Heather Bookout is co-owner of Bookout Studios along with her husband, Ben. They are located in Huntsville, AL- Rocket City USA. Heather specializes in newborn, child, family and senior photography. Starting from scratch 10 years ago and armed with only a business plan and the resolve to “do it afraid” she worked hard to hone her skills and learn as much as she could to build a successful studio. Starting as an on-location only business, Bookout Studios evolved quickly, and they are currently in a 3400 sq foot studio space in the heart of Huntsville. Heather’s love for design and imagination has made her known for creating one-of-kind imagery. Each of her images marries her client’s interests with her industrial-weathered-elegant style.
Heather and her husband have held 13 workshops at Bookout Studios and she has spoken at a national level at SPA.
Heather loves to encourage others to be who God called them to be. This verse in Galatians 6:4 says it best: “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your life.”
I believe that as a photographer, you should take an in-depth look of who you are – your talents, your desires, the things that make your heart sing – and build your business around those things. Choose a style that you love – one that is who you are – and make every shoot, ever image bring to life that style. I believe that you should always be in a state of growth and never be stagnant to bring continued success to your business.
How did you get started in the business? Who helped/guided/mentored you?
I learned from so many different things and people. I started my business from scratch. I didn’t have any money when I started, so I would go to bookstores and read books on photography and photoshop and then re-shelf the books. I absorbed information like a sponge on forums like www.ilovephotography.com. If I did not know how to do it, I tried to find a resource to figure it out. I attended several PPA conferences. I have gone to a SPA workshop and a SPA conference. I went to one of the Walden’s workshops in KY. These have all been very helpful. I recently watched the Sue Bryce workshop online and I think she is amazing! I am very grateful that so many resources are out there to learn. I am a forever student.
How many After Dark Events have you attended and what’s your favorite moment?
This is my first one. I am looking forward to it! It looks like it is a lot of fun!
Why is education important to you? How long have you been teaching? What made you get into teaching? What do you get out of being a mentor?
I continually want to stay renewed and fulfilled and what helps me do that is education. I really love helping people succeed and helping them find their path and their voice. Helping photographers create a plan for their life that contains deep fulfillment, monetary success and growth is very rewarding to me.
What are the top 5 skills you’ll be teaching at After Dark?
- How to find your style and create images with it.
- How to work with newborns, families and babies.
- How to create sets that have an emotional and personal component to your client AND you.
- Creative marketing to make your studio famous in your town.
- Creating a Charismatic Client experience
- Canon Shooter
- I own a studio with my husband in Huntsville, AL
- I once sprained both my ankles at the same time.
- I wake up in the morning with loud upbeat music instead of coffee.
Majority of Business:
- Newborn, babies, children, & families
- High school seniors
- I always work with an assistant