We had the good fortune of connecting with Miranda Longoria and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Miranda, what do you attribute your success to?
After many years working for corporations on their branding and marketing – when it was time to create my own brand for my business, I knew to start with a value statement. I realized quickly that I didn’t want to be valued as the most affordable (aka cheap), and probably wouldn’t be considered the most premium quality (I am still improving my craft ever year, so maybe someday) – immediately I knew my brand would revolve around my client’s experience. I wanted it to be real and authentic. I could take pictures of people all day, but if they are not happy or having a good time or feeling the meaningfulness of the moment, the pictures I took would not convey the story that we wanted to tell. I capture laughter and snuggles and emotional connections with my photography. I want to tell stories. I sincerely believe my clients come back to me year after year (and more importantly refer me to their friends and family) because I provide a memorable experience. When they look at the portraits I’ve taken, they remember how they felt that day and they want to relive that again. I also use my social media to share who I am and what my life is like with my clients -crazy mom of 4 kids trying to hustle while still have fun. That way they feel a personal connection with me before I ever get in front of them with a camera. It’s always more comfortable to have someone you feel like you know photograph your milestone moments than a stranger. Finally – I believe in giving back. Being successful brings responsibility to your community. After being in business for over 10 years, I started a networking group with another colleague, Venetta Petties, to help lift up and encourage other women in the wedding industry (Boss Babes Denton DFW TX). Through that project, I’ve met so many other women in all stages of owning a business: experienced, amateur, part-time, etc. We try to mentor and provide a forum for learning, fellowship and authentic referrals through Boss Babes and it’s been such a blessing in my life. I feel like this has been what I’ve been striving for all these years. I have the confidence and the support I need to continue to be successful, despite the current pandemic. Surrounding myself with clients and colleagues that love and support me – that’s the real feeling of success.
What should our readers know about your business?
I think what sets me apart from other photographers in the wedding and portrait industry is that I personally invest in my clients. I choose my clients as much as they choose me – and I am aware I am not for every single client and that is okay. I strive to be an investment that my clients want to stick with year after year, moment after moment, milestone after milestone. I genuinely want to be their family historian, from the first “I do” to the moment they send their last child off to college and beyond. The stories and moments that families share with me are valued and cherished. I want to tell their story with beauty and authenticity. It wasn’t easy to find my style. I looked around at other (more experienced photographers) and doubted my talent and ability. I tried to copy other artists’ style and abilities and was never satisfied. I second-guessed my desire to do photography full-time. I stayed too long doing corporate marketing for years out of fear. I didn’t believe in myself enough to think I could make a living doing what I loved and was passionate about. A series of personal life changes propelled me into the opportunity to finally take the chance, and in 2011, after dabbling at a photography business for 5 years, I decided to try to do it full-time. It was hard. It was long late nights and working every evening and weekend during the fall and spring months. I encountered clients that were disappointed and I learned from the experiences. I strived to be better, to provide a better experience. And slowly, I did get better. The clients kept coming, loyal every year to me for their photography needs. Their belief in me built my confidence and kept me going. Next July will be 10 years since I left the corporate world to do photography full-time and I have no regrets. Sure, there are things I would have done differently (hard lessons I had to learn), but I think where I am now is exactly where I am meant to be. I find so much joy and satisfaction in helping people document their family memories. I don’t think I will ever stop being in love with weddings and children and high school seniors… seeing the pride and love and emotion shining from their eyes as they look at each other. I just feel blessed to get to be a part of it and make a living from it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh gosh – where to start? I would definitely take her to my favorite town: Lil’D, Denton. The square has so many awesome places to visit and eat. Atomic Candy for a trip down memory lane to our favorite childhood candies, JJ’s Pizza for the most decadent slice this side of Chicago or New York. For adult beverages and good people watching, we would hit all of the following: Pachall’s Bar, East Side, Oak Street Draft House and Mulberry Cantina. We would finish the night off watching the sunset from the patio at LSA with the beats of a local band playing, overlooking the lights and traffic of the square. Next, we would definitely hit Downtown Dallas – Deep Ellum for murals and sushi, Trinity Groves for a great view of the skyline and some amazing Italian. Then go down to the American Airlines Center to walk around and people watch – we might even head up to the top of the ball at Reunion Tower – there is nothing more Dallas than that. Then maybe head to uptown to see how the upper half lives in the McMansions and upscale shopping near SMU and Highland Park. Another day, we would hit the spots in far north DFW: Southfork Ranch, The Boardwalk in Frisco, Little Elm Beach, Downtown McKinney… a mix of suburban and old town feels. Finally – you have to visit the obvious landmarks like Grapevine Main Street for wine tours & tastings, and then jump on the train to the Fort Worth Stockyards for real TEXAS BBQ and to see real Texas Longhorns and Cattle up-close and personal. We would probably need a nap after all of that.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Yes, even though I helped start the group, I feel like Boss Babes Denton DFW TX has been such a blessing to me and my business. Networking on a personal level, instead of via handshakes and business cards, has given me some of my favorite vendors to work with as well as close friendships. As for my photography journey – I have to give a shout out to the book that finally made all the technical details click for me nearly 2 decades ago: “Understanding Exposure” by Brian Peterson. I highly recommend it for any beginning photographers.
Miranda Longoria Photography