Inside Real Studios: Enchanté Studios

Posted on July 25, 2015

Today we're peeking inside the studio of Shyrell Tamayo (Enchanté Studios):

Where, and in what kind of space is your studio located?
Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Commercial

Square footage
825

How long have you been there?
We opened our studio in January of 2014 exactly two years after I decided I would like to be a photographer.

What makes your studio special?
Unlike many studios in Dubai, ours is a natural light studio space and is marketed as a boutique studio. We focused with women's portraits so our space has a very feminine touch to it. We wanted our clients to feel at home and so even though it is situated in a commercial space it looks very much like a home. Unlike other commercial studios, we are are not placed on ground with foot traffic and can invite walk-in clients. We are 6 floors up and clients only really come to us by appointment. But I think what makes our studio special is pampering clients; it's in our code of business. We like to pamper from the first consult all the way to the final product viewing and delivery. We make sure we have our personal touches to everything we do.

How has it helped your business?
Having a studio has definitely set us apart from other photographers by showing that we mean business and clients know that when they approach us. Since having the studio, it has limited the number of people approaching us on little-to-no budget simply because clients know we have business expenses.

Having the studio has also definitely helped me deliver consistency in our images, which helped our studio to have identifiable signature style on our images. Being in Dubai also means shooting outside during the summer can prove very difficult. So I am relieved that I won't have to put my clients under the 45C (113F) degree heat for sessions.

Do you have any tips for opening a studio?
Finances:
Start with the basics. As much as we want to start with a fully furnished amazing studio, there are better things you can put your money into, specially if you have limited budget. We started adding other furnishings or accessories as we take on more clients. The best things to spend money on in the studio are samples of product you would like to sell to your clients. Clients will buy what they see.

Interior aesthetic:
Have a clear idea of how you'd like your studio to look. It can be very tempting to buy cute little things or furnishings when you buy them individually, but sometimes they may not look great together. Having a cohesive look can make it a more appealing space to work in.

Be physically, emotionally and mentally prepared for it. Having a studio is a great achievement when you are a photographer but it can also be very challenging. This is a very big part of your investment so you will have to work hard to be able to keep it. There will be very many late working nights no matter how you try and organized the day. You will now have accounting, PR and marketing, maintenance, licensing works, maybe even staff management added on top of your shooting and editing.

When I opened the studio, I set my mind on not seeing the returns in the first two years and I am still at that stage. The third year coming is our make or break year (which so far is going in our favour). I do look forward to making it in this business!

What products do you sell the most?
We have included photo albums in almost all of our packages, so it's something that definitely sells most. However going forward our aim is to be able to place wall art in our clients homes.

Do you use Design Aglow products in your studio? If so, which product(s), and how have they helped your sales?
When I first launched my first website I used Design Aglow's web templates. I also bought forms, contracts and album templates to help me streamline my workflow in the studio. After failing to find high quality albums locally, I have decide it's time to have our albums done elsewhere and I'm very happy to look at what Design Aglow can offer. My recent purchases are building my samples for client albums and the Album Sales Kit Bundle. I am very excited to receive my first album sample!

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.

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Inside Real Studios: Mellow Yellow Photography

Posted on April 10, 2015

Today we're peeking inside the studio of Melodie Schultz (Mellow Yellow Photography):

Where, and in what kind of space is your studio located?

Residential; Bentonville, AR

Square footage
187

How long have you been there?
The space is newly remodeled as of April 1st

What makes your studio special?
It just feels like home. It doesn't scream SELL SELL SELL, it screams get cozy and lets have some fun while you're here! It truly feels like you've stepped into my website. The pops of color all fit, and everything is very clean and crisp. It's so Mellow Yellow.

How has it helped your business?
It JUST got finished over a week ago, but I know this space is going to help showcase my best work, and personality. Not only is it going to be a fabulous space to meet clients and hold ordering sessions, but it is such a calm, relaxing space to work. I have already got more work done in a day than I normally do in a week ;) I just want to be in here.

Do you have any tips for opening a studio?
Patience and a clear direction. When I first decided to do this, I wanted to dive in head first! I'm sometimes known as "Gung ho Mel" because when I decide to do something, I MUST do it now! This was a huge test for me, but I knew I wanted to do it right, and take my time. It took about three months from start to finish to do everything, and it was 100% worth it. I also drew a layout of how and where I wanted everything from the very beginning. Some things got rearranged, but for the most part, I stayed true to my plan.

What products do you sell the most?
My most sought after products are albums and wood prints. I recently introduced view masters into my top Senior collections, and the girls are going ga-ga over them!

Do you use Design Aglow products in your studio? If so, which product(s), and how have they helped your sales?
I absolutely love Design Aglow everything. Right now I am using the frames, and always have used the templates. So clean, and clear. Obviously something I love. I am dying to try out the albums. Oh, how I swoon over those almost daily, and just today I did some pricing/budgeting for the packaging. With this new space, I want EVERYTHING to tie in and I think the packaging will help polish up my brand a lot.

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.

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Inside Real Studios: Maryjanes & Galoshes Photography

Posted on March 24, 2015

Today we take a peek inside the studio of Maryjanes & Galoshes Photography:

Where, and in what kind of space is your studio located?
Commercial space in Pardeeville, Wisconsin

Square footage
550

How long have you been there?
We have owned the space, an old one room school house, for about 2.5 years but we just finished the remodel this month and are moving in!

What makes your studio special?
The studio is a one room school house that we had moved onto the property about 5 years ago when my parents owned our home. My dad and a big crew of Amish men loaded it up from about 5 miles down the road and relocated it on my yard. The inside was covered with plywood over the wood floors and the walls were lath and plaster. My husband started restoring it July 2014. We removed the plywood to find gorgeous maple flooring which we sanded down and refinished, replaced the lath and plaster with fresh drywall, replaced the ceiling tiles, installed french doors and electricity. It was a labor of absolute love, and it sits just 50 feet from the front door of my home.

How has it helped your business?
We are still new to using the space for clients, but having a studio helps my business immensely. I live in the country and would travel a minimum of 30 minutes every time I had to meet a client for a consultation or sales session. Now my clients come to me, sit on the couch and enjoy the cozy space while we chat about their wedding or portraits. I finally have a space to show off all of the prints and products (a TV will soon hang above the french doors for slide shows) and more time with my family that I save on traveling. I also now have better time management as I'm not in the living room working during family time. I go out to the studio, get my work done, then come back home and be a mom and wife. As photographers we have a hard time separating ourselves from our businesses, so this helps me.

Do you have any tips for opening a studio?
Stick to (and INVEST IN) your vision. I spent time on Pinterest pinning what I loved that I thought I would like in a studio. Once I had a good collection, I went through the board to find the common themes and see what it was that I was drawn to. Then I edited out the pins that didn't fit and built on that. I referred to the board all the time to make sure I was sticking with the look and feel I wanted. There were several times along the way that someone would try to convince me to make a change, paint the trim another color, pick a different piece of furniture, buy a cheaper option..... or I would question myself regarding whether or not I could pull it off. I could not be happier that I stuck with my vision and went with my gut. That even meant replacing a brand new light fixture because I didn't like the cheaper option I had settled on for the makeup room. Now I love the ones I chose! You will spend a lot of time in your space, make it a place you want to hang out that reflects your style and your brand!

It was also important to me to create a space that made clients want to invest in nice things. I consider myself a boutique studio and want to encourage my clients to invest in their home decor (wall portraits). I offer high end products and felt the studio needed to reflect that, but I also have a vintage side so I mixed old things like those pink chairs (inherited from my grandmothers home).

What products do you sell the most?
My clients love luxe metal prints, wood prints and gorgeous albums!

Do you use Design Aglow products in your studio? If so, which product(s), and how have they helped your sales?
I have been drooling over Designs Aglow products for a while now. Earlier this year I decided I will add their framed prints and albums to my menu. I have colleagues who use (and love) them! I love that Design Aglow not only has products that match my brand, but selling tools that go along with them. I can not wait to get them into my studio!

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.

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Inside Real Studios: Be True Image Design

Posted on March 05, 2015

Today we're exploring the studio of Christy Johnson of Be True Image Design.

In what kind of space is your studio located?
Commercial

Square Footage
540

How long have you been there?
Since May 2014

What makes your studio special?
The Be True studio is our brand come to life: natural and eco-friendly with just the right touch of sparkle. It is elegant and refined with organic elements featured throughout.

How has it helped your business?
The studio sets the stage for our clients, providing a welcoming, cozy space for sessions, consultations and ordering appointments. Giving clients an exceptional experience from beginning to end is important to us, and the studio gives us a home base to build those relationships and put tangible art products into their hands.

Do you have any tips for opening a studio?
Having a solid brand in place is key for opening a new studio. Every decision, from furnishings to which products to offer, can be measured against your brand to create a cohesive experience for your clients.

What products do you sell the most?
Our clients love albums as well as framed and bamboo mounted prints.

Do you use Design Aglow products in your studio? If so, which product(s), and how have they helped your sales?
We love Design Aglow products! The Essential Studio Workflow keeps my assistant and I organized. We love that the Newborn Welcome Packet introduces new clients to a tangible, service-oriented experience. We also recently started using the Inspire Guide to help clients design wall galleries for their home.

 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.

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Inside Real Studios: Lydia Krumpholz Foto & Design

Posted on January 16, 2015

*Wall gallery collections like this one are available in our Inspire Guide here.

*Heart collage canvas shown (70 Reasons To Love Me) is available here.

We love to see how other photographers operate their business and show off their products. Today we take a peek inside the studio of Lydia Krumpholz Foto & Design:

In what kind of space is your studio located?
Commercial

Square footage:
1615

How long have you been there?
5 years

What makes your studio special?
My studio is located in the middle of a small village in Bavaria, Germany. When my clients enter the big welcome area they are greeted with my favorite wedding and newborn pictures and a warm, home-like flair. A big comfy seating group, the best coffee in town, fresh cookies and lots of albums to browse set the mood for a great experience.

The connected studio-light shooting space is mainly used for pregnancy pictures, while family sessions mostly take place at the wonderful lake Chiemsee. What makes my studio special is the light-flooded newborn studio. The warm and cozy room is designed with new mamas and babies in mind, complete with comfortable chairs, light colors and enough space for wonderful newborn imagery.

My assistant and I take care of the newborns and their proud parents with lots of love, fresh brewed organic tea and snacks. Mum and daddy can watch us, chat or read while we photograph their bundle of joy.

How has it helped your business?
I couldn't imagine how my business would have developed without my studio. I rented the space while I still studied design in Munich, 100km away, and at first it was a real struggle. I had to keep it going, develop my skills quickly, learn how to market my business and I'm sure without the pressure that having a studio space produced I wouldn't have made it so fast.

In the last 5 years I've changed my business from "you want it, I shoot it" to very boutique and service oriented. My approach with a planning session before and an in person presentation after the shooting is a totally new experience for my clients and they love it. Without my studio I couldn't provide this level of service.

Do you have any tips for opening a studio?
Calculate. Calculate good. A studio space produces a lot of fixed costs and without reasonable pricing, a good business plan and a long breath it will be really difficult to keep the business going. But for me it was the best decision I could've ever made.

What products do you sell the most?
Albums and canvas collections.

Do you use Design Aglow products in your studio? If so, which product(s), and how have they helped your sales?
I use a lot of DA products! My clients are greeted with a welcome packet and most of my products include at least finishing touches from my DA collection, such as backgrounds and other layouts.

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.

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