Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Jo Duran. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Jo, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. It’s easy to look at a business or industry as an outsider and assume it’s super profitable – but we’ve seen over and over again in our conversation with folks that most industries have factors that make profitability a challenge. What’s biggest challenge to profitability in your industry?
Many people, when they post about seeking a photographer, they include the phrase “that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg,” or something along those lines. The biggest issue here is that because we are in a creative field, many think that they should be able to get the work done and we should be happy with exposure. It is frustrating to say the least.
Having professional photos taken and purchasing gorgeous products that will be cherished in your home is a luxury, and as with other luxuries we all partake in, one may have to budget for it in advance.
When running a photography business, there is so much more that goes on beyond clicking a button to get the shot.
It’s called The Cost of Doing Business. Here’s some of what that includes:
-permits and fees
-equipment and maintenance
-website and gallery hosting
-a vehicle and maintenance
-location rentals or rent for their studio space
-batteries and memory cards
Then there is working with our clients as we plan sessions and organize the shoots, plus the time it takes to edit those gorgeous galleries you see that take your breath away. There’s always something that needs to be done.
-There is a ton of time put toward learning and honing the craft. Hours and hours of learning, conferences, online classes, and more.
-Photography equipment is expensive and there’s a lot of things that your photographer may offer that helps to create that one of a kind look you fell in love with.
-And to top if all off, the longer your photographer has been shooting, the more they have invested in their craft which leads to higher quality of the images and products.
A skilled professional will charge for their time, talent, expenses, and years of experience accordingly.
The short of it is that if you love someone’s work, but they are out of your budget, see if they offer payment plans or start creating a budget for the experience. Also, watch to see if they offer specials for limited sessions or discounted session fees.
There are so many options for clients, so start here:
1. Check out their website and social media. See if you love their work and what others have posted about them.
2. Read those reviews.
3. Set up a consultation with the photographer to see if you’re a good fit.
4. Create your budget and start planning accordingly based on your choice.
Here at Be Present Studios, we do offer payment plans for all of our clients. When we do our consultation, we will talk through all of the pieces of the experience and plan for the time leading up to the shoot, during the shoot, and after the shoot, so there are no surprises. We pride ourselves in providing a personalized experience that is fun and memorable, and that’s why our clients keep coming back!
We can’t wait to work with you!
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
I’m a professional photographer that specializes in portraits, but I also do take on a few weddings and events every year.
With each client, I create a unique, personalized experience for them that includes a private consultation that can be done in person or via phone, planning and ongoing communication leading up to the shoot, access to professional hair and makeup, guidance for posing during the photoshoot, multiple locations and access to our client closet to create that perfect look, a private ordering appointment, private online gallery for viewing after the ordering appointment, gorgeous personalized print products, plus delivery of your order after the entire order has arrived!
During your shoot, I’ll work with you so that we document your best self so when you see your images, you will be speechless!
I love being able to work with new clients, but it’s such an honor when existing clients come back to me for more photography needs and when they recommend me to others with confidence!
It is my honor to be able to document these moments for people!
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
I spent 19 years in public education, and in 2019 I had an opportunity to take my expertise into architecture as I joined a local architecture firm. In spring of 2020, we were all affected by Covid, and the company was no different. We all went to working from home, but were hopeful for a quick turnaround.
We all know that that wasn’t the case…as days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months.
Schools here in Texas are funded with bonds, and those bonds must be voted on. The spring elections were cancelled, but we were all hopeful for fall, but as the new school year was gearing up we realized that those elections weren’t going to happen either. That meant that schools were not going to be paying for other things than the essentials…and this lead to me being laid off.
What could have been a very negative experience ended up lighting a new fire underneath me. I had been running my business as a side gig for a few years, but had expressed wanting to run it full time “in the future”…little did I know that that future was now!
I immediately got to work! I threw myself 100% into the business! My husband has been my biggest cheerleader throughout the entire time and I’ve had amazing clients that continue to recommend me to new clients.
It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I cannot wait to see what’s next!
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
I set out wanting to help people see how amazing they are in authentic photographs. This is still true, although it looks a bit different know being that I continue to learn and grow. That authenticity it part of my client experience, and they have loved it!
I also wanted to have people start to see their beauty as others see them. And again, as this has continue to adjust based on the learning I have implement, my goal has been successful.
When clients have a positive experience, they are more likely to share their story. This “word of mouth” has been the best part of my business! My clients have loved their personalized, unique experiences, and they tell their story to their friends. When their friends are ready, they reach out to me!
A happy client sharing their stories is the best form of advertisement!
- Website: https://bepresentstudios.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bepresentstudios/
- Facebook: https://facebook.com/BePresentStudios
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jo-duran-bepresentstudios/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/BePresentStudio
- Other: Book a consultation here: https://BePresentStudios.17hats.com/p#/scheduling/gdnrwtwptztwrggpwtnxwwnwwfkfkskt
Be Present Studios, LLC