Today we take a peek into the studio of Tara Swain of Tara Swain Photography in Paris, Texas.
In what kind of space is your studio located? Residential
Square footage 1800
How long have you been there? 14 months
What makes your studio special? My studio was completely custom designed. We built our current home and moved in, in November of 2010. We built the house around me having my office and studio space upstairs and separated from our home. Building our home was a long process and by the time we moved in my business had already outgrown my studio space. After being in our home for only 3 months, I started working on moving by business into a larger space. We tossed around the idea of renting a commercial property in our downtown area, but we actually live in the country and I didn't like the idea of being tied down to a location 20-30 minutes away that I felt I had to go everyday, since our young daughter stays at home with me during the day. We actually own 18 acres where we built our home and decided after considering every option, that we would just built a custom studio next to our home. Our house sits far off the road and we have a long driveway which turns into a large circle drive. We actually built the studio space about 30-35 yards from our home, on the other side of the circle drive. My studio is completely white (walls, floor and ceiling) with the acceptation of 1 grey and white chevron accent wall that my contractor created for me. I've used chevron with quite a bit of my marketing over the last few years and having a beautiful accent wall as you walk into the studio was something I really wanted. One of the things you will notice about my work is my love of color. This is also obvious when walking into the studio. While we were building, as I would post pictures of the progress, my clients were surprised to see that I was going with an all white color scheme in the studio.. but I knew once I moved all of my props, furniture and images into the studio, it would all come together. The all white allows me a larger window of good, even, natural light as well as a neutral, clean, crisp backdrop when not using other flooring or backdrops while shooting.
How has it helped your business? My new natural light studio has helped me tremendously in growing my business. Not only does it give me a wonderful alternative to our insanely fluctuating Texas weather, but it's allowed me the room to expand and offer so many other options to my clients. I'm able to carry out my large, styled mini sessions throughout the year.. even when it's 109 degrees outside. I'm given numerous hours of amazing natural light during the day which allows my clients a nice window when deciding what time they would like to schedule their session, since the large majority of my client base often live and are traveling from 2-7 hours away. I also have quite a large prop hoard and having the space I need has allowed me to organize and utilize things that I didn't have the space for before.
What products do you sell the most? Canvas wraps, custom announcements and invitations.
Do you have any tips for opening a studio? Make sure it's something that will help grow your business and represents your style and your work, rather than just something your tied down to. I feel like your studio speaks as much for your business as a website or blog does. It should reflect you and the art you create for your clients.
Do you have a great space you would like to share with our community? We would love to hear from you and possibly peek into your world. Simply visit this link and we will guide you through the quick submission process.
Do you feel overworked and underpaid? Does it pain you to deliver digital images...but no album or wall portraits? Do you believe in tangible products, but don't think your market can support higher priced items?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above, you're not alone and there IS a solution:In-Person Sales. There's no limit to how much more money you can make by providing IPS instead of online sales or shoot & burn. Or how many hours you'll save because you'll be able to shoot fewer sessions to generate the same revenue. Or how many hours of sleep you'll get because you won't be worrying about money.