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
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?
Start with the basics. As much as we wanted to start with a fully furnished amazing studio, there are better things you can put your money into, especially if you have limited budget. We started adding more furnishings and accessories as we took 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.
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!
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From a very early age I loved taking pictures and looking at them in magazines and books, but the art of photography captured my heart when I was a teenager, on my first overseas trip to Wales. From that point, I began shooting with a little film SLR and having my friend model for me. In college I took some digital photography and visual communication courses as part of my communication studies major, and decided to pursue a career in photography. I became a legal business and took my first paid client at age 20, and it's been quite a journey and adventure over the past nine years.
I secretly bought a mail-order 35mm camera when I was 15, and took lots of ordinary photos of animals and nature for several years. Although I majored in art and studied photography in college, my career started in marketing and advertising, from the client service end. Then I had the most beautiful baby, found my old camera and realized how much I love photographing people.