Tell us about yourself! We’d love to hear about your family, hobbies, and favorite food- tell us about your favorite things!
Married for two years, have three cats, including a newly rescued kitten. I also enjoy playing guitar, hiking, cinema, and cooking. Huge fan of spicy and Asian foods.
What is your favorite thing about being a photographer?
It’s a creative outlet that feels built for me. I’m naturally a tech-person and ive always struggled to find a creative outlet that fits me. I’m not patient enough to draw one image over 20 hours. Photography lets me take my actual skill of seeing things specifically and execute in a timeline that I can actually utilize. It lets me tap I to my love of films. I also love that my canvas is different every time and getting the best out of people and helping connect authentically is a true joy for me.
What is the name of your company?
Boudoir By Zayne
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 was on track for med school. I’ve wanted to be a cardio thoracic surgeon since I was around 13. I was straight a, valedictorian, full ride to college to study medicine with a biochemistry degree. Once I shadowed many doctors I learned the field wouldn’t work for me. One of them told me you’re a doctor first, above parent husband, etc. with what you’ll have to sacrifice. So I pivoted and finished my degree and tried to work in the field in labs, etc. I always hated it and found it soul crushing and monotonous. It did teach me a lot of what I didn’t want as well as how to be analytical, data driven, and a lot of what I think a leader should be like
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 was part time photo while in a soul-crushing job, probably <10k a year. I did work in fashion and weddings but ultimately they weren’t for me, so I started boudoir. Doing IPS but with a much lower pricing list, the average sale was about 1200 with maybe 10/year.
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)?
Dramatically. I’ve gone full time now on my 2nd year, I shot around 40 last year with about a 10-15k a month now for about 150k last year with Jen’s IPs My average sale was 3848 this year. All but one client got an album and maybe half of those get wall art through us. The systemic approach and approach to the client experience has been the first and most major change for me. I was confident in my work, but now I’m confident in other people seeing it and getting that consistently from me
Do you have support staff? If so, tell us about them! For example- how many photographers, HMUAs, assistants, managers, etc. do you employ?
I trained a past client for retouching. I’d like to scale up this year or next with a booking or studio manager. I have an HMUA team I use. She has about 15 staff she can offer me and since they’re mostly weddings they love having weekday work
How much revenue total has your studio brought in since joining Mastermind?
Around 225k since joining.
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? 🙂
Just starting: focus on client connection and bringing out their true selves. A slightly blurry image of them in an amazing moment will still be cherished. I focused too much on technique too early. Flight time has been my best teacher. Struggling full time- prioritize the client experience. Go above and beyond what others near you do, beyond product and your work. Be fun, help them through the whole process, and deliver on your promises. Especially for boudoir, I prefer them be over prepared than underprepared. I wish I’d found a way to do this consistently and systematically when I was starting.
What areas do you still want to grow in? Do you have any big goals that you are still looking to accomplish?
My big goals now are higher revenue, being booked farther our (about 3-4mp now) I want to save and buy my own building to make it better to work in. My current one has many pros but others, like ceilings being short, can be tricky sometimes. I’m still at the start of the journey in my eyes. I just want more clients and more at bats. Then I want to focus on scaling and becoming a larger part of my community. I also want to work on competition work and improving my skills through that challenge.
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?
Prior to this job getting a honors degree paid for was what most people I know would say for me, but I never really valued it like others did. I felt like a ladder that I couldn’t control was the only type of path. This job has a TON of non monetary benefits. I see my wife a ton more than I used to, have control over my schedule to travel or for my mental health. I struggle with depression so this flexibility has been monumental. I’d say the coolest thing it’s opened up for me to do is travel for work and create experiences that I can write off and also benefit from career wise.
Please list any awards won and/or distinctions you would like noted in the article.
Bronze in Sue Bryce Comp