Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Hensley.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I’ve always grown up in Tennessee and moved to middle TN back in 2007. I’ve never considered myself to be a particularly artistic or creative individual, but something about photography always piqued my interest.
I picked up a camera for the first time back in 2010 and shot recreationally. I never did any editing or producing of the photos, but just for fun. After a few years, the fun fizzled out and I put down the camera and sold it, never intending on picking it up again.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2019, and I started to get the itch again to take photos. Photography to me is like a science (my background is in Biochemistry)… there are many pieces that make up the perfect photo, all from your gear, your photo composition, editing, and final delivery.
I also am a follower of Jesus, and so I have always believed that there is an innate beauty in people and that we are all made in the image of God… subsequently, I believe in the innate beauty of the subjects of each photo. I bought a “starter” Canon camera – I figured I’d start small in the event I decided to give it up again, so I wouldn’t have invested a lot.
The desire for photography, to learn more, and to perfect my craft grew more & more every day, to a point it never had before. I started photographing friends & families for free, just to build my portfolio. The demand started increasing, and so I figured it was time to start upgrading my gear. Slowly as the months went by, I purchased new camera bodies and more and higher quality lenses.
A friend finally told me “your work is too good to keep doing this for free… your portfolio is big enough.” So I took the leap in 2020 (of all years) and started to promote & build my business under the name Chris Hensley Photography.
As my business grew and more clients booked me, I realized this wasn’t just a hobby or something to pass time… it’s an art form that I truly fell in love with that brings me joy and allows me to use the gifts God has given me to bless others. Business picked up tremendously, mostly from referrals, in mid-2021. By January 2022, I decided to officially incorporate my business and take the leap… and I couldn’t be more blessed.
I love what I do and the people I get to work with. It’s not a job to me… it’s a joy and a true blast. My clients become friends, and I love getting to deliver pictures that seemingly suspend memories in time & space. I’ve since expanded my business to take on families, couples, engagements & weddings.
I am honored to get to be a part of my client’s journeys, and I cannot wait to see where the road continues to lead.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It wasn’t a smooth road at the start. Ya know, it seemingly can be really hard to find clients or people to take photos of. The beginning was excruciatingly slow… and thankfully at the time, I wasn’t doing it for the money.
I did it because I loved it and because it was fun. I think the turning point came when I realized I got to pour my passion & heart into what I was doing… it didn’t have to be a rigid “job”. I got to be authentically me and pour all that I am into my photography.
COVID made things really tough, as it did for many other people. I started my business at, outwardly seeming, the silliest of times… in the middle of a pandemic where no one was really seeing anyone else in person. But God was faithful through it all, and I pushed through.
I connected to connect with people & clients and it paid off as business started to boom in 2021.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a photographer that specializes in families, couples, engagements & weddings. I absolutely LOVE getting to capture people’s memories in time… to give them beautiful pictures to look back on and recall all of the emotions and joy (or sorrow) during that time.
My clients tell me (and I suppose I’m known for) my overall disposition & relationships with clients. My clients really do become friends, if they aren’t already. I LOVE to have fun, joke and exude the joy & happiness that I have in my day-to-day.
It seems commonplace, but it’s the thing my clients talk about the most, and I believe I do that exceptionally well. I strive to help people feel comfortable and to soak in every moment. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to be a part of people’s stories… it really is an honor.
Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
All the glory to God for the gifts He’s given me and the ways he has provided over the years. I really am blessed and so, so grateful for what I get to do.
- Engagement/Couples Shoots: Starting at $250
- Weddings: Starting at $2800
- Families: Starting at $250
- Headshots: Starting at $100
- Other sessions (senior, maternity, etc.): Starting at $250
- Website: chrishensleyphotography.com
- Instagram: @chrishensleyphotography
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chrishensleyphotography/
Chris Hensley Photography