The V Gallery Evolution
Well, I am here today to talk to you guys about pets and people photography on like I mentioned earlier my studio is mostly still children and family but I do photograph a ton of pets and that wasn't always the case so my goal of what I'm gonna talk to you guys about over the next few days is not just actually photographing these animals and like tips and tricks and techniques but it's how to do cem specific marketing events and ways to get those animals in the doors and those owners to pay for pictures of those animals to come into the doors and actually I've already been asked a lot of requests a lot of questions these last few days about if all my photos of animals it's always with people like if that's what I'm selling and actually a large portion of what I do it is just the animals as well so clients coming in just having their dogs photographed and they're not even in the images you're going to see in a lot of my shots you know stuff like this where the people are not necessarily...
the focal point of the image but there somehow part of the shot and so you're going to see that I'll shoot like that over the next few days but I just want to start off with the video that kind of gives you an overview off my work and what I do more than that and share some of that play this too many days to the golden knights on they have to treat now for that and colors and it's free scott summer days years is like some way safety plan it feels stock a beautiful summer day excuses like some way to soothe between my terms I wanna have burns is they're coming go and I'm not you're fired way bring you with me the emotion air well that's get everywhere were much sun knots away smile just say with you out of this god summer days years slacking somewhere here is your safety plan there's this like a beautiful summer days hears this song kids are safe to say that there's a scythe yes hopefully you know that gives you a bit of an overview what we're going to be recreating this weekend um when we shoot and we've done all kinds of fun things in prepping for this going out tio unusual locations picking up some random bargain deals I was at target last night at ten clock driving for the first time in seattle thinking I'm gonna be lost picking up a few things and I almost stole a few things out of my brother's house this morning a few rugs and playing kids like oh this would be great to shoot with but he was sleeping so I thought I'd better not uh but yeah this morning though what I really want to talk about is a little bit of I don't spend a lot of time doing intro to my studio in my background, but I think that's still really an important part of our story and how we've grown our business so that's, where we're going, teo that's, what we're going to actually start with. So, um, one of the key things, I think that is important to realize that with our business is we've created this boutique studio it's actually a renovated bowling alley, but where I started, it was thirteen years ago, and I actually was studying for a summer to be a mail carrier, like deliver. I wanted to be a postal worker, and I had actually gone to college to be a teacher, and I had taken art classes, and I just I didn't know what I wanted to dio and I was actually working as an office like just anaugh fis temporary filer for a doctor's office. I was newly married, my husband and I had nothing like I he laughs like when he married me, I had a car with, like, two hundred fifty thousand miles and, like, three hundred dollars. So, um, what happened is I had this love in this passion for photography. And even though back then it was film and like there were some differences I had a darkroom in the basement of my parent's house that it was just a passion in something I love to do but it is no different than what I'm guessing many of you guys watching this and you guys sitting here have that same story maybe we're maybe you still have a different job and you're doing this on the side and you're looking to make this full time maybe you're not making looking to make this full time but you're just wanting to do this because you love it it's additional income uh or maybe you know it's a situation where you have to do it financially because of ah job change your situation and so for me um because our risk was so low I was kind of young and stupid and we had nothing that when it also became like oh like people are willing to pay me for this and I have no idea what I'm doing and I have zero background of business sure looks start a business the disaster waiting to happen kind of right I spent two years running the studio out of the basement of our old home I had six and a half foot tall ceilings I literally had one soft box one background that I painted with my mom on the back wall and that was your choice and I had to stand through a hallway on top of a couch to back up far enough to fit, like four people in the image, and I did that for two years and and I didn't make money. I didn't know what I was doing, but I was able to buy equipment and back then we're talking equipment like, you know, fifteen thousand dollars, you know, cameras and things that that's, not the case. We all know nowadays, you can get into the industry a little bit a little bit cheaper. Eso two years into it, the bowling alley came up for rent for release, and we decided to sign a five year lease and twenty five hundred square feet again, a little young and stupid, but that was kind of a lot of pressure, but also motivation to make this work, and it wasn't until that moment, and I am not telling you guys to do this, okay? There will be lots I'll talk about the next few days about balance and how we'd actually backtracked away from away from that. Um, in fact, I don't even use the space anymore. We've rented it out to someone else in our entrance to our studio is in the back of the building, but what this did for me, this position to me. It was a lot of hard work but it positioned me to use my studio as part of my brandon to create a high end brand and experience that we were offering our clients so that's one of things I want to talk about with the experience I am not saying you need this to offer great experience that is just part of our story and how like when this happened I didn't really have a choice I actually started taking business classes but harvey classes and I was learning about my numbers and realized I actually had to charge a lot more than I was to break even somebody in their home right now I could charge potentially a lot less and make the same amount s o that's when you know we'll talk more about some of the business and money stuff tomorrow um but just you know, this is actually my gallery now um we finished this part of the building which we bought the building five years ago it's about seven thousand square feet on dh and part of that transition is we were tiny in the home then we twenty, five hundred square feet run it and then we had seven thousand square feet that we used all the space I had multiple shooters tennant please and you know what I was miserable like and I again I'm not saying that wouldn't be the right choice for someone else but that is not where my strengths lie in managing people and I just that's not where I was happy and I realized I wanted to get back more to working with my clients more one on one taking care of them and still having a few employees part time employees on dh actually keeping more of the money so the numbers are actually smaller like sure a lot more was coming in in those days, but a lot more was going out. And so this is the transition of what our studio space looks like now, um, just some of the different areas, but I actually have it's only like a minute and a half, two minutes long, I have a really short video I want to show you, and it really shows you the evolution of our space. I compiled it had it compiled this year of images and video from the very beginning when we started and it's very fast paced it's not a lot of information is just like a minute and a half you're going to see bad hairstyles that clothing and I'm like, I don't want to show this, but um, you'll just see you'll see the last, you know, ten, ten or so years are represented in this video houses for sale if anyone wants the first gallery way, so hopefully that gives you just a brief kind of look into the space, but what? I actually welcome questions from you guys and from anyone watch seen throughout the three days, but I do feel like I definitely have it's just my thoughts and opinions, but I've experienced a lot of different ways to run a business. So again, whether it's having other shooters, not having other shooters, being out of your home, having a large space, having a small space so I definitely, you know, during some of the q and a's or if you guys have questions throughout, definitely be happy toa give you my two cents on some of that, um, one of the other things that I want to just touch on briefly, that makes a difference for being a boutique studio, and I sometimes feel like that word's overused, but really ultimately what that is, I was actually doing that before I have been new with that term even met, if that makes sense, like I wasn't thinking, oh, that wasn't my business plan to, like, make the gallery boutique studio. I was just already implementing some of the things that was making it a boutique studio. I loved packaging and doing just like beautiful presentations for the images, giving them to the clients, not realizing that was kind of all. Working to my advantage and and so as I almost backtracked and learn about the business and and then in the marketing and the brandon and I realized I was actually already doing a lot of those things, so I love to give the example so like here's, you know, here's some of the packaging that we've used and this one image we actually signed, I sign all of my wall portrait's just with my v logo on and that actually started because the business was photography by the key before it was the gallery, and so we actually went through a name change in the beginning and kept that v logo but part of this packaging in this brandon and for pets, one of the things we've done is actually well by, like, pet ribbon or, you know, paul prints or but, you know, just little things that cost a few dollars toe actually tailor it to those specific, specific clients in that type of the session, but what I love to kind of give that example if I were to hand you, um the way my images or prints were delivered to me from my lab in a plastic, you know, packaging and charged x amount for it, but then I would also hand you that exact same print, it could be the most beautiful piece of art, you know, photograph that have it packaged beautifully with tissue and ribbons and boxes like which one are you actually going to feel like more okay with and better with paying that money so like when you think of it like that like I want my clients to feel really well taken care of and like it's, you know, christmas and they're opening a present so that's kind of the thought process when we do it's the one thing we've transitioned in, you're going to see this over the next three days some of you that have seen me speak or how my business model's changed a little bit we're really trying to become more efficient still offer the same experience, but I don't have employees in place anymore I really cut my overhead and it's looking for ways to outsource some of that stuff. And so right now we're in a transitional phase we're playing around with some different logo ideas and just updating our logo and colors, but this packaging right here is actually the way my prints come back from my lab white house custom color you can choose the option to have it already packaged with tissue and ribbons, and so I'm playing around with buying different things of what I can add to, um add to that to make it more personal, my own little labels and bows and things um we actually have created we come promo packs. But other studio, we've actually created lots of different templates and promo packs and things that you can drag and drop in your own images. And we have those specifically geared towards pat photography. And actually, you guys in the audience, I've given you copies of all of this stuff. So you have the templates. You have the actual hard copies that tomorrow we're going to go over some pricing in different things that will actually go into more detail on some of the specific, specific stuff.