Oh, hey guys! That's me. Doing a couple photo with a stormtrooper. Because how often does one get that opportunity?
And here's my studio. You've probably driven past it and have seen that there's a new photography studio in town, but I wanted to take a minute to let you know more about how I do things, because it may be a little different than what you'd assume.
In recent years, there has been a shift in the way many photographers handle their business. Whenever a potential client decides they need a photographer, they jump on Facebook and find someone close by and then oftentimes send them a message asking for pricing. With this pricing, they believe that they'll be receiving the digital negatives from their session on a CD, flash drive, via Dropbox, etc.
Since digital photography has become prevalent, this is what many photographers have begun offering. There are many reasons why this has happened, but I won't bore you with the details since it'll probably only interest you if you're a fellow photographer.
Do I operate my business this way?
And that's the purpose for me writing this post. To inform, but not to begrudge those who choose to run their business almost exclusively digitally. It's a different approach and one that didn't work for me personally, because I tried it, too.
So, let me explain. Because otherwise, you're just like, who's this woman who opened a studio and expected the masses to come flooding and what on earth is she doing?
When I first started my photography business, I was working exclusively in digitals. I was booking my clients over Facebook, doing their session, then giving them a flash drive of the images and sending them on their way. And that process works. It's efficient. It can be quick if you stay on top of your retouching work. But it was leaving me unfulfilled.
How could I be sure that my clients weren't just taking their flash drive and putting it away in a drawer? Or maybe they were getting the images printed, but not from a lab where the gorgeous colors and special care that went into each image could be highlighted as best as it could be. What if they were ordering a print that they would just walk by each day and not even notice, rather than one that would catch their eye everyday and warm their heart?
Because photography can do that.
It was when I saw my portraits printed beautifully from my professional lab and was stopped in my tracks that I knew I needed to change the way I did things. I knew that I needed to help my clients display their artwork in the most beautiful way possible and to give them products that would be of such high quality, that it would last for generations.
I knew that I needed to help educate my clients to help them see that there is more to photography than just standard prints and the occasional canvas. There are gorgeously framed mounted prints that can be printed in so many styles to best showcase your particular portraits. There are metal prints that make the colors of your images come to life. And of course, a perennial favorite, the canvas. But did you realize that not every image is going to look great on a canvas? And that's just the beginning of what I can offer my clients when it comes to products.
So, I decided that would be my mission. To provide my clients with a full service experience from beginning to end. When I first hear from my clients, we schedule a pre-session consultation. Here, we get together and visit over a cup of coffee and some snacks, and figure out exactly what kind of session my new client envisions. We discuss what they want to do with their artwork and what kind of "feel" they want from their session.
Then, following the portrait session, we get together for a reveal session where my clients view their images for the first time...in print. They're able to hold the images in their hands and see the gorgeous colors and high quality print job done by my fantastic lab. And a lot of times, they cry. But, that's completely optional.
We then select their artwork, and I assist them in choosing the best size for the spaces in their home that they wish to fill. (Hint: bigger is always better. Yes, it's pricier, but trust me, it's better.) We also select the digital images they will receive, because yes, all of my print packages also include digital images. I know that has become something that clients expect, so I won't take that away from them completely.
When our session is complete, my clients leave with artwork that they will be proud to display and I will be proud to send with them. As a photographer, that's so important. But what's more important to me is the relationship I've built with my client. Clients who come to me as strangers or acquaintances, 99% of the time leave as friends. I get to know them, I get to know their families, and I LOVE that. While I know that I'm an introvert, I love meeting new people and hearing their stories and learning about them. Maybe it's the Sociology major in me, or maybe it's just my personality, but it's one of the best aspects of my job.
So, there it is. That's what makes Carrie Harris Photography a little different from the way you may have expected a present day photography studio to be run. It's really not a new concept, in fact it's the way photography studios used to be run. It's about relationships and getting to know each other and making sure that my clients get exactly what they need.
So, if you've held on this long, I thank you...and I hope to be seeing you in my studio soon.
Questions? Give me a call, let's chat! (217.691.0394)