Christine Chang Photography Blog » Recent work, Photo Tips, & Random Rants by Christine Chang.

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  • Christine Chang

    Wedding Photographer. Adventurer. Ninja.

    Lover of brussel sprouts, chubby dogs, and theme parks.

    My interest in photography began in grade school. I would set up my "portrait studio” in the living room by hanging a bed sheet and shining house lamps toward it. Fast forward 20 years and today I am living my dream as a worldwide photographer based in Los Angeles.

    Here you will find some of my recent work along with adventures, personal growth, and other random banter.

I love this moment from a recent wedding.  Alex, who normally isn’t the “write a mushy card” type of person, gave his soon-to be-wife Marcella a card right after they did their first-look.

Words are a powerful thing.  What you say to others and how you say them has an impact more than you could ever know.

She looked at him and said, “You’re so stupid, you’re going to make me cry before the ceremony.”

Words, gestures, actions . . . All very powerful.  Use them wisely. ;)

Stay tuned for some more photos from Marcella & Alex’s wedding!

Ahhhh, the big dilemma.  Should I charge friends and family for my services?

I used to have a lot trouble with this.  A friend or family member tells you they want some pictures taken.  The thoughts that run through your head are:  Are they expecting it for free?  Even if they ask what my rates are, should I give them a discount?  What are they going to think if I charge them?  I feel bad charging them my full price.  

If you do free/discounted shoots for some people but not others, where do you draw the line?

After having my business for 5 years, I have decided that business and personal relationships are separate.  I choose to keep them separate.  Taking pictures is my business and if you inquire about pictures, it doesn’t matter who you are.  I charge the same rate for everyone.

This can be hard to do because naturally, you care what your friends and family think.  One of the things that I have been able to let go of through the years is caring what people think and I can’t tell you how liberating it is.  If someone gets mad or offended that you charge them, it’s not personal.

My decision to charge also goes off my personal values – If I choose to eat at a friend’s restaurant, use their service or product (whatever it may be), I always expect to pay.  I want to pay.  They work hard to do what they do and my role at the time of inquiry is very simple – I am a customer.

Bottom line:  Just do what you believe in and you will attract the right customers/people into your life.

  • Lydia - May 22, 2012 - 10:58 am

    Thank you for this entry! I hope to one day liberate myself from what other people think of me and/or what I do. Cheers!

  • Fyn - May 22, 2012 - 7:02 pm

    Thank you for all the words. Totally agree, you make my believe stronger now :) THANKS.

  • Jim - October 3, 2012 - 12:33 pm

    Thanks for sharing this Christine. It is something I have been struggling with. I want and love doing things for my friends and family but I also have to make a living. I lost my corporate job last December and have been doing all I can to make ends meet yet I still get the feeling my photography services are expected for free. Like you I do not expect a free meal if I go into a friends restaurant. There have been times I was told a meal was free and to be honest when that happens I give whatever I would have paid for the meal plus tip to the waitress. I am leaving tomorrow for Florida to shoot my nieces wedding that I am not getting paid for, fact is it is costing me money to travel. It will be the last one I do at no charge. I needed to read this, thanks!

  • J - June 14, 2013 - 7:23 am

    I feel so conflicted though. Especially since I’m still a beginner photographer. How much should I be charging my customers? How much do you charge? By the hour? Number of models?

    In desperate need of some advice.

    – J

Carla and I made a pit stop in Kettleman City, CA during a recent road trip.  It’s an exit we usually stop at when driving from LA to the Bay Area.

We ate Inn-N-Out, and then took advantage of the awesome light that the setting sun was providing!

Mmmm.  I’m not a vegetarian but sometimes I get my burger without the meat patty.  It’s called a “Grilled cheese,” ok?!  Carnivores – no judging!

I didn’t feel like getting photographed but Carla insisted that I let her take a picture of me.   I said “fine” and then did my impression of her.  My impression goes something like this: “Hi, I’m Carla Choy, and I’m cute!!

I think a lot of people would say that many of the stops along Highway 5 are dumpy and uninteresting (including me).  This was a good reminder to look around and see the beauty in everything. :)

  • Caro - May 21, 2012 - 12:42 pm

    I love the dress!!!!! It looks great on you :) I love you!

  • T - May 21, 2012 - 9:38 pm

    Very nice pictures of Carla!

Caroline and I were in Venezuela having a nice talk on the porch one evening.  It was beautiful.

Ok so we weren’t in Venezuela but we pretended to be, and the beach was just over the mountains.  Hehe.  We were in Silverlake and technically the beach is just over the mountains, give or take 10 miles.  How lucky we are to live in LA!

If you’ve never stared off in the distance, then your life is a shame. ~Adam Duritz  (“Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby” by the Counting Crows)

Pick up the current issue of US Weekly Magazine for a sneak peek of my photos from Dexter’s Julie Benz & Rich Orosco’s wedding.

The wedding was so much fun to photograph!  If there is one word I could use to describe Julie & Rich, it would be plain and simply: FUN.  Playful and goofy couples are my favorite!! ;)

Can’t wait to share more!

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