by Angela Adams Published 01/08/2016
Did it take you long to establish your name and brand?
Oh yes! It was incredibly hard - the ones we purchased nearly ruined us. However, with the help of the Click Group and Charlie Kaufman we finally managed to establish a business which now has three individual brands: Memorable Portraits - family photography, Scandalous - make-over and fashion photography, and Le Studio Noir - boudoir and fine art ... and we haven't stopped! We're still striving to move forward, continuously changing our business to adapt to market requirements.
How do you attract clients and what market do you target?
Being a member of The Click Group means I receive a constant flow of clients, which is wonderful. Recently, however, we've been trialling Facebook marketing and establishing relationships with small local boutiques and independent shops. We've put more effort into networking and have business contacts who we can work with to generate leads through the seasons. Our marketing is diverse as we work with a number of clients including families, schools and boudoir for ladies who want to increase their self-confidence. What percentage of your time is spent creating images versus time spent on business administration and marketing?
As I outsource our post-production, I create solely in-camera in the studio. However, even with my wife to support the business, I feel I'm constantly performing administrative tasks. This has taken its toll on my marketing, which in the past, could have been better. I am improving in that area now, and am focusing on managing my time more effectively - but I still feel I should be answering the phone every time it rings, even though I have staff! These days, with our move to location-based shoots, I find I'm planning the sessions much more. Before it was an hour per client, now we're looking at two or three hours per client and a more personalised service, which we feel will result in better averages.
Do you manage your own website, SEO, marketing, social media presence and PR or do you pay others to do that for you?
At the moment I manage it all myself, but to be totally honest I'm sure employing professionals in those particular areas would prove beneficial. Our websites need a make-over, as we own one for each of our brands. The good news is I have a great copywriter at hand and also a fantastic graphic designer, who I shall utilise.
What's the one piece of kit - camera aside, that you wouldn't be without and why?
My Lastolite Tri-Reflector. It allows me to direct light for clam-shell lighting, adds a little punch for additional side-lighting. It's my favourite tool. On seconds thoughts, I really love my 55" gridded beauty dish as it creates such a dramatic look - but it's heavy and difficult to transport.
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