime, I have images that last FOREVER. That blows my hair back, gives me happiness and purpose.

Please tell us about your art.
I create my art with a full frame Nikon Df: Weddings, engagements, events, babies, baby bumps, families, pets, models, actors, bloggers, musicians. I view my photography as a practice. There is so much pressure to box ourselves into one specialty and become an expert at it. I have spent years trying to “figure out” who I am as a photographer. What is my specific genre? Am I dark and moody or light and airy? Should I only market myself as a wedding photographer to book more clients?

I got over the pressure of following the rules. I now just focus on documenting the organic version of what I see through my lens. My Instagram is a great example of that. It’s a collection of everything that I have the opportunity to photograph. Capturing happiness from my clients is my main focus. My artistic guideline is to keep my style consistent to ensure a safe investment for my clients.

I always consult with my clients to learn about what makes them feel 10 feet tall and what makes them feel a tad or a ton nervous. This circles back to my modeling days where I didn’t have that service before stepping in front of the camera. It can make you feel lost. When you have someone to guide you in feeling your best, magic happens. My superpower is inspiring people to feel understood, important, relaxed, and beautiful. My skill is adjusting all of the camera settings to make the photo happen. That’s my photography recipe.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
Success is taking a forever photo and then receiving a sweet message from your client about how happy they are. Empathy is the most important quality to have. Tuning into your client’s needs, listening to their concerns and understanding their personality is the best way to capture a great photo.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My wedding work is published on Zola.com and on my website, whitniewilliams.format.com. My favorite way to show off my work is through Instagram.

I love collaborating with the local artist community through styled shoots and volunteer events. We can all support each other by spreading the word about our art.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Sara Norine

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