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“They are nothing less than what I’d expect from someone who is photographing me or my children.”

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, business values are also personal values. Your personal core values define who you are and what you believe in and align your business with your true self. This way it is easier to identify your ideal clients, establish a relationship with them and build loyalty. Leslie Hoffman is a Southern California-based portrait photographer, who, like a fine wine, has invested years to reach an excellent level of quality. Many clients have been captured through her artful lens. The first question I posed to her, was how she chose just three core values to set the tone of her website.

Diane: On your website your landing page banner states: Sensitivity. Passion. Fun. These are obviously high on your Richter scale of values. Why did you choose these three values?

Leslie: These are all values that I hold in my heart during a photo shoot; they’re natural, and I couldn’t even hold them back if I tried! I love what I do so much that it’s easy to be all these things. They are nothing less than what I’d expect from someone who is photographing me or my children.

 Leslie Hoffman, Leslie Hoffman Photography - Photographer

Diane: What does this mean for your client?

Leslie: My clients are able to receive these gifts from me and be swept up in the entire photographic experience. I completely put myself in their shoes and ultimately give a client more than she/he could have imagined.

Diane: What services do you offer and who is your target audience?

Leslie: I offer priceless keepsake portraits to those who appreciate and seek out not only professional photography but fine art. Although children’s photography is my main emphasis, I also offer headshots for business and social media, teen and senior photos, and a genre that combines vintage/glamour/boudoir for my more adventurous female clients! These last three areas of photography are quite exhilarating for myself and my clients as it allows us all to come out of our ‘boxes’ and reinvent ourselves.

Leslie Hoffman, Leslie Hoffman Photography - Portrait Photographer

Diane: What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?

Leslie: As a gift to herself to celebrate being cancer free, a client wanted a vintage session with me. Not just any vintage session but one that would help her channel Rita Hayworth in all her silver screen glory. We pulled out all the stops with two antique cars, loads of period clothing and accessories, fabulous hair and makeup, lighting assistants, stylists…and gave her the photo shoot of her dreams. Rita would be stunned to see the similarities! Oh, and photographing an extended family of 21 last Christmas was a huge accomplishment!

Leslie Hoffman, Leslie Hoffman Photography - Portrait Photographer

Diane: What’s the best advice you have received in your business that you wish to pass on to others?

Leslie: Someone in the business told me to, “Shoot what you want to shoot!” At the end of the day, I’m extremely satisfied if I follow this simple rule. I guess for other businesses that would translate to: “Do what you love!”

Diane: How do you use social media in your marketing strategy?

Leslie: I use social media daily, especially Facebook. The social interaction, the channels to direct others to my website and blog, and the ability to post upcoming events are valuable and effective tools for my business. I’m also able to instantly see what my colleagues are up to and to support them.

Diane: What are some of the other ways you get visibility?

Leslie: I’ll target specific groups using email, loyalty programs, fundraisers for charity events, partnership with authors and entrepreneurs, and public exhibitions. I believe strongly in the tangible as well as the virtual world of marketing.

Diane: Do you have any new projects coming up, or have you just completed a big project or reached a milestone?

Leslie: It’s been a year of concentrating on my ‘Vintage lens by Leslie’ business, an offshoot of Leslie Hoffman Photography, wherein I recreate and reinterpret the classic golden age of photography, with a healthy bit of whimsy thrown in. I tested my creativity in this genre by doing pinup photography of women, then turning them into paintings in the tradition of Vargas or Elvgren. That was accomplished by a method of digital painting taught to me by famed photographer and digital expert Gene Nocon. Currently I plan to roll out Leslie Hoffman Photography Glamour and Boudoir. These photos will be as stunning and timeless as those from Vintage Lens by Leslie…maybe a little more adventurous!

Diane: What is something surprising about you that few would know?

Leslie: No one really knows that I tend toward shyness and keep to myself probably more than I should…that is, unless I’m with a client, then I find loads of energy within. It’s almost as if I’ve saved it up for them.

Diane: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Leslie: Everyone has the capacity for transformation…try it, you may just like it!

Diane: What’s the best way for people to connect with you?

Leslie: Visit my website http://www.lesliehoffmanphotography.com/to see my range of work and read my blog to get constant updates and notice of special offers. Like my page on Facebook, too!

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