Today we’d like to introduce you to Rob Krueger.
Rob, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Admittedly I have a bit of an obsession with photography. Let’s see, I have two degrees in photography, I teach photography at the College of DuPage, I’ve been a professional photographer for 7 years, and I run a photography podcast called Take & Talk Pics. It didn’t all come together over night though. I got my real start in photography as an excuse to be able to hang out with friends while they were all skateboarding I needed something else to be included. I couldn’t skate well enough so I started taking pictures to pass the time. I have worked just about every odd job you can get in this business and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. I find within my obsession for photography I am equally interested in “what else”. Both in my photography as well as within my ideas about my business. I am always looking for ways to creatively set me apart. One small fact about me is I do not ever consider there to be competitors; only peers in my industry. If we spend more time feeding off of the inspiration around us, and less time comparing our start to someone else’s middle; we have a strong path to success laid right before us.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Even when you know something backward and forward, inside and out; there is always the possibility to learn. I have had contracts come back to bite me and I lose thousands. I was rear ended in my 1 month old brand new car on the way to a wedding. My website has gone down and I didn’t know about it for a week, I’ve seen weddings get called off two days before the job was to take place. I have made hundreds of mistakes over the past eight plus years both in business and when I was learning about the business. I would have to say the struggle is the best part. That is what makes tomorrow a better day. I hope I never stop failing so I can always be growing, learning, and changing into the business that continually gets better over time.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
If you look at my website I am a wedding photographer and I am only a wedding photographer. It wasn’t always this way… I recall a time when I fought becoming a wedding photographer. I thought it was for those who couldn’t “do” or “teach”. Funny thing now is I am so proud to be a passionate commercial wedding photographer. I do a lot of portrait related work, lifestyle, fashion, editorial, commercial, etc. but once I decided wedding photography was my main calling I was able to double my business in 3 months. While I have been a pro photographer for eight years now I have only chased wedding photography the past two and a half. To take all of this a step further I would have to highlight my teaching as one more key point to who I am. Once I found teaching I had discovered a passion as great, and someday I feel even greater, than my photography. I teach wedding and intro photography at College of DuPage. This all sparked a new passion and that was the birth of my podcast called Take & Talk Pics. Where I have over 250 episodes for photographers of all levels to learn about photography and the business of.
What were you like growing up?
I was so boring. I am the youngest of 5 children… I already saw 10,000 ways to get caught and in trouble. I just avoided making those mistakes all together or at least I learned how to not get caught. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I figured I would be a business owner but that was the extent of my plan. I never had a real passion for higher education and looking back it is interesting being the only child in my family to obtain a degree, let alone two. I never owned a video game console; I was happier being outside fishing with my friends. I was awful at any sport that involved a ball so I ended up a competitive swimmer. That interest hasn’t left me, as I just placed in the top 10 of each of my four events for the Illinois masters swimming (2nd overall in 100 backstroke in my age group). I was a band geek, a choir nerd, and lead in the musical in high school. I didn’t think much of it then but I can sing. One thing that I know for sure I was, am, and always will be a hard worker – almost to a fault. I think running your own business requires a bit of “workaholic” in you.
- Portrait Sessions start at $150
- Weddings start at $1925
- Website: robkrueger.com
- Phone: (630) 639-2218
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rjkphoto/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rkphoto
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/robkruegerphoto
- Other: https://www.theknot.com/marketplace/rob-krueger-photography-chicago-il-390263