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Friday, November 8, 2013

Shop & Support Moms - photographer Pamela O'Pecko

Pamela is an incredible photographer! She is our next super talented mother who we are featuring in this month's Shop and Support Moms series. I'm encouraging you to buy local from a hard working mom like yourself this holiday season. Great things! Check it out!

The first 3 people to comment on this blog post in the group will receive a giveaway, a 50% off coupon, and a 25% coupon in that order! 

All photos from Pamela O'Pecko

1. How did you start your business? Why did you want your own business? When did you start your business?
I've taken pictures for years, but last June, in the middle of my pregnancy, I was laid off from my job of 9 years. I had been considering taking the plunge and trying to sell my photos ever since then but it took me another year after that to gain the confidence to do it.

I wanted to start this business because I knew it would give me the time to be a full time mom - most of my work would be done on the weekend or in the evenings from the computer - and my son would be with my husband during those times.

I began by getting a booth at a local fair last August, and in October of 2013 I finally opened my Etsy shop and made a Facebook page to support that, and my local work.

2. What does the name of your business mean? How did you come up with the title?
My husband came up with the name Raven's Glenn. I love Ravens, they are a totem animal to me, I have a tattoo of one on my ankle. When I was trying to come up with a name, he just shot that off and it sounded great, especially for the very wooded scenic area we live in!

3. What does your shop specialize in? What is your favorite item to make?
I specialize in Macro photography, which is extreme close ups of items.

My favorite items to make are floral macros, though I also do love to do bugs. They don't have much of a 'like' factor from people who view my work though!

4. How do you get inspiration and ideas for items to make?

Nature herself! We tend to just 'glance' at things, and don't really look at them. The way the stamens of a dandelion curl upwards, the way the center of a gerber daisy is a bunch of tiny flowers when you look close enough. Nature is amazing, and God is in the details, which is what I try to show with my photography!

5. How long does it take you to make items? When do you make your items mostly , what time of day? What do you do while creating something - tv on? music on?
It can take me several hours to create the 'perfect' photograph. Lighting, water, angle, lots of factors go into it. I take my photos at night - not only is my son sleeping, but it gives me the black background that I adore. Most photographers I know go with a white background for their macros, but I really like the black. I feel like it makes the colors pop. So I take them outside, or into a dark room, at night, with a ring flash so only the subject is lit up.
While I'm working I am 100% focused on what I'm doing. No music, no TV. Later during the editing process I may have the TV on for background noise but I can never watch it while I'm working.

6. Take me step by step through sending someone's package to them.. what speial things do you include in there ? How do you wrap them up? Do you get nervous when you send packages to people?
After I get an order, I mat the photo in the mat color they have chosen. I include a business card, and a thank you card made with a photo I've taken. I wrap them in plain brown paper and add some extra cardboard so that there is no risk of them being bent. I also mark them as photographs and put "Please do not bend" on the package. Then it's off to the post I go! Yes, I get nervous, very nervous when I send something out!

7. What is your success rate? How many orders so far?
I have had two orders so far (one was a custom order for 11 photographs), but I only just opened the shop. Last night I decided to add a small advertizing budget to see if that drove any more business my way. Fingers crossed!

8. Why do you think people should buy homemade items?
Oh this could open up a can of worms. Corporations have so much business. Most of their stuff is made in other countries where workers are paid so little.

Homemade items are made by folks like you and I, people who are trying to be stay at home parents, people who have a creative flair they want to share with the world. Support them! Target has enough support. Plus, people love to get home made items as gifts. They are unique, show you have put some thought into your gift giving, and you're really, really helping out the little guy. It feels good - try it!

9. What are your favorite Etsy shops you buy from?
Soapy Sweet Treats! Omg, her soaps and whipped shea butter are amazing! Now she has a foaming sugar scrub! She has over 100 scents and your order is made right before she ships it out. She's fantastic, give her a shout . You won't be sorry!

10. How does your business allow you to be a great mother?

I get to spend a lot more time with my son. Plus I am (hopefully) teaching him that some things (time with your child) are priceless, and come before work and bringing home a paycheck.

11. What do you think would surprise readers to know about you?
I have had no formal training or schooling for photography. Even the people shots I do, I've done by educating myself. And I feel I improve with every shutter click.

12. What is the coolest thing you've ever created? Why?
It's a photo in my Etsy shop I call "Captured". It's a bunch of translucent blue orbs suspended in a blue solution. I love this picture because it generates so much conversation. Everyone wants to know what it is. I usually give them three guesses - no one has ever gotten it right. Go ahead, take a look at it, and let me know what you think it is! The answer will surprise you!


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