Posts Tagged ‘Mind’

Beginning with the end in mind. Amidst the steady stream of photographers launching new businesses, it’s refreshing to find something original – especially when it’s something so simple.

Photographers take hundreds of pictures at an average photo shoot, and then spend hours editing the photos to make them look just right. But what is just right? Black and white? Sepia? Color with blown out saturations? Cropped traditionally or using alternative, edgy styles? Effects or no effects? Do consumers know exactly what they’re looking for when they select a photographer? Or do they leave these decisions to the discretion of the photographer?

Enter “This Photo Story” based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Before Mindy Peterson, owner, takes a single picture at a photo shoot, she meets with the client with one goal in mind – to figure out how they’re hoping to use their pictures. She begins with the end in mind. If the customer is looking to decorate their child’s bedroom, wall colors help determine outfit selection, pass times determine the content, and personality influences the style. If they’re looking for something in their living room, then home décor and empty space helps determine the size and mood of the pictures.

Mindy Peterson also gives her clients the option of an extended session to include a home planning session. She comes to this additional 2 ½ hour session with sample collages to hang on the wall, mattes and photo samples to determine the size and style of frames that look best in their space, and a whole lot of creativity. Scheduling a photo shoot is often the easy part. But when it comes to arranging pictures on shelves or hanging them on walls, it too often means a lot of trips back to the store to return items that weren’t quite right. With this mobile, hands-on work station, Mindy helps her customers find the solution they were really hoping for delivering much more than just the pictures.

This Photo Story. A new business concept based upon something so simple – learning what the customers are really looking for before trying to provide it for them. Sometimes they just want a picture. Often, they’re looking for more. They might want their room to look like the one in the latest Pottery Barn catalog. Or they may want their house to feel more like their home.

Think Martha Stewart meets photography. And you’ve discovered This Photo Story.

Mindy Peterson, Photographer, Grand Rapids, Michigan



Usually, on starting a photography business, people work on a freelance basis or part time until they are able to build up enough reputation to open a studio of their own. Usually people wait till they have done sufficiently well before opening up their own studio. You can always opt to set up a photography studio at your home, if you have the space, which will save you money, or you can rent a space for setting up the studio. It really depends on the budget you have assigned and also on your own personal preferences. If you livesomewhere in the boonies, you will probably want to rent a space nearer to the town so that people don’t have to drive too far to see your work and meet you. Your studio should reflect your own personal style and you should strive to make it look like that.

Regardless of the type of photography you do, there are three basic areas you need to include and look into while setting up your studio.

Your photography studio requires an office space, a work area and an equipment storage area. The office area will be used for storing paperwork relating to business, expenses, bills, invoices etc. Ensure your desk is of suitable size, as you will be signing contracts, doing your billing and performing many otherimportant activities here. You require a phone in order to be contacted by customers, a printer and fax machine along with your computer, and a storage filing cabinet for storing everything. You can also use this space to maintain and create your portfolio. You could store the photos that you will use for your portfolio or future projects, here.

In the storage area, all your photography equipment will be kept. For this you need to first install some shelving units that can hold heavy and fragile items. This means they need to be strong and durable. You need to be organized when it comes to storage, as you will need your things to be in easy access and conveniently placed so that you can quickly take it. It is extremely frustrating to misplace an item just because you are not organized. Very often you end up buying it again and this can cost you time and money. Also ensure that the shelves are nailed at appropriate heights as you do not want to exert all your energy in just removing an item from the shelf.

The work area is the most important part of the photography studio. This area should be allotted maximum space. The room’s lighting needs to be paid special attention as it impacts the quality of photos. You will need different types of lightings that you can move around for creating effects in your photographs. You also need to provide provisions for natural light. Skylights and plenty of windows would be suitable for this. Different photo backdrops will add to the atmosphere and you shouldn’t forget to allocate space for waiting parents and customers. Also include a space where the customers can change their clothing in. Often customers want photos in various dresses, so it is important to provide them a space to change in. Also they might want some privacy to make up and get ready for the photo shoot.

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