The Shocking Truth: A Mid-Year Review, Michelle Ma Belle Photography
This was supposed to be my "easy" year. I've been building my business since the Spring of 2014 and when I started off 2017, I thought, "I'm in good standing". I have a great client base. I don't even have to do any advertising or marketing; people are just flocking my way. I have most of the gear I want (I doubt i'll ever be 100% satisfied but I'm well stocked). I've found my style. It's all gravy.
In February, after taking hard look at my expenses and earnings in 2016, I threw up a little in my mouth. Yuck, right? Well the numbers were pretty disgusting. Despite working my butt off, spending so much time away from my family - including a newborn - to shoot, edit and all the other jazz that comes along with owning a photography business, and despite actually charging for my work, I was in the red. I didn't make any money. In fact, I lost money.
I had a choice to make. I either drop the business - the brand I worked so hard to establish - or I make the changes necessary to be successful while still meeting the needs of my family. It was important for me to maintain my vision and my values. I did not want to simply raise prices and pocket more money. I wanted to build on the service I was already providing and bring it full circle. This is why I created a beautiful new office space in my home to welcome clients to view their images and acquired many sample print products for them to examine and adore first hand. I invested into their client experience and service.
I am now a full-service product-based photographer; think traditional professional photography experience that comes to your home or to your location of choice. Your session is fully customized to suit your needs and budget. I realized that although I had already been offering a high level of customer service, I was doing a disservice to clients by just giving them digital files. Many clients never printed their images; they either didn't know which ones or where to print, or how to display them properly. Many clients didn't even download their photos, so they just sat there, in an online gallery, with no one to love them. I now offer guidance and expertise regarding gallery and archival quality products. I take the guess work out of the equation for my clients. I do the required cropping and editing, and place the orders for you to guarantee the best results. Those digital files will no longer feel so lonely and ignored. Also, by providing professional quality prints and products, I'm ensuring that my art is printed and displayed as it deserves to be.
I understand that my new services may not fall within everyone's budget and that they may not be everyone's cup of tea. However, I do hope that you give yourself a chance to experience these new services before making that decision; you are welcome to a complimentary consultation any time. I firmly believe that once you experience full service photography, you won't want to settle for any less. I know that I certainly won't.