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Inspiring Conversations with Cierra Reed

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cierra Reed.

Hi Cierra, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I want to start by saying that I came from a broken family. My biological dad has been in jail all my life. My biological mom was on drugs. She left me at a man’s house whom I didn’t know. While anything could have happened to me, I thank God it didn’t. This man took me to the police station, where I was then placed in foster care. I spent most of my childhood depressed and detached from the world. I would run to the door daily, crying and hoping my mom would come back for me. But she never did. I lived with the same foster family all my life. They weren’t very supportive. In fact, my adoptive father cussed me out often and was always drunk. He would often tell me how I wasn’t “ever going to be shit and that I would be a crackhead just like my mom”. But I prevailed. Fast Forward to today, I am a Registered nurse and Wedding/Portrait photographer. I was not a traditional college student. I had children first, in my early 20s and graduated later on in my late 20s. I always wanted to attend law school. This was my dream since childhood. But it seemed unobtainable due to time commitment and cost. I had children that needed me to support them right away. Taking care of my children was all I knew and I enjoyed it. I was determined to give them a better life. So I attended nursing school since I got fulfillment from taking care of people. As I was obtaining my Bachelor’s degree, I took photography classes to fulfill my arts requirements. And boy oh boy, little did I know I had discovered a new passion and love. This hobby and newfound love gave birth to Cierra Reed photography. I began photographing families and small events in 2019. I now offer more services with a specialty in wedding photography, which is my favorite. I love, love. And I’m glad to be the person behind the camera capturing the beauty and love experience of others.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth road. Getting into wedding photography was hard. Weddings are a big deal and you can’t just jump into it without experience. So for me, the three things I struggled with in a market so saturated was getting my foot in the door, finding a mentor who specialized in wedding photography, then finally gaining experience and then boom, COVID hits and weddings are at a standstill. However, I had the opportunity to meet Michelle Harris. She is a well-known wedding photographer based in Fredericksburg, Virginia who also teaches new and experienced photographers how to be great wedding photographers. She definitely helped me change the game.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My business is Cierra Reed photography. My slogan is Capturing Moments Today and Creating Memories of a Lifetime! I strive to uphold this statement. As I said before, I love love. I enjoy photographing your laughter and love. While wedding photography is my specialty, I do offer family, maternity, senior/graduate, and headshot photography. What sets me apart is that I don’t do this just for money. I genuinely want to offer the best portrait experience to my clients and build lifelong friends along the way. And often that is what I do. Most of my clients become repeat customers and friends. Also, I want to invite people to hear my story and fall in love with it and know that I am truly passionate about their experience. I realize that lots of people want professional photography services and can’t afford it. So I give away free photo sessions to those in need. I am most proud of that. A project I want to incorporate is offering free portrait sessions to foster children. I would like to see them get dressed up and take portraits of themselves to have for memories Because I have not one picture of myself from childhood. I want them to know that they are beautiful and that they can and will overcome.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Indeed. I learned to always have a plan b. While I am glad I have another career path, COVID really put a standstill on business.

Pricing:

  • Standard Photo Session $250 1- hour session Includes 20 digital images The best images from your session Downloading and Printing rights 1 free 8 x 10 print
  • Mini Session $125 30- minute session Includes 10 digital images The best images from your session Downloading and Printing rights
  • Bronze Collection $1000 4 hours of coverage (Wedding and first 2 hours of Reception) Basic edits Custom USB drive
  • Silver Collection $1500 6 hours of coverage (Wedding and Reception) Custom 8×8 photo book Custom USB drive Basic edits
  • Gold Collection $2000 8 hours of coverage (pre- ceremony, wedding, and reception) Custom 8×11 photo book Custom USB drive Basic edits Engagement photos included in Silver and Gold Collection

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Cierra Reed Photography

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