Don't let her blonde hair and high-pitch voice fool you, because the minute you underestimate Corey is the minute you'll begin to regret ever doing so. On the outside she might appear to be your stereotypical midwestern blonde fashionista with expensive shoes but on the inside she's lived through some hard life lessons and knows how to deliver a punch when someone tries to take her for granted. It's probably because she looks so unassuming and innocent that people reveal their true colors around her and she gets to see a side of people that they otherwise wouldn't show anyone.
Corey has been to A LOT of the photography workshops offered in the wedding industry over the last 2-3 years and she's also been to most of the major conventions. Because of this, she can give you the inside scoop on who to drop the big bucks on and who you should just avoid. However, we have an agreement here at Photo Lovecat: that we won't say anything negative about anyone, because we're LOVECATS!! So, if you want the inside scoop, you're going to have to talk to her directly! All of that wisdom she's acquired over the last few years needs an outlet, which is why I've invited her to be a Photo Lovecat! Please welcome her with some love by leaving a comment or asking a question to inspire her for future posts!
Name: Corey Balazowich
Business Name: Corey Ann Photography
Location: North Canton, Ohio
When did you start your business? September 2007
What services do you offer? I focus on Wedding and Portrait Photography.
What products do you offer? Currently I offer Finao albums and I use Pixel 2 Canvas for my canvases.
Are you home or studio based? Home based.
What do you enjoy about working from home/studio? Editing in my pajamas by far is the biggest perk of working from home followed closely by the ability to sleep in!
What have been the challenges of working from home/studio? I know EVERYONE says this but having set hours kind of goes out the window when you work from home. It's all too easy to "quickly" reply to one email, that turns into a blog, that turns into editing and so on.
Do you have any employees? Nope, just me. However I do have an assistant - and hopefully more next year - that is a contractor for me. My husband also shoots when he's not working on the weekend.
What do you outsource and to who? Me, myself and I.
How did you acquire your photo skills? My Dad had a Canon SLR from the 60's (I think the first one?) and I learned from him. I was very much a Daddy's Girl and would mimic him all the time so I was always right behind him taking pictures. When I was 13 I had a picture I took of Wild Horses in Corolla made into a postcard and after that the photography bug was firmly seated.
How did you acquire your business skills? To be quite honest, I don't know. You learn as you go, you learn from those smarter than you and roll with it. I also use and love ShootQ which has helped tremendously.
What has made the biggest difference in your business? My Mac Pro. Seriously. I was the BIGGEST PC cheerleader. I used to do tech support. I could fix anything that broke on a pc pretty much. It was a comfy blankie to me and I didn't want to give it up. Then I bought the thrid desktop in 2 years because yet again, I killed one editing on it. That computer died in 3 days. That was the final nail in the coffin on my PC. I haven't looked back since (although my bank account may disagree with that!)
What do you want for the future of your business? More and more happy clients!!! Honestly though, someday I would love to be a wedding and travel photographer.
What do you want for your personal future? I would like to have kids sooner-rather-than-later but of course I have to plan it so that it doesn't clash with wedding season.
What are you passionate about other than photography? I am an avid reader and read over 100 + books a year. I literally have been reading a book of some sort since I was able to read. The rest of my passions are (in no particular order): New Kids on the Block, fancy shoes, Louboutins, chapstick, bath products, bubble lights, freshly fallen snow, animals, cats, hugs, lilacs, candles and my husband.
Share a little about your home life: The house that I live in was built in the 50's and I'm the third generation to own it. My grandparents had it built, my mom grew up here, I grew up here and now I live here. It's kind of nice to live in the same house for almost 30 years! I live here with my husband and my two cats, Kitty and Sage.
Tell us a funny story about one of your experiences: I have this strange knack for getting hurt in the weirdest ways possible. I think I could get hurt sealed in a bubble. If there was a talent competition in injuries I could totally win. Anyways, during my first trip to WPPI I did a day-long shootout with a lot of other photographers. We started off at the Neon Graveyard and then continued out to a ghost town about 40 minutes away from The Strip. Two locals were with us and said that at sunset the way the rays backlight the cacti in a field right by the abandoned mine is almost magical and we really should all try to at least nail one shot from it. They warned us to be careful when around the cacti though because they hurt and the needles are really hard to get out once they go in the skin. I was following the crowd into the cacti field and someone stepped back and my instant reaction was to step back myself. Well in backing up I swung my hand into a cactus. Hard. It wasn't pretty... and it hurt. Bad. Luckily one of the guys had a knife on him to pry my hand off the cactus (but NO ONE TOOK PICTURES!!!) and eventually I got most of the spines out. However the rest of the trip, it hurt. It kept hurting all week. When I got home it felt like I had arthritis in the hand, it was the strangest thing. I tried EVERYTHING to get the remaining spines out to no avail. Eventually I went to my doctor and finally a dermatologist and was told that the scar tissue that formed over the spines/spine holes were permanent. It took about a year for me to stop having random pains in the hand but I still have the 'spots' from where they all went in. Lesson? Beware of the cactus and no matter what you do, don't slam a body part into one. They bite.