Will you tell us a little about your business style?
My studio is a little cottage style studio on a boutique street and my business style matches the type of work I do and the clientele I work with. While I have a passion for design (both spaces and pieces), I feel one of my most important “jobs” as a photographer is to really treat my clients from beginning to end. I meet with clients at least four times: initial consultation and design planning, the photo shoot itself, in person proofing and ordering, and lastly the final presentation of the products to the client. Other than the on-location photo shoots, all of this is done at my boutique studio.
Have you always had a studio? Tell us about the decision to go studio.
Funny you should ask this! Technically, yes, I have always had a studio. Or, at least I went into business and a few months later was moving into a studio. I wanted a place to meet clients, I wanted a creative safe haven away from home, and most importantly (at the time) an environment I could shoot in during the chilly months. If I hadn’t found THE perfect place I probably would never have started with a studio, but a little shabby cottage with a gorgeous outdoor garden on a boutique commercial street… totally THE perfect place for me.
Tell us what you absolutely LOVE about your studio?
I’ve got to say the location and the garden are my top favorites (I didn’t take pics of those sorry!!! You will have to come visit!) I love being able to do outdoor and indoor photos in the same session, and mix up a combination of studio-style photos with a in-home look and feel. It also helps that I have an overflowing room of props at my disposal. I also love having my employees, I currently have a studio assistant and an intern who will be coming on as a second employee this year <3!!!!
I have also specifically set up pieces in the studio that work as both studio pieces and displays as well as use them within photo shoots themselves. I love being able to take photos anywhere in and outside of the studio like this.
What do you feel are your greatest benefits to having a studio?
Having a studio is a LOT of work but it comes with the reward of respect in the community, confidence in clients, and convenience for workflow. My studio has become an image in and of itself that has provided a creative safe haven for me and my employees. It also separates for me my home life and my business life which has become an important factor for me currently.
How many sessions do you like to average a week?
I will have been in business for 3 years in just a couple months and this was one of the hardest lessons to learn. It is a long story but now I limit my sessions to 1-2 per week. I meet with clients consistently and tend to reserve an entire day for a client and work the remaining hours on other business aspects. I generally work from 10-4 every day, add editing hours at night, and inevitable weekend hours and I try very hard to only work a normal full time job schedule.
Presentation is one of the key pieces of my business style. Whether that be in how I present myself online, how I put together my pricing and portfolio, or even how I package the final products going to clients. I like for clients to feel special and appreciate the level of service they receive. I have booklets that help clients plan out current and future photo shoots, a product catalog with images and short descriptions of the types of products we offer, and I also have a design catalog to help clients financially plan and design for their home.
Other than general benefits, I find it is very helpful for clients to have a variety of finished pieces to choose from. We put together designs and custom frames right in front of the client yet most of the time clients will prefer to have something they see put together as samples in our studio.
Doesn’t that just make you want to run out and find a cute little cottage in the cool part of town? But seriously you don’t have to be signing a lease to get some fabulous ideas for your own photography business from the oh-so-fab Andrea Halsey! Andrea is making each point of contact with the client fabulous and that is worth taking special note of! Thank you so much for giving us the GRAND tour Andrea, your studio is absolutely beautiful!
Tip: Andrea’s studio is putting together a top secret new proofing tool for photographers. Coming to an IPAD near you! www.IProofPro.com