A different lens: Students capture life in photography business

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A different lens: Students capture life in photography business

By Anna Pevey, Staff Writer

When David Pollak first experimented with filmmaking and taking photos just over four years ago, he had no idea where it would take him.

“It was definitely a hobby, being a photographer,” Pollak said. “I kept taking photos, and eventually people started reaching out.”

He said he began filmmaking as something to do for school-related assignments. However, he started to work on projects with friends for his high school’s film festival, which encouraged him to use his camera more.

Now a senior in Education, Pollak has had his own photography business, David J. Pollak Photography & Cinematography, for three years while being a full-time student.

Being a student with a business on the side can be difficult, but Pollak uses his photography skills to his advantage.

Pollak was the publicity co-director of the student-run organization Student Alumni Ambassadors for two years. This helped him hone his skills while simultaneously getting him involved at the University.

“Being a part of that club, I see the impact of the photos I took during these events as a positive one,” he said. “It was really nice to hear good feedback and seeing my photos being posted by the University.”

From a business standpoint, Pollak can provide multiple services including headshots, graduation photos or family photo sessions. Aside from more formal photo shoots, Pollak really enjoys walking around and taking photos with friends. He said he finds them to be more candid and carefree.

Like Pollak, Grace Timler, sophomore in LAS, enjoys candid and urban photoshoots.

“I mainly do photo shoots focusing on urban or street photography because I love being able to share different peoples’ looks and fashion with the world,” Timler said. “I also enjoy doing multiple other types of photo shoots as well, like graduation pictures to RSO or group photos.”

Timler started her photography business, Grace T Photography, just under a year ago. Even though her business is relatively new, Timler’s passion and respect for photography — which she hopes she showcases in her photos — has been with her from a young age.

“I have always had a passion for photography, which I think is due to the fact that growing up my dad placed importance and value on photography and knowing how cameras work and the different techniques involved, as well as the impact photos have and the emotions they evoke,” Timler said.

Although Timler is majoring in chemical engineering, she hopes to continue her photography business ventures and help her dream grow after graduation. She plans to move to New York City after graduation, open her own photography studio and start a magazine.

Aerin Kim relates to Timler’s passion for photography and capturing memories.

As a senior in Engineering, Kim currently has her own photography business, Aerin Kim Photography. Her business, which has been operating since October 2018, is marketed primarily toward weddings and couples.

“It’s a really rewarding feeling to take photos for people who will really cherish them as memories, so I’m constantly moving toward working with clients,” Kim said.

Kim accredits her interest in photography with The Fashion Network, an RSO on campus, as well as finding a creative outlet to contrast her academic background.

She enjoys having creative control over the photoshoots, but she has also found the experience of forming her own business to be extremely rewarding, even though her business is still a “baby.” When she started receiving business inquiries through Instagram, she registered her business and started photographing clients.

“Over time, I learned that it’s not always about the technical qualities of the photo, but the relationship you’re capturing,” she said. “If my clients frame my photos, mail them, cherish them and my photos move them, then I did a good job.”

As students, the task of  juggling classes and their small businesses can be challenging. But, these students are driven by the positive impact which photography has on themselves and others.

“(I hope) that my photos have a large impact in sharing what life is like for different people all having their own individual backgrounds,” Timler said. “That knowledge and imagery is also what I hope people will take away from my photography.”

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