MUSEA Spotlight - Mandy Johnson

Why did you become a photographer?

I remember as a little girl always being in love with photographs, I would look thru albums for hours and ask my mom about the people in the photographs. As a teen I was enamored by the old Benetton ads, remember the ones with the mixed races all tangled up together?? Those took my breath away! That was the first time I remember how powerful photography could be! 

What do you photograph and why?

I photograph LOVE.  Yes… so very cheesy but true! I photograph people, people in love, people waiting on new life, raising families and all the in between. I do not photograph people getting married or birthing babies.. but just about everything else :) I love the relationships, the quirky things that make each family a family and the cuteness that all people hold! I couldn’t stand the stress of a wedding day, I do not do well with stress and stressed out people :) ha, So I knew almost immediately weddings were not for me! Kids get me, I get them so it works really well! 

What's the biggest factor in your long-term business success?

Providing the best experience for my clients. Remembering it is my job to deliver a finished piece to them that will last for generations, remembering it is not their job to know how to print and display portraits, that is our job as photographers! My clients are looking for a high-end experience built on trust and respect but also fun and authentic care for their family. They start the experience knowing we are expensive but leave knowing why we are expensive and understanding the value in what we offer! 

Why do you use the MUSEA Lab?

I wanted to truly believe we were offering our clients the best-finished portrait we could. I wanted to feel proud of my work and the end result, I didn't feel that way until I ordered from MUSEA. I fell in love with photography again when I saw my work printed thru MUSEA and I knew I would never go back to a lustre print. I would never go back to a larger lab that didn’t put in the hand printing care of MUSEA print. It was a huge leap for me, I was sponsored by the largest lab in the industry and I struggled with leaving, I was a loyal customer. But I knew this was the best choice for my customers! I have never looked back! 

Can you share a story from your business that illustrates why prints are important?

I don’t think I have that one great story from a client about the importance of prints, however, I know that is why I stand out in my area and why my customers come back to me over and over. They spend thousands of dollars because they want more than a digital copy. They want the feeling of holding their children's portraits in their hands and having beautiful finished pieces on their walls. Last year I had two huge losses in my life, losing my grandfather and my father to cancer. I have never craved, searched and been more grateful for all of our family pictures. Everything from a cheap Walgreens 4x6 to my beautiful fine art prints. They are truly what we hold onto after we lose someone. You want to surround yourself with the tangible memories, they are everything. I always believed this but last year made it so very clear to me what I am truly doing for my clients, I am forever grateful to be able to offer that gift to them. Yes, now I'm crying and yes I want to scream from the rooftops…. TAKE MORE PHOTOGRAPHS—— PRINT THEM ALL!! 


Website - mandyjohnsonphotography.com

Follow Mandy on Instagram - @mandyjohnsonphoto

MUSEA Spotlight - Allison Craig

Why did you become a photographer?
It's so cliche, but I got a Canon Rebel, and started taking pictures of my oldest. I was bad...I mean, bad. But, my friends told me I was good, asked me to take pictures of their kiddos, and my ego grew bigger and bigger. One day, I received a phone call, from a stranger, asking me to photograph their family. Obviously that meant I was good enough to have a business, so I filed all of my papers, got my sales tax permit, and charged them $100. Really. I did love photographing kiddos, and saw the value in preserving moments. Having a young family, I saw how quickly they changed, and that fueled my desire to document the journey.

What do you photograph and why?
I photograph pregnant mamas, newborn babies, and young families. I connect so well with these people, because I am going through this life stage, too. I have endless patience with all kids except mine, so that creates a very laid back, relaxed session where we preserve very authentic moments. I didn't have portraits like this with my babies, so my longing for such has allowed me to create and deliver an experience I wish I had. I love portraits of mamas and their littles, simply because the connection is unlike any other...and same with a family. I wish that those who don't invest in portraits could feel what it's like to see images of yourself in print. It's truly unlike anything else, and so important (whether they know it, or not)!

What's the biggest factor in your long-term business success?
Constant drive to grow, refine my brand, and set myself apart from the 8,274 other Houston photographers. This is something that is tackled daily, and there's nothing that can replace good hustle.

Why do you use the MUSEA lab?
MUSEA is unlike any other print on the market. I deliver a high-end experience and have a high-end brand, so it only makes sense that I carry only the best. Sure the COGS are higher than other "common" labs, but the quality, customer service, and end-product is unmatched.

Can you share a story, from your business, that illustrates why prints are important?
I had a long-time client, who had lots of sessions with me. She lost her beloved pup, and I immediately remembered that she brought her to one of the sessions. I was able to print and send her a portrait, something that was far better than a blurry cell phone print. Life deserves more than that, and I was able to give her something that will be on her mantle for many, many years.

Besides the above, which will sadly happen to all of us at one point, clients honestly don't realize the importance of prints until they have them. Once they do, it's all they want. That's my job-to show them the value in printing their portraits.

Connect with Allison

Website - lentillephotography.com 

Instagram - @lentillephotography

MUSEA Spotlight - Christy Johnson

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Why did you become a photographer?

I’ve always been creative, more a writer than a photographer, and I’ve always known I’d own a business. I started out as a preschool teacher before realizing the profession would never allow me to support myself, much less grow into owning a child care business. For years, I drifted through various marketing and sales positions. My first daughter was born in 2006, which prompted my first DSLR purchase, and I flung myself into a major photography obsession. After the recession and the loss of my last sales job, my husband and I decided to realign our family goals and simplify our lives in order to take my fledgling photography side business full-time.

What do you photograph and why?

Bring me all the babies! I specialize in maternity, newborn, and baby’s first year. As I mentioned above, I started out many moons ago as a preschool teacher, and I often joke that I communicate better with people under the age of five than I do with grown adults! Babies allow me the freedom to play, to be silly, and to sing Raffi songs. Specializing in babies also helps me to work mostly during the week rather than every single weekend. My daughters are both in elementary school, so I need plenty of weekend time to be with them.

What’s the biggest factor in your long term business success?

Being true to myself. I hear a lot of talk that the industry is over-saturated and that’s there’s no real way to stand out. I think that being unapologetically authentic in everything I do, from the relationships I build with my clients to the work that I put out into the world makes me and my business unique. When you learn to trust that your voice has value, you begin to differentiate yourself from the competition. Building on your strengths and amplifying that voice, along with good ol' sound business practices, equal long term success.

Why do you use the MUSEA lab?

To be quite honest, MUSEA makes me look better than I am! Ha!

Seriously though, I admire and want to work with businesses that align with my own core values, including high standards of quality, a commitment to excellent customer service, and a giving spirit that nurtures the people and world around us.

I’ve printed with MUSEA for a few years now, and I love that I can always count on the prints turning out beautifully. I’m proud to hand off a MUSEA print to my clients, every time.

Can you share a story from your business that illustrates why prints are important?

I can’t think of a story off the top of my head, but I often tell my clients often that my goal is to produce artwork that will live on their walls until their babies are having babies. Creating timeless pieces that are treasured enough to have a special spot in their homes for a lifetime is what it's all about for me.

Connect with Christy

Website - betruebaby.com

Instagram - betruebaby

MUSEA Spotlight - Kara Webb

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Why did you become a photographer?

I've always been drawn to art but didn't find my medium until college. I actually stumbled into photography because it was the last course offered at a satellite campus in the Texas Hill Country that I always wanted to attend. I fell in love with being able to beautifully document a moment in time but saw it as an expensive hobby.

My college degree is in Education, so photography went on the back burner while I was a full time high school teacher. I loved photographing our older child's first few years; and being able to look back on all the special moments I was able to preserve through photographs. It wasn't until our second child was born that my photography hobby began to evolve into something sustainable that I could earn an income from. I loved the idea of being able to photograph other parent's special moments as well as my own. So I quit my job as a teacher and launched into photography full-time. 

What do you photograph and why?

I'm naturally drawn to newborns, babies, and families because that's the phase of life I'm currently in. It's what initially drove me into starting my business. Those chubby cheeks and toothless grins feed my soul! I've watched my own children grow through the years and while memories fade in my mind, photographs bring them back into focus again. I want my clients to have something to remember those special moments as well. 

What's the biggest factor in your long term business success?

Goal setting and hustling to obtain them. I know what I want my business to look like and what I don't, and I make each and every business decision based on whether it fits into my big overall goals.

Another important factor was finding my tribe of likeminded friends who are also business owners. The photography industry can sometimes be a lonely place, and it's important to find friends and invest in relationships that feed you, keep you growing and accountable, and provide a safe place to bounce ideas around. 

Why do you use the MUSEA Lab?

In a word - quality. In a world where everyone wants faster and cheaper, there is something to be said about a return to the mindful production of quality pieces. MUSEA provides me what I promise my clients, heirloom pieces that stand the test of time. The quality is outstanding, the colors genuine, and the buttery texture isn't something you can replicate. The MUSEA crew offers me a higher level of service than I could get anywhere else, and won't let a print leave their lab if they feel it is subpar. That's the same level of service as I offer my clients, and I know MUSEA pours their hearts into each and every print they make.

Once you see your portraits printed on MUSEA's fine art paper, there is no going back to a regular print. Seriously.

Can you share a story from your business that illustrates why prints are important?

Last Christmas, I bought both my mom and mother-in-law a digital picture frame to fill with pictures. It's now March and they both sit unused. Like so many clients who purchase digital files because it's what they think they want, the files still sit in a drawer where no one enjoys them.


Ever see someone post a picture of something online and then say "This looks so much better in person"? I think something is lost when we look at an image digitally vs. in print. We spend so much time on our smartphones, looking at TV or computer screens, with data and ads flashing and flooding our senses, but a printed picture stays constant. It's a way for children to look up on the walls and see their baby pictures. To see they belong because that portrait was important enough to print and hang on a wall. And my ultimate goal as a photographer is to beautifully preserve memories for my clients to look back on.

Connect with Kara

Website simplyheavenphotography.com

Instagram @kara_simplyheaven

MUSEA Spotlight - Tiffany Farley

Why did you become a photographer?

Like many, photography was always a personal hobby of mine growing up. In fact, I was lucky enough to take a photography art elective in high school- spending hours in the darkroom- and I remember it was the only class I ever truly loved in all four years. I actually went on to earn a degree in Biblical Theology & Christian Education for Children. A few years after that, I was a semester away from my Masters in Pastoral Counseling when I just couldn't seem to get this idea of being a professional photographer out of my head. Facebook was the primary social media channel at the time, and I just remember pouring over every single post about lifestyle family photography that I could find. I was completely obsessed with it. Fast forward a few years and here I am, running a full-time portrait photography business, photographing mothers all over the world. I get to use my education and experience in the most unexpected of ways, and it is the most fulfilling, incredible work. I am so grateful to have pursued it!

What do you photograph and why?

I specialize in photographing motherhood and family. It's my desire to honor the art of being a mother through my work, photographing their most cherished relationships. It is truly one of the greatest privileges of my life to create such meaningful portraits for each family I work with. 

What's the biggest factor in your long-term business success?

I have only been full time with my business for 2 years, so I don't consider myself long-term just yet. Every day I want to be a better photographer. A better artist. A better visionary. A better business owner. I never want to stop learning or growing in my craft, and my desire to do so is definitely what I would consider a key factor- to actually love what is that you do and always strive to grow. I also want to build a profitable, sustainable business that lasts. I believe that kind of success takes a willingness to learn new things, knowing your numbers (confidence in your pricing and costs), and actually doing the work that it takes. Commitment and Consistency! 

Why do you use the MUSEA Lab?

I have tried many different labs and sampled many different products since I started my business. In the beginning I built my business as an all-inclusive model and didn't offer much for printed products outside of a loose gift print or two. I started to become not only unfulfilled as an artist who was passionate for the tangible experience, but I began to understand that, I was not building a sustainable business doing things the way I was. I don't think that you have to sell prints & products to be a successful photographer and have a lasting business. I just know that it was the game changer for me. When I started offering prints and products and being really intentional with my client education and ordering process, I not only saw the numbers I had only dreamed about that allowed me to go full time, but it made my work so much more fulfilling to know that I wasn't just giving families new profile photos- but that I was giving them art for their home. I was giving them memories framed above their bed, and tucked inside hand crafted albums. I knew that I was giving them something that would LAST. It's really important to me to offer my clients professional products that they can't just go buy elsewhere, and past companies I used were doing just that. If I am telling my clients that they can trust me as a professional artist, than I want to know that I am giving them the very best art quality I can find. I use Musea lab for their unmatched quality, unmatched customer service, and unmatched shared passion for seeing photographs printed in a digital age 

Can you share a story from your business that illustrates why prints are important?

I think an absolute favorite moment that I could share happened recently, with a family I had photographed a number of different times in years past. As I walked through her home for the very first time to get ready for our first in-home session, I counted more than 12 framed portraits of our previous sessions adorning their walls, most of which I had professionally matted & framed for her over the past few years. (using Musea for the majority of them!) I paused and smiled with such a grateful heart as I caught a glimpse of each and every one. As she was rocking her newest tiny addition to sleep in her arms, she told me these words: "There's no art I would rather hang on my walls, to look at every day, than beautiful pictures of my family." I was overwhelmed in the best way, hearing firsthand that there was no art they could ever buy that would be more meaningful to her than her family photographs I had taken. What an absolute dream to photograph mothers and families who deeply value every part of their client experience with me, and who greatly cherish what I have the honor of doing for a living. They teach me so much about what is truly worth fighting for in this life. And honestly, I just couldn't be more thankful to work with a lab like Musea, founded and run by a person who believes in all of that just as much as I do.


 Connect with Tiffany

Website  TIFFANYFARLEY.COM

Instagram @TIFFANYFARLEY

MUSEA Spotlight - Jenny Cruger

Why did you become a photographer? 

To make a living. No, really.  My first baby was around 6 months old and I couldn't go back to working a regular job without flexibility, but we desperately needed my income.  I decided I wanted to create the types of photographs that I imagined, and I wanted as a mother, but no one was doing at the time. I couldn't even find a photographer I was in love with to photograph our baby if I could have afforded it.  Being as specific as I am, even having a client wardrobe, was unheard of when I first began my business so it felt like a huge risk, but one that I hoped would pay off.   Everything was bright colors, little direction from photographers, and just things that were all over the map. It eventually did and I began teaching other photographers who wanted the same style as well.   I knew from the start I needed to charge a good amount to make money and I knew I wanted to do it my way. 

What do you photograph and why? 

Motherhood is what makes me happiest and what I do best.  Maternity, newborn, baby, and families with young children are where my heart is and where I quickly settled into after realizing things like weddings, seniors, commercial work just didn't do anything for me as an artist. I knew I wanted to do my very best work and I truly believe I can only do that when I'm photographing what I love and in a certain way, which is why my clients receive very specific instructions for what to wear and I keep my lighting, editing, and locations consistent to a point where someone with a different style and personality would find it boring. When I become a mother I also noticed that a lot of moms are the ones behind the camera, literally hiding from the other side.  We are all so self conscious and I have no photographs of my mom and I as a child.  I didn't want my children to grow up without that, and I don't want other children to either.  No matter what they look like, my goal is to make my mamas feel gorgeous in front of my camera so that the emotion of loving their babies shines through and that's all they see. 

What is the biggest factor in your long-term success? 

Consistency and a high end experience.  Keeping my work consistent allows inquiries to say either, "Hey! I LOVE what she's doing and want exactly that" (which almost always turns into a super happy experience for me AND them) or "oh that is NOT the photographer for me" and move on (allowing me to avoid clients who aren't a good fit for me). It also allows the client to know exactly what they are going to get.  I know I am happy to spend more for things that are consistent and a perfect match for what I am looking for, especially when I can trust I'm going to get that.  Keeping things like my editing, lighting, tones, etc. consistent also allows me to run a streamlined business and know I'm always going to focus on the emotion of the image and keep things simple and about the client.  Giving clients a high end experience (along with the price tag) isn't something the other 601,365 (that's an official count, by the way. ;) ) photographers in my area are doing so it helps my brand stand out.

Why do you use the Musea Lab? 

In the most simple terms; I love luxury items. I would rather have one of something really nice and expensive instead of tons of cheaper things.   I love high quality brands and companies that specialize.  To me, the combination of using "the best" and specialization sets any company apart for me and is very attractive. And MUSEA does just that. There is literally no comparison between a professional lab print and a fine art print from MUSEA. I want my clients to have the best products to match my higher end brand and MUSEA is the only way to go for that. 

Can you share a story from your business that illustrates why prints are important? 

Clients think they want the digital files (and I do want them to have those too), but it's not until I get a gorgeous heirloom product in their hands and on their walls that they really appreciate the moment captured in the portrait I took for them.  They will tell me how happy they are to walk past those moments every day or how excited their children get to see themselves with their parents hanging up on the wall.  Just the other day my almost 3 year old lit up when she realized it was me and her in a baby photo we have hanging in her room.  She wouldn't have that feeling if those photos were sitting on a USB in my drawer or just on Facebook. My clients invest a lot of time and money in a portrait session with me and I believe they should have something substantial, beautiful, and that will last for decades to appreciate every day. 


MUSEA Spotlight - Shannon Cait

Why did you become a photographer?

My grandfather and father both worked as professional photographers, so photography has always been around me and a part of my family history. In a nutshell, I was a CPA working in Los Angeles. My now husband bought a "nice" camera to document his proposal in 2008. We started a blog to keep our family up to date on our lives, which eventually turned into a lifestyle blog. Having the blog was a creative outlet and allowed me the opportunity to learn to use the camera so I could bring my visions to life and create new content. Over time, I continued taking pictures and learning the camera. People began asking me to photograph their engagement portraits, weddings, and even newborns. Once my son was born in 2012, the blog went on the back burner as well as my CPA career. I decided to stay at home full time with him and soak up as much time with him as possible. I photographed his newborn pictures, monthly pictures, and slowly fell in love with capturing his every little roll, drool, and smile. I was never able to be in the pictures with him, as I was the one taking them, and this has made me want to be able to give this gift of everlasting memories to other mothers out there. I encourage all of my clients to be in the photographs and educate them on the importance of getting in the picture with your little ones because they don't care what you look like, to them you are just "Mom" and they love you for that!

What do you photograph and why?

My passion and business is focused around maternity, newborns, children, and families. In the beginning, I was unsure what direction I wanted to take my business in, as I had loved weddings and working with adult clients who could take direction. Once I had my son, I realized how quickly time passes and that photographs are all you have to remember those details you think you will never forget. I realized how much I truly treasure each and every photograph of my own children and found myself loving the opportunity to be a part of my clients' lives and document their family story by preserving and capturing the fleeting moments of childhood. It is truly a gift to be invited into their family and trusted with their most prized loved ones and create lasting memories for them!

What's the biggest factor in your long term business success?

Showing clients the value of tangible products has been a big turning point and has allowed me to take my craft from a hobby to a sustainable business. I wholeheartedly believe that photographs are best viewed in a tangible format whether that is in an album or displayed as wall art. Holding prints in your hand or flipping through an album provides a special intimacy as families relive those timeless moments together. Framed fine art prints are one of my very favorite products I offer. There is no better art for a home than that of your own family and to know that so many walls are filled with photographs of lasting memories is a priceless gift as an artist.

Why do you use the MUSEA Lab?

The colors are perfection and the prints represent the way I want my art to look. The prints have a tangible feel with gorgeous colors and create an experience that clients cannot make themselves. When a client holds a MUSEA print they know they are holding something truly unique and special. I know that I am delivering my clients the very best products that will last a lifetime and then some.

Can you share a story from your business that illustrates why prints are important?

My entire client experience is based around a tangible product and knowing that it will be around for many generations. I just had a client tell me that she was away for the weekend and her little 18-month old was desperately missing her and calling out "mama". He walked over and hugged their family picture and held it tight in his arms. He missed his mama and that print was all he had to hold on to and allowed him to feel close to her. That single print sits in their living room and is viewed multiple times a day. It will show the children that their parents are proud of them and remind them that they are so very loved and that is something a screen just cannot offer.


Connect with Shannon

Website shancait.com

Instagram @shancaitphotography

MUSEA Spotlight - Leigh Ripps

MEET LEIGH RIPPS

 

Why did you become a photographer?

The short answer is because I had a baby, but probably not for the same reasons as other moms who also have that same basic answer. It was always my husband and my goal for me to be able to stay home with our kids once we started a family, but baby #1 came a little sooner than planned and finances simply didn’t allow it at that time. Photography for me became a means to an end. It was a way for me to generate an income to replace my full time job that would still provide the flexibility I wanted to be present for my kids in the way I wanted. About a year and a half into creating and growing my business, I was able to leave my job, continue working around 20-25 hours a week at my studio doing school, and raise my (soon to be) 3 kids how I've always wanted. 

What do you photograph and why?

I focus my work on maternity, newborn, and young families both in my studio and outdoors at my field. I think this genre has always felt like home to me since it is also the stage I’m at in my own life, and I can relate so closely with all my clients. We can exchange stories as we work together and that honesty allows them to open up towards me in a way that translates into authentic images. 

What’s the biggest factor in your long-term business success?

Since my beginnings were rooted in the goal of creating a profitable business from day 1, I think that gave me a big head start that allowed me to sidestep some of the pitfalls that often trip up new photographers. I have always done IPS, always had a strong focus on prints and tangible products, and I’ve always understood that a higher end market is easier to stand out in rather than amongst the masses in the lower and mid-level markets. I’ve adopted a proven business model and then I make sure to provide an excellent experience to every client who comes to me by offering thoughtful extras and special treatment that you would expect from a high-end business. 

Why do you use the MUSEA Lab?

Standing out is one of the hardest things in our industry and is so vital in order to have clients choose you over everyone else. One way I do that I by offering only the very best products to my clients that they can’t find elsewhere, and for prints, that is MUSEA. I also really respect and value a company that cares as much about their clients as I do mine, and Michael has gone over and above on multiple occasions to make sure I’m taken care of well.

Can you share a story from your business that illustrates why prints are important?

In the chaos that always accompanies a baby coming home from the hospital, parents' best intentions to make prints from their digitals falls by the wayside 98% of the time. Because of this, prints and framed artwork are included with even my smallest collection so that they will be able to begin enjoying their portraits immediately. I get messages from past clients telling me all the time how glad they are I do that because it would have never happened otherwise. Here’s a note I got last week: "We are loving all the pics of sweet baby James and I am SO glad you included the framed photos in your packages. I get it now and it totally makes sense. I never would have gotten around to framing these! It is such a joy to see them every day in his room."


CONNECT WITH LEIGH

Website: fresh-light-photography.com

Instagram

 

 

MUSEA Spotlight - Megan Wilson

Meet Megan Wilson

Why did you become a photographer?
I became a photographer to give families beautiful portraits. To capture those first weeks of life or those important milestones or all the love that you have for your family….I want to give these memories to my clients so they remember that point in their lives. I purchased a DSLR before my son was born to have better photos of our new family and because I knew how much those photos meant to me, I knew they would mean a lot to others.

What do you photograph and why?
I photograph maternity, newborn, baby/child, and family. When I started my business in 2011, my son was around 8 months old and my friends were having babies and it is kind of where I fell. Which is exactly where my heart is. I truly love babies and children and seeing their little personalities and the pride in parents eyes when they look at their new baby or family, there really is nothing better to witness. Babies and children change so much so quickly and to provide a moment frozen in time is a gift to give.

What's the biggest factor in your long-term business success?
I would say my connection with my clients. I do try to get to know each of my clients. These sessions are super personal. They are trusting a complete stranger to take their new baby and photograph them. They put a lot of trust in me which is an honor, so I want to get to know them as a person and a family. And I think because I take that time and make the session all about them, they appreciate it which brings them back for other milestones and new babies. They also want to tell their friends and family and those friends and family want to have that same experience. Referrals are the biggest gift and a big part of my business. I don’t just want my clients to book and receive their images. I want to create a wonderful experience and memory for them. 

Why do you use the MUSEA Lab?
There is no other lab that prints at the quality of MUSEA. The paper is perfect for my brand, the colors are always exactly how they should be, and the customer service is unmatched. I know that when I place my orders for my clients and for my own prints that I will be completely happy and in love with what I receive.

Can you share a story from your business that illustrates why prints are important?
This isn’t a business story, but a personal one that solidifies the weight of importance I put on prints….A couple years ago our hard drive crashed to the point of no return. That hard drive contained every digital image from our wedding. Heartbroken does not even describe what I was feeling. I had no idea where our disc was on top of that. To my shock, the photographer still had our files after 6 years and sent them to us, but had he not I would have only had the prints I had and our album. Over the years technology and how we store and transport digital images has changed and will continue to change. What we store on computers and cds and usb drives will not always be around or at least accessible. But those prints will be around and cherished for so many years.


MUSEA Spotlight - Jody Dixon

Meet Jody Dixon

Why did you become a photographer?

I've wanted to be a photographer ever since I got my first camera when I was around 7 years old. I guess something just ignited inside of me all those years ago that has never extinguished. Photography is magical and powerful. It can freeze a moment and keep it for you to always have and look back on. It can transport you to places you've never been, show you things you've never seen, make you care about people you've never met, show you creatures you never knew existed, or simply show you something you've seen a thousand times in a brand new way. A single simple photograph can make you laugh, smile, cry, hurt, act, or just sit and appreciate a moment. Because of all of this - and so much more - how could I not want to become a photographer?

What do you photograph and why?

I photograph families with young children, mostly babies and newborns. Honestly, I didn't choose child photography, it chose me. I know most family photographers, especially women, stories begin when they had their own babies. But, I never had any babies. I did (and do), however have a strong family bond and am deeply sentimental and nostalgic. So, I suppose it made sense that when my oldest sister had her kids I constantly had a camera pointed at them clicking away trying to capture every moment and detail. Soon her friends asked me to photograph their children, and their friends asked me to photograph their children, and my business grew from there. I couldn't be happier that this genre chose me. I feel so tremendously honored to be the one selected to capture precious memories for my clients. 

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What's the biggest factor in your long-term business success?

Providing something unique for my clients, whether that's a product, a service, or simply my artistic vision. The more like everyone else I become the less likely I am to succeed. 

Why do you use the MUSEA Lab?

Because Musea is the best. Just like a painter - the colors, tones, highlights, shadows, and everything in between in an image are choices I made as an artist. Therefore each of those nuances, as I have envisioned and created them, must be accurately represented in print. Musea does this and does it exquisitely. Every. Single. Time. 

Can you share a story from your business that illustrates why prints are important?

I have been a family photographer for 10 years. In those 10 years I have had uncountable clients, friends, and family members tell me all kinds of technology woes involving their digital files. They have had computers die or been updated and files have been lost, that they don't understand the "cloud" and don't know how to find pictures from years ago, they had their images on some kind of hardware that their new computer no longer accepts. In fact, just a few weeks ago I had a client reach out to ask if I still had the images from her sessions with me spanning six years because something happened and they were all lost. Six years!! The tales are endless and so heartbreaking. They are a constant reminder of the importance of print. 


Connect With Jody

Website: jodygphotography.com

Instagram: @jodygphoto

MUSEA Spotlight - Kate Connelly

Meet Kate Connelly

 

Why did you become a photographer?

I first became a photographer as a way to give back to my community. I was a volunteer with a local non-profit dog rescue, and quickly learned that good photos meant faster adoptions for the dogs. If you want some good practice in developing your patience, try photographing an eager un-trained shelter dog! It was always so much fun to photograph the dogs and I could see how important my work was in getting them noticed and adopted in their forever homes.

I had been learning more and more about photography when I had my son in 2013 - that's when I found a deeper meaning and purpose behind my work. Looking at my own family as a new mother, I knew these moments wouldn't last forever unless I found a way to document them. Since then, my work has evolved in ways I couldn't have predicted. I have two sides of my business - newborns and boudoir - and love both immensely for different reasons. Ultimately, I want my work to speak to women who are looking for an experience and images they can't have with anyone else.

What do you photograph and why?

I started my business focusing on newborns and maternity. I was fortunate that I quickly found a niche I loved, and have felt so lucky to work with so many amazing families. I love getting to see my clients over and over again and seeing their babies grow up. My repeat clients are my very favorite - getting to see their babies grow up is such a joy. It makes my heart burst to see images from their sessions in their homes hanging on their walls. 

In 2015 I also started offering women's intimate and boudoir photography. Boudoir photography has resonated with me in a way that I didn't expect. Getting to show women how beautiful they are and giving them an opportunity to show it off is the best feeling in the world.

What's the biggest factor in your long term business success?

I have to cheat a little and say there are two things: Creating a client-centered experience and knowing my own limits. I want every interaction my clients have with me and my business to be a positive one, even if they don't book with me. From the moment they find my website and contact me, to when they receive their final images and artwork - I want them to know that this about more than just creating a pretty picture. It's about capturing a special time in their life that they'll have to look back on forever. Everything from marketing, to the artwork I offer, and the way I correspond with my clients has that in mind. Coupled with that though is the knowledge that I am only one person in this business, so I can't be everything to everyone. I know what I offer and do that the best way I know how, but if that's not what someone wants that's okay too.

Why do you use the MUSEA Lab?

I only offer artwork that I'm proud of and personally love, and Musea is the best hands down. I want my clients' artwork to last for generations - I always have a vision that they'll be looking at their newborn albums and portraits on the days their children graduate and get married, so it has to last - and you can't find that everywhere. Musea offers only the very best, and I don't ever want to offer anything less than that. The customer service is top notch (you guys are always great about responding to my messages!) and clearly have your own vision about what you want to offer to the photography community. I love how much you give back while also offering top of the line quality and service.

Can you share a story from your business that illustrates why prints are important?

This is so timely because I had something happen just today! One of my clients emailed me in a panic because she had never downloaded the digital files from the USB I gave her several months ago. And, of course, the USB wasn't working! She was so worried because she thought I might not have her images any longer either. Luckily I had them for her, but it made me realize that in several years that might not be the case anymore. But she'll always have the physical portraits and artwork from her session. Digitals can be great, and I know clients love to have them, but technology changes so quickly. Since cameras were invented a couple hundred years ago so much has changed. We've gone from dry plates to film to digital, but one thing has always remained: prints.