We had the good fortune of connecting with Tommie Cochrum and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tommie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The decision to start my own photography business was simple yet scary. I have always loved photography, even as a child. And before I had my daughter, almost 8 years ago, it’s all that i could think about. I would day dream of having a photography business and owning a studio. So after my daughter turned a year old, I had the opportunity to stay at home with her and build my photography business on the side. Over the years my goals, style, and brand have evolved into what I have today. In the beginning of starting my own business I had the thought process of, “oh taking photos and creating art will be all I have to do”. But as many business owners know the actual thing that is your business quickly becomes a small percentage of what you do. And at times, those things can become daunting but I have come to find all aspects of building a business as a challenge that I gladly except. I love finding new ways to marketing my company and finding new ways to be creative!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets me apart in the industry is my ability to relate to my clients. I hate when I enter a business and no one make eye contact and are very short. So I always try to make conversation and find out more about the lives of my clients and what makes them happy. I feel fulfilled not only when my clients LOVE their images but when I have made them feel comfortable in my presence and when they a had a wonderful photography session experience! I have to say that I love/hate challenges. Like everyone when a challenge arises it can make one feel like quitting but when I am able to sit down and lay out the challenge, it actually becomes exciting! Exciting because a challenge means I am learning something new, I am finding a new way of doing an old way, I am growing.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Arizona has so many things to offer! I love the plethora of restaurants that the cities of Arizona have to offer, like Diego Pops, Sun Bar in Tempe, Maple and Ash, etc. And the art galleries! I could spend days upon days looking at the wide range of artist in Arizona! I love the Arizona landscape! The beauty of the desert is not something that I ever thought was beautiful until I moved to Arizona 2 years ago. So many colors of purples, blues, pinks, and golds!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have so many shoutouts but here are just a few and most important. I credit God for my creativity, my supportive and very entrepreneurial husband of Dapperman Brand Mens Grooming Products and my baby girl (she’s my little fan and most tortured model). So many other photographers like Kayleigh Ashworth Photography who seek to give advice and see others succeed along with them, and photography groups like the Arizona Photography Community.