BPW Student Spotlight: Chris Williams

It's time for the latest BPW Student Spotlight, where we highlight a different member of our talented community to learn more about how our students turn their passion for photography into freelance work, fulfilling hobbies, or even full-time careers.

©Caitlin Manning Photography

Chris Williams has had a long-standing love of photography since childhood, but didn’t realize it until recently.

“My mom was cleaning out her attic and came across a whole box of my photos from when I was younger,” explains the Cambridge native and UMass Boston alumna. “I didn’t even put it together, but I was always the kid on the field trips, at camp, or the last day of school with a disposable camera, capturing the memories. I was ALWAYS the one with the camera ready to go!”

From Pastime to Full-time?

This hidden hobby resurfaced in her life in a more prominent way a couple of years ago when she began spending more time on Instagram. She followed a number of photographers, particularly those in wedding industry, and began to realize that these people made a full-time living at what she had always thought could just be a side job.

“It sounds silly when I think of it now, but it didn’t even occur to me until then that people could make their living as photographers! I had always thought it was just something that people did mostly for fun.”

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After this realization, Chris bought her first digital camera—a SONY A7—for Christmas in 2016. She dedicated 2017 as her “year of lessons & learning”; she wanted to perfect her craft and become adept at photography before she charged anyone a dime for her services.

“I took every request that came my way: baby showers, baptisms, birthday parties, dance classes, being a second shooter for large weddings… every opportunity allowed me to improve my skills,” says Chris. “But even on those shoots, my only confidence behind my camera was due to the ‘auto’ setting.

“It was around this time that I started searching photography classes and discovered the BPW on Yelp! There was a line on the website about ‘getting off of auto button and learning to use your camera’s manual settings’, and I thought, “Yup, I’m sold!’ That Digital Cameras 1 class was the ultimate game changer for me as a photographer.”

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Since then, Chris has been starting to discover which kinds of clients and projects she likes so she can turn it from “a loved hobby, with a side of professionalism” into a full-time gig.

“So far I’ve learned that I really like smaller weddings and engagement shoots—the more intimate affairs,” says Chris. “I have seen people who exclusively focus on destination weddings and elopements, and I think that’s an avenue that would be great for me.”

The BPW is delighted that we could help Chris explore her natural talent and bring joy to so many couples and families.

“I am so grateful that I found the BPW,” says Chris. “The entire team is so knowledgeable and inviting with a real eagerness for students to learn. I love that they treat you as a peer and not just a student. Not to mention the private BPW Facebook group is amazing! Support and advice at the click of a mouse! I’m forever a BPW kid!”

To learn more about Chris Williams and her company, September Seventh Studios, please visit her website at    s7sphotography.com   .

To learn more about Chris Williams and her company, September Seventh Studios, please visit her website at s7sphotography.com.