Like many leading photographers today, Ammie journey started as personal passion that blossomed into something much larger.

Ammie started out in the world of corporate finance. She graduated from Canada’s Top Business School, Queens University and went to work at one of the top accounting firms, Deloitte & Touche where she obtained her CPA (Certified Public Accountant) certification.

In her desire for a more temperament climate, Ammie decided to move from Toronto to the most beautiful city she could think of, San Francisco. Not only did the city and the surrounding areas provide Ammie with near unlimited shooting potential, it also had some of the best professional photographer resources like PPGBA, re-known schools like Academy of Arts, UCSC Extension, and Golden Gate School of Professional Photography.

After achieving two more finance certifications, the CMA and CIA (Certified Management Auditor & Certified Internal Auditor), working for firms like Protiviti and Electronic Arts she decided that she needed a change. By the urging of her photographer friends Ammie decided to do more with her photography talent.

 Not only did she pursue the route of art school, she understudied with many of the top photographers in Northern California and attended seminars offered by the industry leading photographers. Learning not only how to shoot as professional, but to learn how to build a successful and sustainable business in a highly competitive market. The last thing Ammie wanted to be is "yet another photographer" amongst the vast. Combining her business talents and artistic sensibilities she has created something different.

Ammie's clients love and respect this because every one of them are special as well. From Silicon Valley's top geeks, scientific researchers, high powered executives; to the teachers on the leading edge of education, the doctors that care for us, soldiers and police that protect us... Every single one of them worked very hard to get to where they are today. And they want some that is equally demanding and successful to be entrusted with a very special day in their lives. This trust has propelled Ammie's business to grow at astronomical rates.

Everywhere you go, people talk about Ammie. Though she would rather talk about her clients and instead of herself. Not only is she shooting the top locations in California, but she is now shooting weddings throughout the Pacific Rim; Tokyo, Hong Kong and Vancouver to mention a few. Her multi-lingual skills being another great asset, speaking Mandarin, Taiwanese and Japanese fluently. Ammie is also appearing and competiting at a local and national level with her work, gardering awards and reconginition.

Of course Ammie can’t make this business work alone, she has a growing team of photographers, artists, business folks, and vendors all coming together to push to create something different and unique for each client.


 

This is the most asked question (directly or indirectly). When Ammie first went shopping for photography for herself, there seemed to be some kind of Voodoo science about photography. Every photographer had an angle, sales pitch, told myths and lies. Some used high pressure sales tactics to get you to sign, like a special one-day discount or show pricing if you book now. Then there are the photographers that were lucky to have couple good shots in their portfolios (which they had no idea how they took it) or a nice foreign accent with lots of pictures of France. Ammie has even met some truely talented photographers that were starving because they were too shy to ask if you want to book with them. There seemed to be no business sense to this business.

To best answer the question, without telling stories is learn about some of Ammie’s beliefs in choosing a photographer. These beliefs are a few of the foundation that set her apart and is part of her vision on where this profession needs to go.



It is easy to make a handful of albums and pictures look very good, a few hours of Photoshop does wonders. The question you are looking an answer for is if the photographer can always deliver the same high quality work at every event, under always changing conditions. As a buyer you need to distinguish between “signature work” and “as delivered for the client” in most cases these are on the opposite ends of the spectrum, just because it takes a lot of time and effort to consistently produce high quality work.



While #2 on this list, in Ammie’s mind it should be #1. For weddings, the photographer you are hiring has to be someone with as much personality and charisma as your DJ. Unlike the other vendors, your photographer has to act as a photographer and as an event coordinator, DJ, usher and more. It takes an unbelievable amount of effort to get everyone in the right position at the right time for the prefect shot. Face it, someone soft spoken can’t be heard in a family shot of 15 or 30 people. Even during the more intimate shots, one really has to have the right personality to get the best out of people. Let’s face it, we connect with some and not others. Even with studio work, personality makes the difference between a fun shoot and a the worst experience you will ever have.



Again for weddings, a photographer is not only responsible for their own organization but getting everyone at the event organized (that is where personality really helps out a lot). To be several steps ahead of the game takes an un-natural level of organization. There are so many moving parts at a wedding and no two weddings are the same. There are hundreds of items on the list that the photographer has to actively manage throughout the event. Getting behind the list or forgetting about it means certain disaster in post-production.



For weddings and events, you have to think about the physical fitness of the photographer(s). Six, eight, ten, twelve hours of shooting, lifting a 12lb camera up and down a few thousand times.Not to mention the second camera on the side and lots of support gear to haul around. These are realities of shooting. Being in top shape means the difference between a photographer that is still on top of their game at the end of the wedding versus a grouchy & exhausted photographer. Even in a prefectly dialed-in studio, the photographer has to be on top of it, below, or hanging from a chair to get the shot.



A real professional acts like a professional. Everyone at your wedding or event is going to interact with this person at one moment in time. If the person is willing to act in an un-professional manner, be expecting other surprises. If the photographer is quick to bargain or discount, beware. Especially the “book now” trap. Lower prices means more corners cut, less quality. Worse yet, that the photgrapher is desperate for business. You would be better off working with higher quality photographer to find something that fits your budget, than jumping on one of these “deals”.