Hi, Tell us your name, what you do, and about your business.
My name is Kristy, I am a portrait photographer specializing in newborn and family photography- Inspirationsphotography. I have my boutique studio located in Temecula, CA.
I have been a photographer for over 12 years. My studio provides all that is needed for newborn and baby photography.
My studio is used strictly for maternity, newborn, or milestone sessions. My family photography is strictly outdoors which brings a variety of options you can’t always get in the studio.
What’s your own background. Were you always proficient in this business, or did it just strike your mind one fine day?
I have been a newborn photographer for over 12 years before this I taught preschool and once my children were in school full time is when I dived into photography as a business.
But before all of this, photography has always been a passion of mine, starting in high school.
What went into designing the initial product? Can you take us through the actual process?
It took many dedicated years to perfect the art and it is always evolving. I have taken college courses, and have taken on many hours of working on the skills of photography.
Marketing and advertising is a whole other skill.
Talk us through the process of the launch of your business
It sort of was like a stepping stone. I feel my business has always been described in my head that way. Because things take time, you have to be patient and work hard at it.
Like many things, it takes time to grow and to find your style and what type of photography you want to focus on.
My business did not start with a newborn. I did it all. Once I photographed my first baby is when something just clicked.
Once I gained my clientele, which started with my preschool students and photographing them during the spring at the school, I then went into my clients’ homes, then opened up my first studio and progressed from there a stepping stone.
How is your repeat customer rate like? Can you take us through how you attract and retain customers?
I have many return clients who come back for either a one-year session or a family session and continue to come back to document their most important moments.
I gain many clients through social media, word of mouth, and SEO.
I still see many of my clients who have been coming to me since newborn and are now 8-10 years old. Yeah, I instantly feel old when I see them. But it is so gratifying to know I am trusted. I’m honored.
What is the current situation? How do you see yourself in the next 12 months?
I work solo but do have an assistant during newborn sessions. Safety is a must and I like to help my parents feel comfortable during this time.
I love that I can take time off whenever I like and see myself continuing to enjoy doing what I love over the next years to come.
My husband and I love to go on road trips and I look forward to continuing having the flexibility to block out time for them. Our children are all grown up so time away from a quiet house is a must.
As a woman founder, do you see this as only financially uplifting? Or otherwise too? If yes, then how?
I work hard at this business but my husband also is a big help behind the scenes. It isn’t easy doing the financial part by myself. He helps guide me on what is needed for the business and what I should be focusing on.
Even as a woman founder there is still much to be done and it’s hard to do it all on your own.
If anyone has the opportunity to have someone help behind the scenes, take it. Sometimes our weakness is someone else strengths to help find balance.
What tools or services did you use?
I use online services to schedule my customers, send them files and social media to share my work. It is always helpful to streamline your work and create workflows.
If there is a service out there for you definitely look into it.
For my website I had someone build it. There are so many cheap or free options out there. You have to start somewhere and change as you grow.
What are your key challenges today? How are you planning to tackle those?
This industry is competitive (cutthroat at times), it is very oversaturated in my area and I feel this is a big challenge today. But I have been around for some time, so word of mouth helps. I love seeing those clients continue to come back and trust me.
This can be an obstacle for any business. Making yourself unique can be the one thing that sets you apart. But know your business and what you want for it.
Which are some resources, books, articles or podcasts that have been useful to you, and would share with your readers.
I love that anyone can go to Creatlive.com to help on whatever path they want to take with photography. Clickin Moms is another favorite of mine.
There are so many helpful tips and workshops on there for any level.
You can find a lot of support from other members by submitting your images for critique.
Many times, women feel that businesses are for only for men. What’s your take?
It can be for anyone. I have never felt that being a woman has been a challenge for me in anything that I have pursued. If you are passionate about something they don’t find excuses not to do it.
Find your support and your why and go with it.
Looking to kick start your own venture?
Hi! This is Misha.
I interview women founders in building profitable businesses
My idea is for other women to get inspired by these actionable tell-all stories and start their own profitable enterprises.
I am hugely inspired by inspirational interview series starters like IndieHackers, StarterStory by Pat Walls, Failory, SpaceBandits and have put significant efforts in reaching out to women founders in order to get started.