Today we’d like to introduce you to Chana Davis Groh.
Chana, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It all started back in 1993, when I finished my curriculum early in high school. It was either graduate early (and not be with my friends!), or take more classes for fun. I had always been an artist with painting, playing the piano, and writing poetry, but I decided to take a photography class my senior year since I needed more classes. I INSTANTLY fell in love with the pure magic of holding time still. My photography teacher actually yelled at me for learning too fast and for completing the years’ worth of assignments in one month. After high school, I took a photo class at Grossmont College, to use their darkroom! I was obsessed and even snuck into other class times so that I can use the darkroom as much as possible.
In 1996, I photographed my first wedding for a friend and got paid $20 per roll of film I used. It was more than exciting for me, and after that, all of my focus went towards photography. I can no longer paint or write or play the piano! My brain is geared for photography only these days! Since then, Don and I have teamed up and have photographed over 800 weddings (lost count!) all over San Diego and in fun places like Cabo San Lucas, all over Hawaii, San Francisco, Napa Valley, North Carolina, Florida, etc.
To me, nothing is more important than FAMILY & FRIENDS and preserving memories. I love making memories for people, all people. These photos, these flashing moments in time, will bring people “back to the day” 50 years from now. One image can bring someone back to when they first found their soulmate, when they were newly in awe of their newborn, when they had the best holiday of their lives surrounded by all of their family and friends, when they were young and full of energy. I want to make sure everyone remembers as many special moments as possible!
Has it been a smooth road?
The art of photography has always been easy for me since I was born with an artist’s eye. Don taught me the business side of it and how to talk to people, since I was very shy when I was younger. I have completely come out of my shell now and REALLY know how to make everyone else extremely comfortable and natural in front of the camera. In turn, I taught Don how to use the camera!!
The only thing that took years of getting used to was having to work weekends and missing out on numerous family events, friend’s birthday parties, group camping trips, festivals and street fairs, etc. I definitely cherish the weekends I do have off and plan lots of fun things with friends and family months in advance when I can! Always seeing the other side, it sure is great going to the beach or the movies on a Monday and having the whole place to myself!!!
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I specialize in weddings. It is also an honor to be able to photograph many families that used us as their wedding photographers. Some of these families got married over 15 years ago, and I still see them every year for their family sessions, watching the kids grow into teenagers!
We are known for being open to all, keeping it real and natural, and making sure everyone has a great time and is super comfortable in front of the camera.
What sets us apart? We’ve been doing this a loooooooooong time and it’s just very very easy for me. It’s just naturally what I am supposed to do, and that translates into our couples having an easy time on their wedding day!
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Being that I am born and raised here, I think San Diego is the best!!! As for getting into photography, this is something that can easily or not so easily be done in any city. San Diego definitely has a highly saturated market of photographers, but it’s like any other city and you just have to pour your heart into whatever it is you want and stay focused and completely on top of it. Drive, grit, guts, responsibility, being speedy with responses and delivering the best customer service are at least as important as location!
- Popular wedding packages are between $2000-$3000.
- Website: www.photobychanaanddon.com
- Phone: 619-818-8445
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @photobychanaanddon
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/photobychana
Photo credit: Photo by Chana and Don
Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.