inside real studios: bell portraits

inside real studios: bell portraits

Today we take a peek into the studio of Erin Bell of Bell Portraits in Westport, CT.

In what kind of space is your studio located?
Commercial

Square footage
1020

How long have you been there?
2 months- previously located in smaller space on the other side of the building for 3 years

What makes your studio special?
Oh gosh- everything- but it's my baby so perhaps I'm a bit biased. For one, our studio is on the main road in Westport, which is a sophisticated, beachy, and artsy town 50 miles from Manhattan. It really is such an ideal town to reach my clientele. What's even more special is even though the studio is on a main, high traffic road where our sign and big color window displays can be viewed- it is located inside a historic mill with all original floorboards and a gorgeous little pond behind the building. Sitting on my desk- I can see a little waterfall, swans, egrets, and even the occasional father and son out fishing. It's really such a tranquil place to work. I truly feel like I hit the location jackpot with the best of both worlds.

How has it helped your business?
My goal with the studio was to make it so beautiful that it encouraged clients from years past to return to me, my regular group of loyal clientele happy that they are part of the journey of a thriving studio, and new clients feel really secure that they picked a photographer who understands design, aesthetics, and details. I based the design of the studio off of my clients' homes and everything that I think represents the town of Westport. I love seeing Moms' expressions when they first come into the studio. My goal was to design it to appeal to a Mom's style- and yet still have that slight touch of playfulness that makes the statement 'we truly are the baby experts in the area'. All of my clients seem so content when they walk into the studio and I think it really helps them know that they chose the right studio to document their family's life. They see how much I invest back into my business and clients- and feel comfortable therefore investing in me.

Do you have any tips for opening a studio?
Build decorating into your budget. So often I see people with gorgeous spaces- but they don't leave enough budget left for decorating. Put some money aside to really make it beautiful and scour the internet's many interior design blogs to figure out what is in style. Since photography is all about having an 'eye', clients love a photographer on top of modern styles. Also- get every last dime's worth out of that rent you're paying and mention your studio as much as possible. In today's congested photography world- a studio really sets you apart. I never just say, "I'm a photographer." I always say, "I'm a photographer- my studio is located in Westport next to Shake Shack and across from Panera Bread in the Old Sasco Mill- do you know the area?" I believe that by letting clients and acquaintances know you have a studio you're saying, "I'm thriving, I'm making real money, and I'm here for the long haul".

What products do you sell the most?
I decided a long time ago that I wanted to focus on three products- our digital files with a keepsake box, our wall art that due to it's unique look is recognizable from home to home, and our album that we truly customize for each client. All of our clients end up purchasing one of our 8 collections that combine these three products in various quantities. Our most common sale is the collection that includes the digital files with keepsake box, a 20x24 framed piece of wall art, and our album.

Do you use Design Aglow products in your studio? If so, which product(s), and how have they helped your sales?
About 4 years ago I bought Design Aglow's product guide. Although I completely customized the whole thing to really fit our studio and include information about our sessions in addition to our products - having a base model to start with was really helpful. We have three versions of this guide- one for our signature sessions, one for our mini sessions, and one for our newborn sessions. Each book is an 8.5x11 full color 24 page book printed with CopyCraft (who DA also referred). Mailing this to each client upon booking not only gives them a bit of 'wow' factor about our studio- but ensures the ordering session will go smoothly since I've prepared them well.

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.




Also in Design Aglow Blog

Travel With Photographers: Carrie Joy Osborne
Travel With Photographers: Carrie Joy Osborne

0 Comments

This past March, my family and I took a road trip from Marietta, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina. The trip fell during the first few days of spring, and we all dreamed of warmer weather and a nice change of scenery! Our trip started on a Friday and ended the following Monday, but despite it’s brevity, it was an amazing experience!

Read More

Get it Together: 10 Steps To Streamline Your Studio For Success
Get it Together: 10 Steps To Streamline Your Studio For Success

0 Comments

If you run a photography business, you may feel like you spend 10% of your time actually creating images and the other 90% juggling endless administrative tasks. And when you’re focused on taking care of your clients, taking care of your business can get pushed to the back burner. But…that needs to stop. Organization isn’t a luxury. A streamlined studio gives you a solid foundation on which to build a successful business. So go ahead and make those brass tacks a priority. Here are the ducks you should get in a row, like, yesterday.

Read More

Save with intro pricing on our new holiday card collections~
Save with intro pricing on our new holiday card collections~

0 Comments

When we think of fall, we think of selling holiday cards. With your studio name on every card, from every client, you know that is super great multiplied marketing for you! Especially when the cards (and your images) are this gorgeous!

Our new collections of holiday card templates feature more than ever: each design includes four different palettes so you can multiply your value too. What’s not to love?

Read More