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Atali Samuel Photography profile image
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Atali Samuel Photography

Collin

Visual Storytelling by Atali Samuel - Lifestyle and Portrait Photographer serving North Dallas and surrounding cities including Addison, Carrollton, Richardson, Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Fairview, and Prosper. Yes! I do all types of events, portraiture, commercial and residential real estate, commercial product stills, restaurant, and food photography.

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What do you love most about your job?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been the one behind the camera, savoring visual candy one snapshot at a time.

As a child, my mother gifted me a traditional film camera and sent me outside to “go play.” I would spend hours taking photos of anything interesting and anxiously wait a week for the photos to get developed at Eckerd’s (remember them??). Granted, I was no Annie Leibovitz, the deck often came back with blurred images of God knows what. But, I loved capturing colors, still life and moments in time, as a way to feed my creative outlet.

Back then, I already knew what I wanted to do when I “grew up” – help people feel and look confident on the inside and out. I would often hear lovely people make self-deprecating comments, refusing compliments and finding fault in their appearance. Puzzled, I believed they were attractive – if only they could see themselves through my admiring eyes. I was frequently interested in people, their thoughts, emotions, and life history. In retrospect, there’s no accident I became a National Educator for holistic CPG brands, then a Cosmetic Formulator, a Holistic Health Coach, and ultimately a Yoga Instructor. Most of my career, I’ve been focused on serving others in any way to help them feel worthy and self-confident.

I purchased my first DSLR camera body in my early twenties, towing it along to every outing. As a former public speaker, I had the opportunity to travel all over the country, never missing a chance to photograph snow-capped mountains, lush forests, and crystal blue beaches. I captured images of mouthwatering local dishes, interesting people, and busy urban streets. In retrospect, one did NOT want to be behind me in the airport security line considering my bulky amount of gear and lenses. Internationally, my lenses a.k.a “glass eyes” have captured marvelous photos in India, France, Italy, Israel, Canada and Mexico.

Folks took notice and requested me to photograph portraits for their friends and family including small events, high school seniors, business headshots, culinary and product still photos, engagements and birth stories. In my spare time, I would venture about DFW on photo-walks snapping arty images of architecture, wildlife, nature, and anything that allowed me to relish the beauty of each moment. I entered (and won) photo-contests, attended workshops and events to improve my skills in original art composition, capturing natural light, framing the shot, and working with people’s facial expressions.

Everything seemed perfect… and BAM! Fast-forward 15 years and my life was suddenly turned upside down. My spirit was crippled by a mid-life plot twist worthy of day-time talk show coverage complete with “oh-no-he-di’int” and “what human being does that?!?!”. Everything I’d ever learn to trust and rely on was destroyed in the most unfathomable way. In a span of four relentless years I’d experienced some of life’s harshest lessons, all while transitioning out of corporate America to follow my intuition of creating something that actually mattered. In the midst of massive changes, I found refuge at my local yoga studio – Gaia Flow Yoga and followed the path to becoming a certified Yoga Instructor, filling my time teaching several classes a week and attending over 800 hours of teacher training at Gaia Flow Yoga and AYM in Rishikesh, India. Gratefully, serving others kept my heart above water and helped navigate the rough tide of betrayal, divorce, constant illness, several family losses, and a second – more devastating loss and heartbreak. What ensued was debilitating grief and intense despair. I wanted to be existentially done, plain and simple.

The exact weekend I moved out of my home after my 15-year marriage had ended, I was asked to photograph a group of graduating Yoga Instructors at Gaia Flow Yoga. I gladly accepted and welcomed the mental distraction from ruminating thoughts of sorrow and hopelessness. For an entire afternoon, I found myself once-again immersed in the beauty of angles, color, and lighting. Seeing life again through my lens gave me a different perspective and sense of belonging, capturing each Yogi’s vulnerability and personal story. One successful photo shoot led to another, and I found myself creating artful imagery of astonishing Yogis in magnificent poses. At the time, it would be a couple years before I trained to become a Yoga instructor, but I intuitively knew how to capture the integrity and splendor of the poses.

Five years later, tens of dozens of photo shoots later, over 10,000 images taken I am beyond grateful. Where I once felt broken, rejected and useless I now feel pride, strength, and a sense of belonging again. Grief can play some intense mind games, I had no idea how much change I would be forced to embrace. Had it not been for my creative outlet of photography, I might have barely risen from the ashes, but more than likely with a weaker spirit and no sense of purpose. I am beyond grateful for my natural gift of connecting with others through my lens. I feel inspired during every single photo shoot and honored when my clients invite me into their world, allowing me to share in their moments.

What inspired you to start your own business?

Entrepreneurship is rarely smooth road, especially in the photography industry. One must stay motivated while balancing the business aspect of attracting and booking clients as well as a master both the art and science of the craft. Photography is just as technical as it was emotional, and precise as it is impromptu. Clients not only connect with the final images but also the photographer and the photoshoot experience. Every day is a new opportunity to focus my energy towards success and developing my career as a professional photographer.

When I first started, as most amateur photographers do, my passion was nothing more than a hobby. Friends and family took notice and asked me to photograph them. I thought, “wow, I could be a professional photographer” not realizing the enormous competition and superior technical range of other experts. I had yet to specialize in a type of photography and social media marketing hadn’t yet emerged. Promoting oneself was still very much word-of-mouth, but a beautiful image wasn’t enough to launch a successful career. It’s common to feel “not good enough” as a photographer. There will always be someone better, more skilled, more artistic, with superior equipment and more years of experience.

As in most creative businesses, it takes raw determination and grit to follow this dream. Networking and marketing play as vital a role as does the photographer’s skill set and passion for stunning imagery. One must be able to bond with clients, capture unfiltered moments, master camera settings, manipulate lighting, focus on fine details, and develop the technical skills of photo editing. One must manage their accounting, expenditures, scheduling, and appointments as well as deliver images in a sensible manner – which can seem overwhelming at times.

Professional photography is more about self-motivation than it is extrinsic approval and reviews. Most artistic personalities tend to internalize lack of bookings as rejection, rather than allow the lull between photo shoots to improve their skill set and build their portfolios. I’ve learned to stay focused on the path ahead, to allow for the unknown and continue sharing my visual storytelling via paid photo shoots and private photo projects. The business will grow itself as long as one remains wildly determined to capture the world through our brilliant eyes.

Why should our clients choose you?

I’m best known for portraiture, specifically lifestyle images with an organic feel and raw emotion. My clients always say: I help boost their confidence because I’m able to capture the best version of their physical appearance. I use the “conceal and reveal” method of posing, meaning we hide or minimize the physical features they are less than pleased with and reveal their favorite, most complimented aspects. I don’t believe in Photoshop to falsify their appearance, rather manipulate my camera settings and lighting to enhance their natural attractiveness. In addition to fitness, life style and portrait sessions, companies hire me to capture product stills and real estate images. Lately, I’ve been booking many Headshot sessions for small companies and entrepreneurs looking to improve their personal branding.

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Commercial & Corporate Photographers FAQs

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Corporate photography is the art of creating photographs for promotional purposes. For example, for your company brochure, website or social media channels. Commercial photographers specialise in imagery intended to be able to sell a product, company values or even portray a lifestyle. They will direct the shot to be able to achieve a particular aim that you have set out for them. For example, how easy it is to train in a brand of gym clothing. Or the luxurious surroundings of a spa.

They will ensure the image portrays your company in the best light, by using their artistic flair to bring the photos to life. Once any touch-ups have been completed, you’ll then be provided with a series of high quality images you can use for all your marketing needs.

Photography is an art form and so creative flair is imperative. The photographer also needs to be able to follow a brief. Usually, photographers will have a portfolio you can browse before you contact them. This will give you an indication of their style and the type of shoots they specialise in. Ideally, the photographs will be ultra-sharp, colour corrected and most of all, get across a clear message that fits your brand aesthetic.

Photography is a very broad specialism, and as well as commercial and corporate photography, there are various other types you can hire too.

  • Product Photography - Product photography involves isolating products to be able to display them on a website or other forms of physical marketing. Product photography requires skill especially in lighting, as items are usually filmed indoors on a white background. Alternatively, the photographer may set up a special backdrop for each product. The goal is to make each product clearly visible for retail purposes.

  • Real Estate Photography - Property is one of the largest assets any of us will ever own, so it makes sense to photograph it in the best light. Real estate photographers will go around each room of the home and take flattering shots for prospective viewers. Real estate photography can also be adapted for staging, which is when the images are edited to show the potential of the property. This is especially popular with new developments that don’t have anyone living in them yet.

  • Portrait Photography and Corporate Headshots - Portrait photography captures the life of humans or animals. Portrait photography shoots are popular with families, couples and for newborn photography. Compared with trying to take your own photos, a portrait photographer will put you at ease. Portrait photography can also be used for passport photos. A corporate headshot is a type of portrait photography showing an up-close image of a person’s face, most commonly used for the staff pages of company websites.

  • Lifestyle Photography - Capturing life as it happens is the job of a lifestyle photographer. Rather than a static image, they will look to bring life and vitality to every shot. It’s ideal for creating timeframes of moments you want to cherish forever. For example, engagements or a pregnancy.

While photographers can have degrees and other qualifications, the best way to check your photographer’s credentials is by viewing their portfolio.

There are some crossovers with commercial and corporate photography, but corporate photography focuses more on company headshots or capturing images at tradeshows and similar company events.

When you’re looking to convey a sense of professionalism, corporate photography can be a huge asset. Compared with using ‘Facebook’ style images of your employees, corporate photography will have everyone suited and booted, and representing your business in the best light.

Sometimes it’s necessary to use stock photography. However, the trouble is the image isn’t original. It might not even best describe what it is that you do, especially if taken in another location where the equipment or procedures are different. By hiring a commercial photographer, the images will better represent your business. They’ll also be unique to you, and will help to establish a sense of authenticity and trust. You’ll also avoid any potential issues with copyright, especially if the images have been taken straight from search engines.

Photographers are usually freelancers who set their own rates. The cost of your commercial photography will depend on your location, the experience of the photographer and how much work is involved. While it’s sometimes possible to pay a photographer per hour, usually they will work for a fee based on the scope of the job.

Absolutely! Though the photo shoot itself will take place in person. If possible, speak or meet with your photographer before the shoot so you can explain what it is you want, and ensure you’re both on the same page.

Reviews

4.43/5.00

based on 108 reviews

The average rating for Bark Commercial Photographers in Plano is 4.43, based on 108 reviews.

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