What have I learned from having a photography studio for two years? Well, I did have an in-home photography studio for 8 years before leaving the home, but I flew the coop; I made the decision two years ago to go out on an adventure and I jumped in with two feet by announcing I'm getting a studio.
Why would I get a studio when I could work at home, right? After all, working at home is less overhead, I could keep costs down, it's easier to have everything right there at my fingertips, why on earth would I want to leave a rent-free space for my own designated space that is much smaller than my home studio and 600x more money than my home studio?
Well, how many of you are working from home right now? Need I say more? It's challenging; it's full of distractions and Geezus, I had a pair of scissors here five minutes ago, where are they? Someone is always moving or borrowing my stuff, so it was time to go. Time to move out. This afforded me more opportunity to get creative because I had some time with no distractions; (not to mention our 6 pound fluffy dog loves to bark, which isn't great for newborn photography).
Was I afraid? Of course! I was terrified if anyone would come to my studio and it happened; I put an ad out to the public and people started to come in, and then they told their friends and word of mouth started to grow.
Then...covid hit. The killer of both people and businesses. I survived; I had a wonderful woman whom I've met through business, Theresa at Jeremiah's catering in Parsippany and she hired me for food photography during the shut down period and I survived; she gave me hope and I kept moving forward.
I had clients bring their babies in after the shut down, we discussed in detail the covid requirements, what I was doing to keep everyone safe at the studio, such as temperature checks, not working with an assistant (which I miss very much!), an air purifier machine along with only seeing one client per day. I'm still plugging along and moving forward, albeit slowly, but moving forward.
I've learned so much and there have been so many changes since covid; including many within my business alone; I've learned I need more space, so I'm getting ready to move into a bigger studio space and have some different offerings for my clients in the future. This move was for several reasons, I love my current space, I'd love to keep both spaces, however, with covid and not wanting to gamble with future income, It's safest to just have the one studio which for me is closer to home and my student aged children. It will be much easier for me to pop in or for them to pop in by my studio during the day and check in on each other; this was a big reason for the move.
The bigger space will allow me to offer a more boutique and upscale experience for my clients. I will have a larger variety of options, backgrounds, set ups, wardrobe etc. for my newborn and maternity clients, which is what I mainly offer at the studio.
I've learned that the packages I offer aren't a great fit for everyone, so the packages and offerings will be re-compiled to a more ala carte menu for 2021. You'll get to choose what you want and only purchase those items and nothing you really won't use.
My main goal for 2020 was FOCUS. that was my mantra even before covid hit through 2020...FOCUS.. I'm working on my mantra for 2021, but I think it'll be something like step up, upward and onward or up my game. The plan is to take the necessary steps which will allow for more creativity and more time devoted to each client. I am already registered for several new classes, I've recently upgraded some equipment, I'll be offering a wider variety of photography and print options for my clients along with a wonderful experience when they enter the studio for their sessions. What started out as thoughts and hopes, became visions and now are becoming reality. It's a great feeling to love my job and to be able to create something that I am passionate about, that I love and can share with my clients.
I'M EXCITED! I'm so excited and very nervous at the same time.
I am praying for the same or even better response with the new studio, which really is only about 3 miles from the old studio and SO close to Route 80. Will people come through the door? I am going to say Yes, they will, just like at the last studio. I hope to see many familiar faces and meet some new faces, too. I'll be more ready than ever.
Thanks for reading.
Millie Dee Photography
As of December 2020, studio location; 172 Landing Road, Landing, NJ 07850
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Where did the name Millie Dee come from? It's my 2 nicknames, my maiden name is Miller, so some friends call me Millie and some call me Dee instead of Denise, so I jammed them together and made Millie Dee...