Laredo Texas Portrait Photographer, 1 Year Portrait
Running a photography studio (an actual studio in a retail space, not just converting an empty bedroom into a part-time studio) has it's challenges, to say the least. This on top of an already busy schedule with my 280 band children. But, why pursue this luxury business, filled with highs and lows, photographing all types of people, and all the while trying to educate clients on why it is so important to invest in portraits? Maybe it's for the love of photography itself or simply the thrill of not knowing what lies around the corner, an escape from the monotony of a daily, weekly, monthly routine.
This of course does not come without risk. High risk in knowing that there is no set salary, in not knowing when the next customer will come or how much they will spend. Constantly marketing to new and old customers and trying so hard to remain relevant takes center stage and the actual act of making photos takes a backseat most of the time.
Some months are great and it seems as if I may never meet my deadlines. But knowing that I will have slow months, I try my hardest during the busy times to make sure I'm ready for them. Even then, there are times when inquiries slow down to a point where worries begin to creep in. That's the time when I say a prayer and put my faith in God to keep my from sinking.
This is already a long post, but to begin wrapping up, I was in them midst of one of those slow months. It was the middle of the week and I needed to make a quick run to the studio during my lunch hour from school. Well, it was within those 15 minutes that I had a "walk in". This unbeknownst future client had seen my sign and decided to stop. She was interested in having her 1 year old son photographed before his birthday party. Of course, I met with her and booked her for later that week. She came back and we had a simple session, free from the current trends of busy backgrounds, balloons, and cakesmashes. The session focused on the child in his tiny tuxedo. He was all smiles and we had a great session. The mother was going to be traveling out of town in two weeks after the session to celebrate her son's birthday with family in Mexico, so I put a rush on scheduling her proof session. She was back just a couple of days later and I presented her with 30 images in a slideshow set to music. She loved them. She said, "I want all of them. But I want one in particular printed as large as the portrait you have at your studio's entrance." That particular portrait she was referring to is a 24x36" portrait. Of course I was thrilled! I looked her in the eyes and without blinking stated her the total. It was... a lot. She replied, "Do you accept credit cards?" Three days later she returned to pick up her portraits and went on her merry way.
One session was all that I needed to help make it through this tough month. And, to be honest, the portraits were really very simple. But, what mattered most to this client, what was most important to her, was having a portrait of her son at 1 year of age. In those portraits she had, forever frozen in time, his beautiful brown eyes, his gorgeous smile, his tiny delicate fingers, his ever growing body, and his many facial expressions - all for her and her family to treasure for the rest of their lives.
Running a photography business may seem like a mixed bag of emotions, and I know that I have so much still yet to learn, both photographically and even more on the business side, but I'm loving every moment.
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