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Turning a Hobby Into a Part-Time Career

Two local teachers start photography business

So what do you do if you love taking pictures, snapping away at serene nature spots, maybe even taking a few of a beautiful bride and handsome groom?

How about start your own photography business–even if it’s only part-time.

“She (Heidi Bernasconi) had posted photos she had taken of her friend’s wedding. I said she had a good eye. I was half joking and half serious when I said we should do business together,” recalled Justin Sandomir.

Bernasconi took him seriously, and H+J Photography was born with the new year.

Both Bernasconi and Sandomir are teachers–he an art teacher for grades 9 – 12 at Clarkstown South High School, and she science at Clarkstown North. However, both have the bug for photo taking, especially Sandomir.

“I have a background in photography. I studied it at State University of New Paltz,” said the former Lillian Vernon worker, who along with Bernasconi, just photographed their initial wedding together in Long Island. “And we’re barebones like an a la carte buffet.”

H+J Photography has two basic packages with Sandomir calls “flexible.” The duo can be contacted via their website, http://hjphotony.zenfolio.com. More information and samples of past events the duo has photographed are on the site as well.

“I’ll do whatever, especially retouching. We like the customer to dictate what they want.”

And as for photography? “We both enjoy it. It’s a good hobby.”

Sandomir is also quick to point out that, even though he loves photography, he also loves teaching. “They (the students), keep me young,” he said with a laugh. "I appreciate teaching. I’ve got to be ready to put a show on every day. With teaching, we dictate what we’re doing, and I’m able to stick to curriculum and pick my projects.”

H+J Photography, Rockland County, New York, http://hjphotony.zenfolio.com/

Brian Duddy July 15, 2011 at 09:34 PM
Welcome abaord ! I started the same way. I brought my camera to several friends weddings to take photos and some of them were happier with my photos then their paid photographers. I decided to start doing weddings and events on the side for those that don't want to or simply can't afford to pay $2,000-$5,000 for a photographer. I really enjoy documenting people's once in alifetime moments.
Rebecca Giglio July 16, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Congratulations, Mrs. Bernasconi!

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