Elaine Green thought she would end up working in business, but the self-taught photographer turned her passion into a career.

Green graduated from the University of Alberta’s School of Business in 2003 and then worked in corporate marketing for a few years. However, it left her feeling unfulfilled.

Starting as a hobby from her mother’s love of photography, Green’s passion for capturing moments was born.

“She was always taking pictures, and then I took pictures, then I started to do more events,” Green explains. “When I did weddings, it was a whole new world. It was capturing people at their happiest.”

Green transitioned her photography to be full-time in 2007.

Her experience in marketing is where she learned the importance of the business side of photography is, rather than just capturing images of her subjects.

“You can’t just take pictures and expect anything to come from it. There’s marketing, accounting, sales, client account management and advertising,” Green explains. 

“All of that is the biggest part of being a photographer; shooting pictures is really just 10 per cent of the time, the other 90 per cent is just all that business work.”

Duane Cheung, Green’s associate photographer, discusses Green’s detail-orientated organization of her photoshoots.

“She’ll break down the whole day down to the details of it that you can tell they haven’t thought about…it’s those things, she pays attention to her details.”

Green’s clients choose her as their photographer because they want her unique style of photography.

“If you’re comfortable with what you’re doing, you’ll find the type of clients that you want,” says Green. “And the clients that you want, they’re seeking out your style. They’re not seeking out someone else’s style.” 

Through her unique style, Green was in the top five per cent of photographers in WeddingWire, the top three photographers in the Professional Wedding Photographers of Canada, the top 25 wedding photographers by Wedding Bells Magazine and the top 50 photojournalists by the Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA). 

“All of that is the biggest part of being a photographer; shooting pictures is really just 10 per cent of the time, the other 90 per cent is just all that business work.” – Elaine Green

“I just try my best to be ready and capture it from a different way so that it’s not the standard shot like standing, everyone knows how to do that,” says Green.

“I think it’s like having a weird lens or weird angle, that’s what captures the attention. Or even having interesting lighting.”

Green believes comparing yourself to other artists will influence your work and can lead to the loss of originality.

“If you keep comparing yourself with others… your work will be influenced by others and that… you can’t differentiate yourself,” Green explains. “You need to forge your own way and stick to it. Do your own thing and don’t… be worried about what others are doing.”

Trisha Zook, health consultant and make-up artist, is a client of Green, and explains her unique style of photography.

“Elaine knows what she is doing. She’ll often have you in an uncomfortable pose, but it looks amazing in the end. For candid photos, she knows how to be a fly on the wall and still capture flattering angles,” Zook explains.

Despite her success in photography, Green decided to head back to the University of Alberta – this time, to study nursing.

With Green’s busy schedule of being a piano teacher, photographer and registered nurse, it’s hard for her to find balance. However, she still manages to power through.

“I try my best to balance, but I don’t think that anyone has a perfect balance,” says Green.

When it comes to the future, she explains the importance of learning new things and growing as the years go on.

“I don’t think you graduate, then you just stop learning… I’m not going to be just a photographer forever. I’m probably going to go into something else, I’m probably going to go into another field of nursing, or something new… I’m going to keep learning.”

Editor: Mackenzie Gellner | mgellner@cjournal.ca

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