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
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.
Dear Ashley and Graham circa 2008,
Your business will not live and die by social media. You're going to be tempted to put more time into Facebook and Instagram than you do into in-person relationships because it will feel like that's what everyone else is doing; it will feel like the only way to keep up. Resist that temptation. Resist the urge to jump on the ever changing hamster wheel of social media. When you get on that hamster wheel it will feel like you're running as fast as you can and getting nowhere. And that's exactly where sinking unscheduled, unintentional time into social media will get you: nowhere.
Next to framed art, albums are a favorite, no-brainer product you should be offering every client. Albums are the one product that truly stands the test of time and will be treasured for generations to come. Not long ago, album design went a bit “photographers-gone-wild” with acrylic, metal, and even fur covers. Remember that panoramic ultra-wide album fad?
Luckily the tide has turned back to favoring a classic, luxury presentation.