Today we’d like to introduce you to Hollie Reid and Alex Ferguson.
Hi Hollie and Alex, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
I started photography at a young age and my passion grew as I went through school. In college, I took photography classes for fun and even held a senior exhibition of my work. It showcased nature photography at the time and I dreamt of working for National Geographic. I received my BA degree in Graphic Design and began working as a marketing director for a local real estate company. I was still shooting portrait and nature photography on the side attempting to sell prints as my side hustle.
The owners of the real estate company I was working for at the time asked if I had any experience in real estate photography and if I would be interested in being their photographer. I jumped at the opportunity. They helped lead me in the right direction of which angles to get and how to help me perfect my shots. From there I grew when I saw that there was a market and opportunity for photography for short-term rentals in the Smokies. Still shooting vacation rentals on the side for the next 5 years to make extra money, I jumped to a few other companies to look for better opportunities until I was ready to take the leap of faith to become a full-time business owner.
In May of 2020, in the middle of Covid-19, the rental market exploded and I knew that was my moment to spread my wings and fly. After saving up as much money as I could I turned in my 2 weeks’ notice and left my position as marketing director and photographer. It has been a lot of hard work and late nights but it has been worth it. In October of 2021, I met my boyfriend Alex/my now business partner. I was so overwhelmed with work that I needed help and was so picky that I refused to ask anyone else.
He was already a photographer building his own business in portrait photography and he ended up being the perfect fit. We have now been running HER Photography together since and continue to grow with new ideas.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Of course, running your own business and being an entrepreneur sounds like fun and games until you actually step into that world. There have been many challenges and we are facing them daily. One of the biggest struggles was time management. When I was running HER Photography alone I was working close to 80 hours a week. 8 hours out spent shooting properties, an hour drive home then spent the rest of my night editing and perfecting my shots. I was staying up until 2-3 AM every night to get my work finished.
Another struggle I have dealt with is something very common in artists called imposter syndrome. There were feelings of self-doubt many nights about my abilities in photography and editing. Even though people love our work we still always doubt ourselves and wonder how we could be better. Some physical elements such as rain, storms, snow, and having to reschedule properties on a tight timeline when your schedule is already full for the following weeks. These properties are on a tight deadline when needing photos so that they can go live for their real estate or Air BnB listing.
We have to work around not just the weather but also cleaners, guests, contractor timelines, and much more.
Rescheduling has become a regular occurrence for us but we always try our best to accommodate the clients. We know they are having to fight timelines and deadlines so we want their experience with us to be the easy part.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Alex and I are both photographers. We have been shooting all different types of content since we were both younger.
We specialize in real estate, creative architectural photography, and vacation rental photography. Everyone in the vacation rental market knows us as HER Photography, the photographers for short-term rentals. We have been recognized nationwide for our work and have clients all over the country. We also try to travel to different areas to shoot properties when we have the time. We are most proud of the quality and customer service that we can provide.
We are not a large corporate company. It is just the 2 of us making sure to take the time to personally speak with each client on the phone, through email, or by text. We enjoy meeting our clients and have even made great friends with many of them. We believe what we offer and our quality is what sets us apart from others we DO IT ALL. We are not JUST photographers. We also have full packages that include, video, matterport 3D virtual tours, drone footage, floor plans, staging, social media targeted photos with our “Moody Packages”, social media videos and reels, twilight photos, and even virtual twilight photos.
If you can think it up we are always willing to try and add a new service to our always-growing list. We want to make it an easy, one-stop shop.
Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
Hollie – Grew up with horses on a farm and riding daily. I loved coming home from school only to run out to the pasture and hop on Butterscotch or Soldier bareback.
Alex – Playing guitar in the woods. Came home from school, made a fire in the woods, and would play the guitar until it got dark.
- Real Estate starts at $200
- Vacation Rentals start at $475
- Website: www.herpicture.com
- Instagram: @her.photog
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HERpicture
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-RqSVIMr6eUhMBgg7grvIg