Junior Eliza Crouse launches her photography career

Junior+Eliza+Crouse+launches+her+photography+career

Hailey Pullo, Staff Writer

Most students of age have a job of some sort, but junior Eliza Crouse has taken a more personal and creative approach to her job: she’s a self-employed photographer, a job that most high schoolers can’t say they have experience with. 

Eliza first started photography as a hobby back in middle school, borrowing her dad’s camera. After about a year of shooting consistently, she decided to turn her hobby into a job opportunity. She had been taking pictures for events like weddings, as well as taking senior and family portraits, so it made sense to start getting compensation for her work. 

“Every other photographer in town was getting paid for their services, even if it was on the side,” Crouse said. “So I figured why shouldn’t I?”

Now, after roughly two years of working independently, Eliza’s photography career has been appreciated by many. She shoots events like weddings and engagements as well as portraits. 

Although she loves being able to capture special moments between families and couples her favorite type of shoot to do is creative direction. She really enjoys being able to have creative control over props, outfits, and location because it gives her an opportunity to really bring her creativity to life through her photography. 

Crouse works independently throughout her process when it comes to shooting and editing, but she also values the input she gets from her clients. 

“I want to leave space for my clients to let me know about locations, outfits, or props they want to use,” Crouse said. “I’m capturing their story.”

Fortunately for Crouse the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t negatively affected her business much. In fact, this has been her most booked year when it comes to senior portraits. She hasn’t had her normal amount of bookings for events like weddings, due to the social distancing guidelines but she’s been able to conduct her other bookings successfully and safely. 

“I always wear a mask, keep a distance from my clients, always shoot outside, and consistently get tested to make sure I’m not putting others at risk when I go shoot with them,” Crouse said. “With these precautions, I’ve been able to get more bookings in.” 

Although Crouse has been successful recently, despite the potential setbacks of COVID-19, she did have difficulties in the past, especially during the beginnings of her career. She started officially photographing for compensation while in eighth grade, and quite a few adult photographers in the community were apprehensive of her business. They took to social media to go public about their issues with her business, one of the main ones being her age. 

Crouse has since learned to carry herself as an independent worker and has not let people take advantage of her because of her age. Her confidence has improved quite a bit over the years, as has her work. She’s noticed the improvement in both her work and business management, saying that she’s sometimes a little embarrassed about her past work. But, like most people, she’s able to look back to her old mistakes and grow from them. 

“I’m also very self-critical,” Crouse said. “I’m constantly thinking about what I can do better next time so I can constantly work on improving. There is always so much room to grow.” 

She feels like she’s really developed her style lately and feels confident in her progress as a photographer. Crouse has cemented herself as a professional and fairly well-known photographer in the area, and clients can make bookings with her through a link on her business Instagram account.

 

 

PC: Hailey Pullo