Member Spotlight: Gardner Photography

This month, we focus our member spotlight on a husband and wife team, Gardner Photography. Past GRPP board member, Jay Gardner and wife, Oksana photograph all types of sessions – including weddings and high school seniors. An exciting fact about Jay – he’s also an Emmy winner for his work as the chief photographer at Channel 8 here in Rochester! We’re excited to showcase them and their work!
jay and oksana gardner

You can find them on the web at:

Here’s what they had to say in response to our questions! Until next time! – Erin

How did you know you were successful?
I don’t really feel like a success. I am not chasing fame or fortune. I just try to make every couple feel like they are my only client.

How did you get into photography?
I started getting into photography when I was younger.  Both my brother and mother were photographers and I feel like it was just a natural fit.

Where do you want to be in 5 years?
In five years I hope to be in the same situation I am now.  Doing two jobs that I love.  I just want to continue to grow as a company and as a person.

Do you have any formal education?
I studied Radio and Television Broadcasting at Herkimer Community College

What has been your greatest achievement?
My work was recognized on many occasions. The greatest of them is an Emmy. I was so honored! But then there is the look on a client’s face when they see their images for the first time. I know that they are happy, and that makes me happy and accomplished. Nothing compares to that!

How do you stay fresh and creative?
Most of my inspirations come from movies and TV. It relaxes me, and there are some really well produced and creative things out right now.

What is the best piece of gear in your camera bag?
The best thing in my bag are band aids. There are no limits to my craziness and things I would do to get “The Shot!”  I tend to always cut myself on something so band aids come in handy. But it wouldn’t have been much help if I fell off the top of the Kodak building few years ago.

What do you wish you knew when you began?
I wish I knew more about many aspects of running a business when I first started. There are a lot of things to think about other than just shooting. Luckily, Oksana’s background is in business.

Best day on the job and what you learned? Worst day on the job and what you learned?
I don’t really have a  best or worst day on the job or story. Everyday is different and every situation is different. I just try to adapt to the pressures and situations.

3 favorite non-photo hobbies?
As far as my hobbies go, I like to cook. It allows me to be creative in a different way.  I love putting combinations of raw ingredients together and seeing what happens.

Best piece of software?
The best piece of software I own is Photoshop of course, it allows you to fix (Let’s face it sometimes we have to) or enhance an image.  I can’t imagine working without it.

What is the best business tip you have been given?
My best advice for business is making sure you get paid for your time. This is widely underestimated in our industry. All too often, we as a whole don’t consider our time to be as valuable as our artwork.


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