Winnetka-based photographer Kate Oelerich visited the Photography Program last week.
She toured the facilities and then spent a couple hours talking with students in Jeff Curto’s Photo 1201 (Tools & Techniques for Digital Photography) class and describing the trajectory of her 30+ year career as a photographer. She brought examples of work in both print and electronic versions.
Oelerich’s work is mostly portraiture, and done exclusively out-of-doors. She explained how she’s created an “outdoor studio” in her back yard by landscaping and terracing the space. She can shoot at nearly any time of the day by moving subjects around the yard.
She’s never advertised in any way, depending on word-of-mouth and strategic donations to events like charity “silent auctions” for spreading the word about her business. She also uses greeting cards, both as a marketable product and as a way to put her business name out there.
Some other bits that Oelerich shared with the class:
- On Pricing: “If no one complains about your prices, you’ve priced yourself too low.”
- On “Freebies”: “NEVER give your work away, no matter what the situation. Your work has value and you must always maintain that value.”
- On post-production: “I use a professional retoucher; it takes her a fraction of the time it would take me to do the same task, so I save money and can spend the time working on new business.”
- On web domain names: “Why would I want to have a domain name like “www.elitephotography.com” or something like that? My name is Kate Oelerich and, even though my name is a little hard to spell, I want people to remember me and associate me and my name with fine portraiture.”
It was great having Kate Oelerich visit the class; a big thanks goes out to her for making the trek from Winnetka and sharing her time and expertise. For more info about Kate, visit her website at: http://www.kateoelerichphotography.com/