Reflecting on 2022
The New Portrait Studio
It’s hard to believe that in a few short days we will be ringing in the New Year! While 2022 has definitely had its ups and downs, I will always remember 2022 as a special year. I have been learning and mastering my craft for at least a decade, but 2022 was the year that I finally felt like a “real photographer” because I opened a “real” studio.
Don’t get me wrong, many “real photographers” either don’t use a studio or utilize an in-home studio and they’re very successful! In reality, having a studio was not a prerequisite for being a “real” photographer, but it was in my head because I offer a luxurious, celebrity-for-a-day photography experience and I did not see that happening in my third-floor apartment with a 1970s kitchen. So, my mental block was the only thing holding me back.
As exciting as it was to have a studio and feel like a “real photographer” it also brought a lot of other emotions and responsibilities too. Next, I had to step outside of my comfort zone to do ALL the things that business owners must do in order to be successful. And let me tell you, there are many aspects of being a business owner that has forced me outside of my comfort zone! One of those things was to actually talk about being a photographer. In fact, last year I asked a friend to model for a folio building shoot and her response was that she didn’t know I was a photographer. Going a step further, I had to start networking and actually start marketing myself and the business. Can I just say, “I’m an introvert?” This is an extremely stressful and anxiety provoking aspect of the job, but I put my big-girl panties on and do it anyways.
Speaking of stepping outside of my comfort zone, I can honestly say that 18 months ago, I had NEVER considered doing my very own boudoir portrait shoot. The idea of having sexy photos of myself had always been a hard no because I never felt comfortable in my skin. But then this thing started happening… I started realizing that boudoir photos could be tasteful even at my size. I realized that I am beautiful even at my size. I realized I am deserving of a portrait shoot even at my size. I realized that if I could do it, anyone could do it. And in order to fully understand the anxiety and nerves that my clients experience then I needed to experience it too. So, I did it! I took the time. Spent the money on me. Embraced the pampering and makeover. Felt ALL the feels. And felt confident, beautiful, powerful, and more confident! It was far more money than I am used to spending on myself, but it was well worth every penny and it is money, time, and an experience I will never regret! You can read more about My Plus-Sized Boudoir Experience in the original blog post. Truthfully, that portrait experience was the most empowering and confidence-boosting thing I have ever done for myself! I highly suggest experiencing one for yourself!
Networking and a Galentine's Event
As I mentioned earlier, networking and marketing are not my jam, but they are a necessary evil when you’re a business owner so I have been working to push beyond my comfort zone and get better in these areas. Some of the ways I’ve done that are to attend chamber of commerce events, showing up on social media regularly and even creating networking events like the Galentine's event Dr. Bana of Restore Centers for Aesthetics and I are planning for February 9, 2023. Keep your eyes open for more details on that really soon!
It’s no surprise that owning a business is stressful, but it is also wonderfully fulfilling, as well. Some days I help women celebrate their strength, power and beauty. On other days I photograph women who have never liked their photos thus far, but then they have a portrait session with me and walk out loving dozens of their photos! (Honestly, the look on their faces is always priceless!!) And on other days I get to document a young woman's milestone birthday or a couple who are still madly in love and celebrating their 47th wedding anniversary.
Whatever reason brings you into my studio, please know that I am extremely grateful. I'm grateful to get the chance to know you and I'm grateful that you've chosen me to photograph you because there are so many other photographers around that are cheaper. But don't forget, you get what you pay for and it should really be about so much more than just getting pretty pictures...it should be a wonderful experience! We will be in regular communication with each other as your date draws near to ensure you have the best possible experience, fabulous outfits, and all of your questions are answered. Then, your luxurious, celebrity-for-a-day portrait session begins with a complimentary makeover by professional hair and makeup artist. Not because you need makeup to look beautiful, but because you deserve a day that’s all about you. You deserve a day that makes you feel pampered and beautiful. Plus, it sets the stage for your celebrity-for-a-day portrait experience and just in case you forgot...you’re worth it. After your makeover, you'll be guided throughout your entire portrait session so you can relax. We'll explain and demonstrate the poses, hand placement and even facial expressions. We have it all covered for you! During your 2-3 hour portrait session, we'll capture a variety of looks with multiple backgrounds and 3+ outfits. Doesn't it sound amazing? I know I loved every minute of my portrait session!
Looking at 2023!
It has been my honor to photograph over 50 women in the studio in 2022, but I also greatly appreciate each and every person who has interacted with my social media accounts, reached out and inquired about my services this year. I hope you all have a happy, safe and prosperous New Year! Let's make 2023 an even better year than 2022! Cheers to 2023 and Women Empowering Women! Do you set goals for the New Year? I have. My goal is to empower 100 women in 2023. Will you believe in yourself and be one of them? Contact me to get started and discuss all of your options!