“Film and natural light—that’s me,” says Los Angeles-based wedding photographer Jen Huang. Huang has built a thriving career around her delicate, sunlight-drenched aesthetic and the meticulous attention to each frame that shooting film requires. “It’s really taught me to be a very thoughtful and focused photographer,” she says. “When I’m in the zone, I want every image I capture to be something I keep, something that’s meaningful to my clients, and something that has a use.” With her attention focused on creating enduring images for her clients, Huang devoted little thought to looking for a market for her work beyond them. Eventually, the market came looking for her.
Huang joined Adobe Stock after her images began to garner attention from magazine editors and commercial buyers, who had run across them on wedding blogs. She soon discovered that her chosen métier had broader horizons than she’d realized. “I was in this wedding bubble,” she explains. By exposing her work to a more diverse market, Huang learned that her well-honed skill at crafting a narrative and capturing emotional connections wasn’t something that just interested newlyweds, but a wider range of clients. “I think the people who buy my images are looking to tell a story within an image,” she says.
Like any accomplished wedding shooter, Huang has a deep archive of images covering a wide variety of sought-after genres, from food and lifestyle to travel and decor. Photographs of winning couples and jubilant guests are just the beginning of the image collection she generates at each occasion she shoots. “Our job as a wedding photographer is actually 20 jobs in one, because we’re every type of photographer on that day,” Huang points out. “It’s so great to have this arsenal of images from years and years, and actually be able to reuse and sell them.”
Selling her work through Adobe Stock allows Huang to earn income from her archive without adding to her already busy shooting schedule. “My bread and butter is still weddings and portrait shoots, but I’m making money from stock imagery in my pajamas,” she says. And she’s found the process refreshingly painless. “I really love being with Adobe because of this amazing team they have that explains everything to me and has been really hands-on in helping me use the Adobe Stock website,” says Huang.
Perhaps most importantly, unlocking the full value of her images has given Huang the flexibility to diversify her portfolio, explore new avenues in photography, and adapt her career as new challenges arise. “I have a two-year-old, and I’m also pregnant with my second son, so there are things in my life that are going to come in the way of shooting weddings every weekend,” she explains. Having a self-sustaining income stream gives her the breathing room she needs to pursue projects as an educator and author, and to devote time to her growing family.
“I think joining Adobe Stock is really smart for photographers to do, and I’d love for more wedding photographers to start realizing that their images are worth something,” says Huang. She thinks they’ll be as pleasantly surprised as she was. “That was never part of my business plan or anything I thought about before. All of a sudden it’s become a source of income that I really want to grow.”
–Sponsored by Adobe Stock