Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Wojdak.
Chris, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My interest in photography began when I was ten years old and went away to summer camp. I chose photography from the list of classes available, and my folks sent me with my dad’s old camera and some rolls of black and white film. The first time I got into the darkroom, I experienced the closest thing to real magic I’d ever seen. I was instantly hooked.
Many years later, when my daughter was born, I started sharing photos of her online. I guess I had kept my hobby sort of to myself up to that point, but people responded really well to them and started asking me to photograph them. Pretty soon I realized this was the opportunity to do the thing I had dreamed of as a child, and now eight years later, here I am.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’m still coming into my own on sustainability; while my business started out as a hobby, it’s now my primary source of income, and I’m still running almost entirely on referrals. On one hand, I know I need to find new ways to market myself in order to keep growing my business, but on the other hand, it’s so lovely seeing past clients as guests at weddings, photographing new babies for people whose vows I photographed a few years prior, and meeting new friends through people I already love.
Finding balance between work, family, and relationships is always a struggle and I feel so grateful that there seems to be so much Venn between those things for me. My oldest child is starting to get really interested in photography, and recently shot her first session as a lead photographer. She’s still pretty young, so everything is just for fun, but I’ll admit I daydream about working with her one day if that’s something she’s into.
Please tell us about Chris Wojdak Photography.
I’m really a time traveler. What I’m looking for is a sense of who my clients are on a deeply personal level, and an understanding of how they connect to each other, because the way we relate changes over time. My job, as I see it, is to encapsulate the way people feel about themselves and each other for their future selves to reference twenty, fifty, or even more years down the road.
I think I have a knack for finding the “moments between moments” where people are their most genuine selves, and where some truth about them is uncovered for me to preserve. While I never expect it, it’s really common for me to develop an ongoing friendship with my clients, and I regularly hear how having me around just feels like having a friend with a camera nearby. That level of comfort and trust seems to be something I excel at reaching, and I believe it shines through in my work.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
When I was in second and third grade, we had a house in Phoenix that was surrounded by a huge oleander hedge. It was so thick! In the middle of the hedge on one side of the house, some of the larger branches had bowed over into arches, and my friends and I went in there and sort of scooted them around until they formed the vaulted ceiling of this amazing little fort, which of course we used constantly. It was literally our secret garden, and it was worth every itchy, sap-filled scratch we got making it.
- Portrait sessions: $250/half hour, $500/hour including digital images
- Intimate portraits (boudoir): $600/hour including digital images
- Event photography and longer sessions: $350/hour including digital images (2 hour minimum / minimum 5 hours for weekend events more than two months away)
- Website: www.chriswojdak.com
- Phone: 619.500.4270
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @chriswojdak
- Facebook: fb.com/chriswojdakphotography
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/chris-wojdak-photography-la-mesa
- Other: www.radweddingphotographer.com