sharon kopko

best of 2018

Christine Gosch -brand photographer

best of 2018

film brand photographer

2018 was so amazing. It was my first full year offering brand photography for businesses, artists, entrepreneurs, and creatives. To get a general idea of how each session goes, you can click here. As much as I’d love to say I could write up an instructional guide regarding exactly how your brand session will go, I can’t. Because EACH ONE WAS SO DIFFERENT and unique to the person or business I was shooting for. I love that!

I thought I’d take this opportunity to address some goals I have for my brand photography business this year, because I learned so much in 2018.

1) Market my mail-in option.

This one, I’m excited about. I’ve actually already got a couple of these lined up for January and February and I’m so excited. It’s exactly what it sounds like: if your business offers physical goods/ products, you mail me what you’d like photographed and I shoot it in my home office studio. Then I mail back your products. Bada bing bada boom.

2) Book more destination brand sessions.

I’ve got two lined up in a couple of weeks and it’s the best of both worlds for me: photography and traveling. If you’re not located within the Houston area, I would love to travel to you for your brand session!

3) New pricing structure.

This past year, I offered very introductory level pricing with the intentions of building up my portfolio and navigating the waters of this venture. Now that I have a clearer vision of what brand sessions entail and what I need to do to operate a successful business, I’ll be offering more fair prices. Any inquiry from here on out will be new pricing.

4) Work with a restaurant.

Ok, I just love food. Period. End of story. Eating it, cooking it, photographing it- you name it. I’m going to reach out to local restaurants in need of fresh content for marketing & see what happens. I’ll keep ya posted!

Below are some of my favorite images from brand sessions in 2018. Travels took me to Salt Lake City and New Braunfels,Texas, with the rest of my work keeping me in beautiful Houston. I worked with the most amazing individuals and businesses, and I am already so stoked for projects planned and unplanned in 2019. Happy new Year, all! Thanks for the support and love as I continue doing what I love.

pressed paper brand shoot

Pressed Paper with Emma Natter. Christine Gosch brand photographer. commercial photography. product photographer. product photography. houston film photographer

Pressed Paper Brand Shoot with Emma Natter

handmade paper made in New Braunfels, Texas

From Emma Natter:

I was born in Texas but we left after a few months so it never felt like home. 

When I thought about Texas, in my mind it was always a flat, kind of dusty, desert place with plenty of space and kind people. 

A few months ago, work took me to Texas where I looked over the San Marcos river in Austin and we tried to find Sandra Bullock's mansion. I went to Waco, where I saw some fixer-upper homes. But I also made a detour to Texas hill country to visit the Pressed Paper and Print shop to help Sharon create new images for her shop. 

The road to Sharon's studio was lined with tall grasses and juniper trees but I could only make out the silhouettes because I was arriving a little late and it was dusk (I had had rental car troubles).

But Sharon made me feel like I arrived at the perfect time. When I walked in the door, she rushed to me with open arms like I was her daughter coming home to visit after a long semester. Her husband, John, was cooking dinner with the same precision he brings to his job as an engineer, and Sharon's brother and sister-in-law were chatting in the kitchen and enjoying sips of wine. 

Sharon rushed me to a bedroom where she showed me all of the paper she had been prepping just for our time together. As I always do, I started touching everything. It does help my styling process, but even more, I just like to know how things feel. And that first piece of paper I picked up felt like a little cloudy pillow. So I touched more and more, telling Sharon what she already knew: that she has the softest paper in the world. 

Then she led me into her studio where her old letterpress is. "Here's Millie," she said, with the biggest smile I've ever seen. She showed me how Millie worked and then how she and John had engineered the perfect system to dry paper. I learned that that's the most precarious and time-consuming part of the process and together, they had nailed it. 

When I sat down for the dinner John had meticulously prepared, I again, started telling the table what they already know: I was tasting the best fettuccini alfredo I'd ever had. I was raised not to use grandiose statements like this or my comment about the paper. I don't even order fettuccini alfredo. And yet here it was, perfectly seasoned. Surprisingly seasoned with shallots and prosciutto and more. And yet here I was feeling completely honest using my over-the-top statement. Feeling like it would be dishonest to say anything different.

We had our photoshoot the next day and I watched Sharon throw her paper in the air like confetti and make jokes with Christine, the photographer, and I and enjoy breakfast. What I told Christine and she captured perfectly, was that I wanted it to be so clear that beyond amazing paper and press services and everything else that the shop offers, Sharon's generous heart is at the center. I had never met anyone who seemed less concerned with what doesn't matter in a competitive community, and so concerned with how she can continue to give, serve, and love the artists she works with.

It wasn't until that night that I learned that however easy it feels to be a guest in their home, it doesn't mean life is charmed. They've had their own path full of unsatisfying careers and heartbreaking illness. But even as they shared their story, I was encouraged by Sharon's decidedly grateful and optimistic outlook. I was trying hard to hold any unruly tears from escaping my eyes. 

When we said goodbye, Sharon said, "you always have a home here." I smiled and laughed a little thanking her, feeling like maybe she was exaggerating a bit too much in her generosity. But as I loaded up all of my props and luggage and pulled out of the driveway, I did have the distinct feeling that I was leaving home.



Featured on Cottage Hill

Christine Gosch, Emma Natter, Pressed Paper Cottage Hill feature

Brand photographer: Christine Gosch | Art director & styling: Emma Natter | Handmade paper & letterpress: Pressed Paper | Designers: Esther Clark Illustration & Calligraphy, Jenny Sanders, Design House of Moira, Mishku Studio, Owl Post Calligraphy | Film lab: The FIND Lab