Tell us about yourself! We’d love to hear about your family, hobbies, and favorite food- tell us about your favorite things!
What is your favorite thing about being a photographer?
I love getting to see a client’s reaction when they open their album for the first time. Helping them overcome whatever journey they have faced – helping them feel healed after an illness, finding their voice after a bad marriage, or helping them celebrate a fitness goal. The disbelief that they are that beautiful woman they see on the pages and it was me that helped them get there. It’s my favorite part.
What is the name of your company?
A. Dannette Photography
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!
See answer #1. Haha. I have an MBA in marketing and worked in the industry for over a decade. I learned how to keep a budget. Writing emails, ad copy, digital advertising, rebuilding websites, preparing press releases, and managing social media were all part of my daily life as a marketer and it definitely helped in becoming a full-time business owner!
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 HRC in early 2021. My first full year as a full-time boudoir photographer was in 2020 and we all know how scary that was! I brought in $80k in 2020. I was shooting 4-6 sessions a month with a sales average of about $2,000. To me, that was perfectly acceptable but my bookings were inconsistent and I felt I was constantly throwing things at the wall to see what would stick. Nothing was streamlined.
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)?
I had to rebuild my business from the ground up but it was worth it! I started implementing automated text and emails to leads. I hired someone to do my phone consults and I started prospecting. I changed my price list and onboarding process. I am still shooting boudoir. Now we do 6-8 sessions a month and our average sale is $4,000. In my first year in HRC, revenue was $160K. In 2022, we reached over $200K. Most of my clients buy albums with wall art as an add-on.
Do you have support staff? If so, tell us about them! For example- how many photographers, HMUAs, assistants, managers, etc. do you employ?
I work with two HMUAs, I have an assistant that handles social media, email campaigns and assists with shoots on-site. I also have a sales assistant who handles leads, phone consults, and bookings.
How much revenue total has your studio brought in since joining Mastermind?
I’ve been in for 2 years now, so in total, I would say almost $300k.
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? 🙂
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel! Do what you are good at and delegate the rest. It might be an investment at first but it will pay for itself. There are so many programs out there to help you through. Also, find your people. A community that is like-minded and faces the same struggles as you. Make sure it has people who are further ahead than you so you can learn from them. We have our group of Cohorts from HRC and they are so supportive – we bounce ideas off of each other, vent to each other, and lift each other up. That’s so important to stay sane.
What areas do you still want to grow in? Do you have any big goals that you are still looking to accomplish?
I’d like to eventually hire an associate photographer. I’d like to increase my sales average – that also means stepping up my shooting game. One day maybe open a second location.
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 was just nominated a Top 20 Under 40 Leadership Award honoree – something I have always wanted to accomplish. The other 19 people are bad-a** business owners whom I admire.
Please list any awards won and/or distinctions you would like noted in the article.
Top 20 Under 40 Leadership Award