Focus on a GRPPster: Erin Perrotta

Erin Perrotta is one of the Greater Rochester Professional Photographers newer members and she joined with a flash… by winning our logo design contest! The GRPP logo was severely out of date and Erin was very patient with us as we went through the re-design process. So, here we are with a fancy new logo (and pins too) designed by Erin… a perfect reason to focus on this GRPPster, Erin Perrotta from Perrotta Creative.

Here is the interview with Erin:

Where do you get inspiration?

I have a large, close-knit family, full of creative, talented people.  They are a huge influence on my life.

Growing up, my grandmother earned a reputation for always having the camera on and ready.  We called her “Grandma Flash.”  I didn’t realize until I started out in business, how important what she was doing was.  She was and still is (although she leaves it mostly to me now) preserving those memories for us-not just for herself.  She isn’t a professional photographer- she just loves the history created by those photos. That inspires me to create history for others.

How did you know you were “successful”?

I knew I was “successful” because I loved doing it!  But as a businesswoman and as an artist, I’m just getting started.

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

In five years I want to have a solid reputation and brand so I can focus more energy on my creativity as a photographer.

How did you get into photography?

I have no solid memory of the moment that drew me to photography.  It’s just something I’ve always enjoyed.

But what got my business going was again due to my family.  My Aunt was getting married.  She asked me if I would be her photographer.  I said “Sure! Why not?” jokingly, assuming she wasn’t serious.

Apparently, she wasn’t kidding.  And so I did it, I loved it, and I still love it.

Do you have any formal education?

I graduated from Canisius College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Media Arts, and a Minor in Fine Arts in 2004.  My primary focus there had been graphic design, though I did take several photography classes towards my minor.  Since I’ve started it has been my goal to merge the two worlds of design and photography together to form my own unique business.

What has been your greatest achievement?

So far my greatest achievement has been in making the decision to put myself out there as a photographer.  It was a huge decision for me to make.  So in taking those first steps, I feel I’ve achieved something: the first step in a life long journey.

How do you stay fresh and creative?

By occasionally stepping away from my camera and computer. I feel that if you live and enjoy the world around you, you will be able to capture it better.

What do you wish you knew when you began?

I wish I had known more about business, contracts, pricing, and all things non-creative that make a business work.

Best day on the job?

The first time I got a hug from a client at the end of a wedding day.

3 favorite non-photo hobbies?

I love to read when time allows.

I love to play softball.  If there are any takers on a GRPP softball team, sign me up!

I love to travel, eat well and drink good wine… can that count as one hobby?

Best piece of software?

I’m pretty fond of all things Adobe-InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator to be more specific.  I enjoy using all of them together to create all kinds of things, from editing photos, to designing albums and wedding invitations for my clients.

What is the best business tip you have been given?

Be yourself. Let your clients know who you are, so they will show you who they are in your work.

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