Photographer Simon Diez says he doesn’t sell pictures, he sells a feeling.
“When people come into my studio they get to feel like a celebrity for a day. It’s an experience. Then when they look at their photos years from now they remember how wonderful they felt that day,” says Diez, who owns Simon Diez Photography Studio in Marysville.
Diez started photographing friends and family in his garage five years ago, and never planned to turn his hobby into a business. But demand for his portraits, which highlight the personality and beauty of his subjects, just kept growing.
In October 2022 he moved to a Marysville studio where he could offer a more deluxe experience, and started doing photography full time.
“I do need to support my family, but I didn’t get into photography to make money. I love when my work can make someone’s day better,” he says.
Photos to make you feel empowered
Clients pay for a studio session and purchase prints separately — though there’s no obligation to buy.
“We start with a phone call to get to know you and understand what you’re hoping to get out of the photoshoot. That helps us understand what to focus on, what colors to use, what mood to create,” Diez says. “Then on the day you come in, we’ll ask you again — even though we know what you said before. Life is unpredictable! Your reasons may have changed, and we want to know how to make you feel as comfortable as possible.”
Then it’s off to the studio’s closet, stocked with hundreds of outfits (some of them custom designed by Simon Diez Photography’s make-up artist Wallace Style) in sizes XS to XXL. Clients are also welcome to bring their own outfits.
“We’ll ask you how the outfits make you feel — like a princess, like a rockstar — and customize the lighting, hair and make-up to suit your vision.”
Diez sets up lighting so there’s no intimidating flash, then starts a conversation to help clients let their guard down.
“We need to build trust. We may ask you to pose in an awkward position, but trust that what the camera sees is amazing.”
Diez shows clients their photos on a 65 inch screen, right after the shoot. Most are amazed at how beautiful they look. There are often tears. Clients choose the photos they’d like printed, and Diez will make note of anything they’d like touched-up.
“We don’t do heavy photoshopping, but our photos will show you at your very best.”