We had the good fortune of connecting with Tony Hoffer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tony, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I’m originally from Mount Joy, PA., which is a rural town in central Pennsylvania. We’re known for our proximity to farms and variety of smells that come with it. I was raised by two very hard working parents. My mom was one of 8 children raised by parents that had their own small business. My dad worked night shift in a factory most of my childhood but somehow never missed anything important and even put himself through college in his late 40’s.
It took years to fully realize the impact of my upbringing, but I think it’s been super helpful for a career in the service/creative industries. No matter what the frustrations of this job are, it’s helped to ground me in the fact that I’m getting to do something that I love with someone I love (my wife) and even on our worst day, we have it pretty good. I owe that perspective to my upbringing.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We’re about to start our 15th year of photography. We started shooting exclusively weddings and have grown to shoot advertising and commercial work. Photography has taken us around the world to 5 continents and dozens of states across the US. More than anything, we’ve become known for making work that is very personal and real. In the wedding industry, it’s very easy to be generic. We’ve fought that instinct at every turn. Whenever we run into an important decision, we try to decide what’s best for the client first and try to figure out how to make it work for the business. In our industry, that helps us stand out. Lots of folks can take great photos, but we work hard to make sure that ours are original by making them genuine to each person we shoot for.
When we started shooting, I set quite a few goals… many of which probably aren’t even measurable. I used to think long term about the things I wanted to accomplish. Over time, I realized that making those types of goals doesn’t mesh with who we want to be as photographers. If we already know where we want to go, it’s easy to lose sight of where we are now. For us, the journey is the fun part. We’re not sure where that will continue to take us, but we’re going to make today the best day we can for whomever we get to shoot for.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If we had a week, I’d go up through Sedona for a day then continue on to the Lake Powell area to relax, eat some BBQ, do some sight seeing, hiking and swimming. Enjoy some time in the red rocks!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve been lucky to have a support system that’s made up of two incredible women. My wife Amy and I started the business together. It’s hard to imagine a partner that could be more encouraging, thoughtful or supportive than her. Not only is she great at her job, but she’s great at helping me to be better at mine. I’m super lucky to have a partner like her.
Our studio manager Lindsay has become one of the backbones of our business and has taken on a lot of the unsung-hero-type work that let’s us spend our time behind the lens. She has a great work ethic and takes ownership of our business just like we do. We’re blessed to have her.
Other: http://www.hoffermedia.com – (commercial work)