BUILD, BUILD, BUILD
Champagne’s photography businesses started as a hobby, recording her family playing around at home in both still photos and camcorder footage, before heading into college to study film.
During her college years, while focusing her academics on video shoots and editing, she self-taught photography through creative and playful fashion shoots with her friends.
“The more I shot, the more I saw people interested in it and enjoying my work, and recommend me to other people.”
Starting with portraiture at first, Champagne soon became a boutique photographer, shooting social media campaigns for e-commerce. She continued to grow her business through personal projects while broadening her client base by offering send-and-shoot services, allowing businesses to ship her products to photograph remotely.
THE BIRTH OF BOOKAH
As business grew, Champagne realized having a dedicated studio space would be an asset. Creating Bookah Studios was a challenge, and it didn’t quite work out perfectly the first time! But along with her partners at Meraki Narrative, she was able to find a great space in downtown LA in which to craft the perfect boutique photography studio.
“We wanted a place where it’s all there, everything’s right there,”
she said. “You don’t have to drive down the street to the next location.”
Featuring a variety of cohesive backdrops, cute stylings, and “a lot of different little nooks and crannies,” Bookah is a one-stop-shop for shooting consistent branded campaigns. Not only is it the perfect space for Champagne’s work, but it’s also available to rent out for clients to create their own shoots or host events!
ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
A lot of us think that companies just reach out to big influencers or photographers and shower them with money and projects. But that’s not how it works! You’ve got to reach out to THEM.
Champagne is constantly reaching out to brands with her portfolio. And even if she gets a “no” it’s a win, because NOW THE BRAND KNOWS WHO SHE IS. Which is much better than if she didn’t reach out at all!
IN FRONT OF AND BEHIND THE CAMERA
While she may be a genius behind the camera, Champagne has also become a model for her own shoots, especially in the time of COVID-19. Though self-portraiture was originally not a high comfort level for her, even in her own projects, shelter at home orders have necessitated a bit of a paradigm shift that created greater opportunity for Champagne to develop her on-film personality. Thanks to her newfound duality, she has truly become an all-around photography guru - and she has some excellent advice for our listeners on how to up THEIR photo campaigns on both sides of the lens.
Champagne recommends her favorite equipment and technology for photography success:
-Adjustable tripod for fine tuning
-Camera-computer connection to monitor feed in real time
-Remote control for camera, especially for selfies
-Capture One software for live feeds and faster image loads
-For Product Photography, she suggests:
-Shooting in the shade
-Your phone’s camera is a great tool!
-Find fun backgrounds, like leafs + flowers from your yard, or fun fabric
-She is a big fan of wrapping paper!
She also shared some excellent tips for when your campaign puts you in front of the camera:
-Build self-confidence through repetitio
-Pay attention to which angles, lightings, and poses make you feel best about yourself
-Embrace vulnerability to preserve authenticity
-Have a “game plan” predetermined to keep you focused and in the moment
-Treat yourself positively throughout the shoot to banish negative thoughts