We learned some fun new things about Linda, the owner of Affordable Faces Photography, during this spotlight interview! She is, for instance, a bit of an adrenaline junky it seems! Read on to learn more about this talented photographer!

Tell us a little about your company!

My company, Affordable Faces Photography, is based in Glen Allen, VA. I started it five years ago in 2010, but I had been shooting many years prior to that. My main passion is photographing weddings, but I love to do anything that involves people. I also love to photograph newborns, maternity sessions, families, and senior portraits. I am a one woman machine that runs this company from sun up to sun down!

How did you get started in this business?

Growing up, I was lucky to be raised by a mom who was a teacher, and my father was a professional photographer. It seems logical that I developed my love of photography from him. That’s partially true. As early as 3 years old, photos of me can be found holding a camera taking pictures of my stuffed animals. As I grew older, I became my father’s assistant on big shoots. He had a large studio for doing commercial work and lots of gear. During my teenage years I remember dragging around those dreaded camera bags filled with rocks it seemed. Many bags weighed the same if not more than I did! I watched my father painstakingly attend to every detail, every shadow and every wrinkle in a backdrop cloth. After all, they didn’t have Photoshop to fix things back then. I was never the one behind the camera but I sure did learn a lot about extension cords and luggage carts. Long story short, he was a very successful commercial photographer that published books, traveled all across the United States and worked hard to put food on the table for our family, but I just wanted to get my driver’s license and talk about boys!

Fast forward many years!  After working hard in another career as a designer, I kept getting requests and referrals to shoot friends’ weddings or Christmas card photos. It turned into quite the side business for me. I always enjoyed it, but Monday morning reality would always hit and it was time to punch that 9-5 time clock.

After my son was born, I couldn’t put the camera down. I was constantly photographing every milestone and documenting his adventures in life. I was also frustrated that I couldn’t get someone to photograph us the way I wanted to look. I didn’t want those cheesy studio shots, but I couldn’t afford a high end photographer either. Photo sessions were always too posed or too rushed for me. I was in very few photos as you could imagine since I”™m the one holding the camera.

I spent the next several years perfecting my craft and learning all that I could about photography.  Eventually, I was able to leave my 9-5 day job to become a full time professional photographer. It turns out that my passion had been photography all along!

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What differentiates you from other businesses in your field?

I do like to pay attention to details in the way my father did, but I also don’t want to get so caught up in making everything perfect that a special moment passes by. Friends say I have a talent for capturing personalities and emotion. That always make me so happy to hear when I capture a child’s grumpy face or a couple’s funny moment and that ends up being the shot they fall in love with. So thanks, Dad, for helping realize my dream!

Why do you like working with weddings?

Simply put, I love LOVE. My favorite moment in a wedding is when the officiant says “I now pronounce you husband and wife,” and they kiss and turn around. In that moment when they are holding hands, I feel like they are saying to the world that there is nothing the two of them can’t face together. It’s a defining moment in ones life to experience that kind of euphoria. Weddings are about hope, love and a fresh start in life.

From a vendor’s perspective, what is the one best piece of advice you can offer to engaged couples?

I experienced it myself in planning my own wedding decades ago.  Because I wanted to make everyone happy, my wedding ended up being a bit more about what everyone else wanted rather then what I wanted. My advice to anyone planning a wedding? Don’t do anything that you doesn’t make YOU happy. It shouldn’t be about pleasing others or society dictating what should and shouldn’t be done at your wedding. If you would rather have a good ole bbq instead of a fancy steak and lobster dinner, then do it. If you want wear flip flops, do it. It should be about celebrating your individual personalities as well who you are as a couple. Make yourselves happy first and it will be a night to remember.

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What or who motivates you?

One day, I’m hoping to be a world renowned photographer, and all my friends and clients will say how they knew me when I was a small business! Until then, I’m just blessed with enough business to keep putting the food on the table for my family, and I’ll keep practicing.

What do you like to do when you are away from work?

When I’m not shooting, I’m playing basketball or video games with my 8 year old son, Tyler. I love volunteering at his school, being room mom or helping on the yearbook committee. After that, there isn’t much time left in the day, but I enjoy on occasion the thrill of skydiving, high flying roller coasters or just chilling by the pool.

What would we be surprised to learn about you?

I’m a super picky eater and often times I turn down food at a wedding because “I’m too busy shooting,” but really I’m just a picky eater! Its a texture thing I think. I love onion rings but not onions. I sure will load up on some cake though!

Thank you, Linda, for answering our questions!  If you’d like to learn more about Affordable Faces Photography, please visit  awesomesauce-photography.com.