Tell us about yourself! We’d love to hear about your family, hobbies, and favorite food- tell us about your favorite things!
I live and work in the suburbs of DC very close to VA wine country. I have two beautiful children and two Australian Shepherd pups. The dogs and kiddos keep me on my toes, but my husband Rob holds us all together. I love all things growing and mastering my business, working out and lifting heavy weights and occasionally visiting the aforementioned winery. I also never met a sushi roll I didn’t like.
What is your favorite thing about being a photographer?
I’ve always wanted a career where I can help people grow as human beings. Shooting boudoir has given me the unique opportunity to be intensely creative and make women weep at the sight of themselves. What an honor indeed.
What is the name of your company?
Talk to us about your life pre-photography (if applicable). Did you have a day job? Do you still have that day job? If not, when did you quit? If you did have a day job prior to becoming a full time photographer, what did you learn from your day job? Are there any lessons you learned that carried over into your photography business? Tell us the story that got you to where you are today!
I worked for 10 years at a medical non-profit organization and prior to that a brief stint in sales. I have extensive knowledge in event logistics and managing large swaths of customer service at huge tradeshows. I learned how important implementing systems is to running any business. Workflows were everything. I was able to quit that job nearly 7 years ago and have been running my studio successfully ever since. Some of the biggest lessons learned from my prior careers are… if you don’t know it, say “I don’t know” (then go find out). If a customer is frustrated, let them talk. Really listen, repeat back what you believe their problem to be, and then propose how to fix it. If they don’t like what you’re proposing ask how you can make it right. This will deescalate 99.9% of customer hiccups. I still use this to this day. These skills help me run my studio and will help me to build any other businesses I want to take on.
Can you tell us more about your photography business prior to joining Mastermind, what you did when you started, previous genres shot, clients per month/year, last calendar year revenue, IPS involvement, and average sale?
I joined MM in 2019 when I was just starting to exclusively shoot boudoir. I had just made my first 100k. After implementing MM, I hit 225K in that following year. I was shooting about 6-8 clients a month and went to shooting 4 days a week consistently. I am one of the few who has ALWAYS done IPS from the beginning. My average sale was around $3000
Can you share some details about your work after joining Mastermind, including the first thing implemented, the current genre being shot, clients per month/year, YTD and monthly revenue, IPS involvement, average sale, and most purchased items by clients (digital, albums, or wall art)?
The first thing I implemented was the $5K giveaway, I’m still shooting boudoir, and I’m currently shooting around 3 sessions per week, about 12 a month and 130 a year. My average sale is around $4500 and clients mostly purchase my album collections and digital products. I also offer unique watercolor portraits like no one in my area.
Do you have support staff? If so, tell us about them! For example- how many photographers, HMUAs, assistants, managers, etc. do you employ?
I do! I have a retoucher (contracted) and two W2 employees, a Studio Manager and a Booking Manager. My principal HMUA has been with me for 11 years.
How much revenue total has your studio brought in since joining Mastermind?
Since joining High Rollers Club in 2019 I’ve brought in just under $2,000,000.
What is your advice to photographers just starting out? What is your advice to photographers who are full-time and struggling? Remember your own journey – what were your biggest struggles and what you wish someone had told you? 🙂
Keep failing. You don’t know what to do right if you don’t know what NOT to do. Stop comparing yourself to others. Keep your head down and do the work. Take criticism, you will never grow if you don’t thicken your skin and accept ways to improve. Give it time. It took me 10 years to feel like I found my niche. You don’t need to be a cheetah, you can learn a ton being a turtle too (and saving on some stress).
What areas do you still want to grow in? Do you have any big goals that you are still looking to accomplish?
I want to add retail to my business, focus a ton on local networking and forging a new path for boudoir in the DC region.
What is your biggest accomplishment – work and non-work related? Since your studio became successful, what is the coolest thing you’ve been able to do?
I open the doors to my beautiful commercial studio each day and pinch myself that I manifested this. The truth is… it wasn’t magic. It was hard f*cking work. Plain and simple. It was just one bite at a time. Oh… and taking vacations whenever I want. Love that too.
Please list any awards won and/or distinctions you would like noted in the article.
I gave a talk at the High Rollers Club Conference in Vegas in 2021 and several of my images have been awarded distinction/honored in AIBP.