Tiffany Dumas: A passion for photography
No matter the request, whether it’s a wedding, a portrait session or any other special occasion, the owner of The Tiffany Studio in Brunswick takes great pride in fulfilling her clients’ wishes.
“I am so blessed to be able to capture life’s most beautiful moments and turn them into a timeless work of art for my clients and their generations to come,” Dumas said.
The Times Record recently talked with Dumas about, among other topics, her early development in photography, her work with the Miss Maine pageant, and how she separates business from pleasure when it comes time to take pictures of her own friends and family.
My passion for photography started at Morse High School, where I graduated in 1999. I then went on to college to pursue my dreams of photography and received my bachelor’s of fine arts degree from Endicott College in Beverly, Mass.
I moved back to Maine full time in 2003 and began to work on my photography career by starting a small business from my home.
Q. When did you first become interested in photography? How did you obtain the skills needed in your profession? Did you have a mentor?
A. Over the course of 2004 I started working with my mentor, Bob Despres, an engineer from Lewiston who has worked in the photographic field for the last 55 years. It was at this point in time when I was getting into wedding photography and fine portraiture.
Bob and I would work and study together two or four times a week for the next three years on the technical, artistic and business aspects of the craft.
Pushing myself for a studio experience, I moved to Michigan in the summer of 2007 to work with a master photographer, Russ Miller, at his high-volume wedding and portrait studio. The experience I gained at the Russ Miller Studio gave me a great foundation to go on to start my own business here in the Mid-coast.
Within three months of returning from Michigan, I was blessed to open the doors to The Tiffany Studio in April of 2008.
Q. What services and/or types of photographs to you take? Are there any areas that you specialize in?
A. The Tiffany Studio is a photographic boutique that specializes in wedding and fine portraiture. I am so blessed to be able to capture life’s most beautiful moments and turn them into a timeless work of art for my clients and their generations to come.
In my photography business, I am commissioned to capture some of life’s most momentous events. Most of them have brought me along from the very beginning of their lives together. From their engagement portraits, to weddings and maternity, to the actual birth of their first and second children and their portraits, and then even requesting 50th anniversary family portraits and parties for their parents.
Q. What are the easiest, and likewise, hardest photographs to shoot? If you are, let’s say, conducting a portrait session with an infant, how do you capture and keep their attention?
A. As a professional photographer, I go into a portrait session calm, collected and organized with a great understanding of what my client is looking for.
With that in mind, I am prepared for all events that are needing to be captured and have an open mind for any unexpected challenges.
Every portrait session takes on its own character. Whether it’s a 400-person wedding or a 2-day-old infant, as their photographer I need to be able to gently guide the flow of the session with a nice pace and capture all of the wonderful moments that occur.
Q. What kind of cameras do you use?
A. I use the full frame Nikon D700s.
Q. Talk about the everchanging technology in photography. It is hard keeping up with all the new equipment and techniques?
A. Every year, I attend seminars that introduce me to new techniques in posing and lighting, (and) also in photographic equipment. It is a fun and exciting time that is an investment not only in money but in education.
Keeping up with the latest and greatest is a constant challenge. However, I believe in buying top of the line in quality equipment to not only aid my strong technical foundation and photographic skills, but to hold up to a busy photographic schedule, and environmental and accidental conditions.
Q. When you have a day off or are out for a walk with your family, do you have a camera with you? Are you “always” looking for that right photograph? How do you separate business with pleasure?
A. When it comes to having special equipment that will handle any situation, it is hard to go back to the basic camera.
I remember a few trips with my husband, one being our 26-day honeymoon to Alaska and Hawaii. My poor husband carried my gear everywhere, every day.
It took me five years to realize that I did not have to bring a “big” camera out on vacation or at home. It was then when I made a leap to purchase a smaller, lighter camera — the Nikon D300. It works well for vacation.
However, it was last year when my daughter turned 6 months old when it finally hit me. I missed a fun moment while setting up my camera — any photo to capture a little memory is better than none at all. So I bought a Nikon Cool Pix for my pocketbook and now have the iPhone 4S — I think my bases are covered.
Q. Talk about your involvement with the Miss Maine pageant.
A. The Miss Maine pageant has been an enjoyable experience. They have named The Tiffany Studio as their official portrait studio for Miss Maine for the last three years.
At the last preliminary event, I was invited to speak with the contestants to educate them on camera presence and how to achieve a more photogenic character.
I have had so much fun photographing the girls, along with Miss Outstanding Teen, Alyson Folsom, and Miss Maine, Julia Furtado, this year and I am excited to see where this awesome organization takes them.
The Tiffany Studio is also excited to give out two Miss Photogenic awards at their pageant again in the spring.
Q. If someone was interested in pursuing photography as a career, what advice can you offer?
A. When people approach me for advice for going into the photography business, I always tell them the following — find a mentor. Do not seek your backyard for inspiration — look to work with photographers from other cities and states to expand your creativity and your one-of-a-kind product.
Educate yourself, immerse yourself into the world of photography. Try out new techniques and learn how to make the camera work for you — practice makes perfect.
It takes years of hard work and dedication to create your dreams. It takes years to keep them going ... never stop learning.
Q. Please provide for us your contact information, such as, street address, telephone numbers, email address, website. When is your studio open?
A. The Tiffany Studio is located in the Senter Place building at 124 Maine St., No. 109, Brunswick.
You can contact me any time with questions or reservations at 207-721-8433 or at www.thetiffanystudio.com.
Q. Tiffany, is there anything else you would like to add?
A. Thank you for voting The Tiffany Studio the “Best of the Best” photography studio in Mid-coast Maine in 2011!
¦ THE TIFFANY STUDIO Senter Place building 124 Maine St., Suite No. 109, Brunswick, ME
¦ TELEPHONE: 207-721-8433
¦ WEBSITE: www.thetiffanystudio.com.