Creatives in Conversation: Holland Williams, Professional Photographer
We are excited to launch a new blog series titled Creatives in Conversation! The mission behind this blog series is to introduce and celebrate fellow female creatives and entrepreneurs that also happen to be ExVoto clients.
Meet Holland Williams.
I met Holland Williams when she was the photographer for a collaboration Ashley Gilbreath and I did together. I was so impressed with Holland’s photography. I could tell from watching her work that day that she really enjoys what she does! The photographs she made from that collaboration years ago are still so beautiful. Holland has been an ExVoto client over the years and now we both live in Birmingham, Alabama. I was excited to be able to hear her story in this interview and happy to share it with you.
Elizabeth: “What is your background?”
Holland: “I planned on going to law school after college. I studied hard, graduated with good grades, and took the LSAT. Around that time, I started dating a third year law student. Six months later, we got engaged. He spent the entire summer in the library studying for the bar exam... and it didn't take long for me to realize that law school was probably not for me. After that, I thought about getting my MBA - I even took the 60 hour real estate certification course. I really didn't know what to do with myself, so I took a job in the recruiting department at a large law firm here in Birmingham. On our first wedding anniversary, I found out I was 8 weeks pregnant with our first child. My salary at the time would have barely covered the cost of daycare, so we made the decision for me to stay home with the baby once she was born. Around that time, my husband took a new job with a firm based in Grayton Beach, Florida. So, we picked up and moved to be the beach - SIX weeks after our baby was born. All of a sudden I found myself living in a new town, with no friends and a colicky baby. My father, a dentist and professional sports photographer, gave me some photography equipment to take pictures of our new baby with. I was hooked instantly. From that point on (in late 2008)-- I spent all of my time reading and studying photography. When I wasn't reading or learning Photoshop, I was photographing my new baby. That first year I started photographing other children - and now, almost a decade later, Holland Williams Photography is a full time, full service photography business that has photographed everything from births to weddings to commercial projects around the South East.”
Elizabeth: “Favorite part about your job?”
Holland: “My favorite part of my job will always be the people. So many special relationships have been made through my business... some of my very best friends were clients before they were friends. As a photographer, you find yourself alongside your clients during some of life's most intimate moments. Childbirth... marriage... and unfortunately, sometimes the sad times, too. You can't help but feel connected.
I have met such wonderful people through my job that I wouldn't have otherwise met. I have reconnected with so many old friends by photographing their children.
As far as photography is concerned-- I love editing. It's when I'm home, all alone in my office that I can truly get creative. I love Photoshop. If you know how to use this program well- nothing is impossible!”
Elizabeth: “Most interesting commission / job you have been given?”
Holland: “That is tough! I've photographed some pretty spectacular weddings and fabulous homes. However, children's photography will always have a special place in my heart.
I'm always honored (and sort of embarrassed) when clients travel great distances for me to photograph their children. Just this morning, a sweet little two year old came all the way from Chicago for a portrait session. I still have to pinch myself that this is my JOB, what I get paid to do. I just love it so much.”
Elizabeth: “Where do you dream of your career taking you next?”
Holland: “Right now, I am happy and content with where I am and the direction my career is headed in.
My three children are still small, and learning to say "no" has been very hard, but also very rewarding and beneficial for my business. Putting my children and family first is what is most important to me right now. I'll admit, it's not easy turning down a destination wedding in an exotic location... but, I have kids that I need to tuck in at night. You can't be everything to everyone, and you can't do it all. I have my whole life to advance my career. Right now the kids come first.”
Elizabeth: “Your advice to 20 year old you?”
Holland: “I would tell myself to relax... to trust that God has a wonderful plan for you. And to SLEEP as much as possible. Oh how I miss sleep.”
Elizabeth: “What is your favorite piece of EV?”
Holland: “My husband gave me a one-of-a-kind, antique locket for my birthday a few years ago. I wear it all the time, and love how it can dress up the most casual of outfits.”
To learn more about Holland to visit her website click HERE.
Photos by Abby Norris.