Inside Real Studios: Domus Aurea Portraits

Inside Real Studios: Domus Aurea Portraits

Tell us about yourself. How did you discover photography and when did you decide that you wanted to pursue it as a full-time career?

About eight years ago, I was reading a recipe blog and somehow ended up on the blogger’s photography posts. I spent a ton of time going through her photography posts and just couldn’t stop thinking about how I had to give it a try too! My husband (who is amazingly supportive) got on board immediately and we bought a camera. From there, I read, practiced, and photographed family and friends, and it naturally spiraled into what it has become today.

Photography became something that I LOVE doing and a part of my life that fuels my creativity. I’m not sure I’d ever want to give it up at this point.

Your work is absolutely beautiful. What inspires you?

I am inspired by interior design and the interplay of color, light, proportion, and dimension. I adore creating beautiful, timeless lifestyle newborn portraits. I try to stay away from following the latest editing trends and fads because I want to give my clients art that won’t look dated in 10 or 20 years.

Domus Aurea Portraits- Houston Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

Your space is amazing. Tell us all about it! 

My studio is in my home in Houston, TX. The studio is about 250 sq/ft. I’ve been using it for two years now to do all of my editing as well as meet clients for their ordering appointments.

What made you want to open up a physical studio space? Can you tell us about the undertaking of creating your studio?

About four years ago, we moved to Houston and I had to leave behind my thriving photography business in Dallas. I decided it was a good opportunity to make a change in the way I serve my clients. I was tired of the shoot and sell model---sending an email with an online gallery and often waiting for days to hear back---hoping for great feedback but sometimes not even getting a response! I wanted to move my photography business toward a high-end custom experience, one that would let me see my clients react to their images firsthand.

I wanted to start selling more than just digital files. We bought our house planning to renovate every room, but one of our first projects was my studio so that I could jump right into in-person sales. My husband and I are big DIYers (this is our third house we’ve renovated). Everything you see in the space--from flooring to walls to built-ins and lighting—it was all DIY. We are super proud of it!

Domus Aurea Portraits- Houston Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

Domus Aurea Portraits- Houston Newborn Lifestyle Photographer

Domus Aurea Portraits- Houston Newborn Lifestyle Photographer
Did you have a specific vision when you began making your studio space?

My vision was to create a space that reflected my photography—beautiful and timeless with lots of light. I want clients to feel like the high-end experience I have given them through the consultation, email correspondence, and session all culminates in a beautiful viewing and ordering appointment at my studio.  

My vision didn’t really change. The only thing I wish I would have done is use a different wallpaper on the wall behind my computer. You can’t tell but it actually has the prettiest sparkles in it. I wish I would have gone with a different color so that you could actually see the sparkles (ha!). I know that’s minor but it’s the one thing that really kind of bugs me about my space.  

How do you use your space when shooting or during in-person sales sessions?

I love using my space for in-person ordering appointments. It has been so helpful. I show clients a slideshow of their images on a big screen HDTV, let them survey all my frame samples, album options, etc., and really just let my clients tell me what they want. It’s been so rewarding to see their reactions to their images. 9 out of 10 mamas (and many dads) cry when they see their images for the first time. I am SO thankful I decided to switch and do things this way because I was missing out on so much encouraging feedback. 

Domus Aurea Portraits- Houston Newborn Lifestyle Photographer
Domus Aurea Portraits - Houston Newborn Lifestyle Photographer
What products do you use in your studio? We’d love any tips you might have for selling keepsake products to clients. 

Yes! I sell Design Aglow frames. I love (and so do my clients!) the Hawthorne line. I sell those the most. In order to get more clients to buy physical products, I incorporated frames and albums into the collections that I offer. Now, even if they weren’t planning to purchase those products, they just can’t pass up the collections. And honestly, most clients who see and feel the products decide they want them anyway,!

~

Domus Aurea Photography - Newborn Lifestyle Photographer in TexasRenee is a wife, mama to a precious little girl (with another one on the way!), and a lifestyle newborn photographer residing in Houston, TX. When she’s not caring for her family, she’s photographing newborn babies and their families.  Her work has been featured in several places such as “Inspired by This,” “100 Layer Cakelet,” and “Babylist.” She prides herself on creating timeless, beautiful images and providing a high-end experience for her clients.  




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