It’s their job: Area native turns hobby into career

Donita Privett has worked as a professional photographer for 10 years, and bought Times Remembered Photography Studio nine years ago.

Privett is from Portales and attended elementary and high school in Dora. She earned a degree in agriculture economics with a minor in journalism from New Mexico State University.

Every quarter, Privett takes professional photography classes.

Why did you choose this job? I don’t know. I started taking photos in junior high, and in high school, we had a dark room. It was a hobby that turned into a career, I guess.

What does your job entail? A lot of things. The actual taking pictures is only about 10 percent of what I do all day.

Digital has just made everything computerized, so you can fix anything you want, but you feel compelled to fix everything, so it makes it more time consuming on the retouching and just the production end than with film. With film, we just labeled it, stuck it in a bag and UPSed it wherever it had to go.

And so then besides shooting and working images for final print, I spend a lot of time just consulting with clients on clothing options, location options and just building a relationship with the clients.

But to me, that’s part of the business. If we start off with their senior pictures, we do their wedding pictures and their kids’ pictures.

What’s a typical day like for you? It just depends on the time of year. There are times when we’re really busy and times when we’re slower. We’ve grown so much over the past nine or 10 years, there’s hardly a slow day any more.

It’s different every day, and that’s part of what makes it really fun.

What training did you need for this job? I still have training. I’m continuously learning. As technology changes and evolves, it changes the cameras and the computer and how far you can push your boundaries and that kind of thing.

What do you enjoy most about this job? The people and the relationship with the clients. It’s fun. You get to share the exciting times in their lives, and sometimes you get to share in the sad times, too.

And I mean, I love the photography, but it’s the clients that make it worth doing and being here every day.

— Compiled by PNT Senior Writer Argen Duncan.