Studio Style with Heather Symes
When and why did you decide to launch a home studio?
I decided two years ago that it was time to create a home studio. I was struggling to find consistency with traveling to my clients’ homes. Usually the room wasn’t heated up enough, it took a lot of time going back and forth to my car unloading all my gear, and I never knew what the space and lighting was going to be. It took some time to turn the playroom with awful green carpet into the newborn studio it is today.
What inspiring touches to your space are most special to you?
I love my “Be Kind” bell hanging near the entrance. It is from Ben’s Bells and always reminds me that kindness wins.
Best business advice you’ve ever received?
The best business advice I’ve received has been about pricing and figuring out cost of doing business. Don’t worry about what everyone else is charging, worry about what you need to make to be profitable. Figure out your monthly expenses (make sure to add in equipment repairs or upgrades), how many sessions you’ll do a month, the length of time they’ll take (include prep & editing too) and what your hourly income will be. Do the math to figure out what you NEED to make at each session and make that your starting point. I have been in the black since my first year in business. (Editor’s note: Use your NAPCP credentials to log in and use our Studio Calculator tool!)
What are you up to when you’re not working?
When I’m not working I’m either playing with my three kids or watching General Hospital.
How do you kick off your Mondays?
Now that school is back in session, Mondays consist of getting my boys on the bus and my daughter to preschool. I then go grocery shopping and get a little bit of work done before I have to pick her up.
Can you give fellow work-from-home moms some advice? How do you stay focused?
Well, this is something that I’m still working on myself. I dedicate one evening a week to edit, and try to do the rest when the kids are in school. Some weeks are busier than others, so it doesn’t always work out this way and I have to find more time to get work done. One of the best things I did this year was sign up with Tave. The studio management program has allowed me to stay on top of things and streamline my business.
Tell us about how your home studio has benefited your business.
I was really worried that I wouldn’t have as many newborns want to travel to me after being an on location newborn photographer for 4 years. The opposite happened though and I’ve found that my clients love coming to the studio. The sessions take less time, and they get to sit back and watch a movie, and often take a nap. They don’t have to worry about the dishes, laundry, or people trying to visit them. It has allowed me to have more time that I would have been driving to focus on my business.
What’s your favorite, most functional piece in your studio?
My Hemnes Sideboard from IKEA, which I just realized I don’t have a full image of! It has three drawers and two cabinets with shelves. Inside I store marketing materials, extra memory cards, snacks & water and anything else I need to stuff in there. The TV sits on top and I display products that I offer. All my wraps hang on the backside of it. It also serves as a divider of the sitting and shooting areas of my studio. It has so many purposes and I love everything about it!
napcp contributor meet Heather Symes
About the Contributor: Heather is a newborn and family photographer located in Newtown, CT where she has a home based newborn studio. It is full of colorful props. She has a wonderful husband, three children and loves to craft and Scrapbook in her spare time.
Marketing Summit 2018: You’re Invited!You’re invited to register for our January 17-19, 2018 Marketing Summit in Atlanta, today! Registration is LIVE. We’re talkin’ setting and accomplishing goals, the best way to market yourself through blogging and email campaigns, and anything and everything you need to know about growing your social media presence organically (read: in the best possible way). […]
NAPCP Announces Photographer of the Year: 2017!We are thrilled to announce our 2017 Photographer of the Year, Ashley Berrie of Ashley Berrie Photography. One of Ashley’s winning images was featured on a digital billboard in New York City’s immense, brilliant, and monumental Times Square. In addition to being one of the highest recipients of wins and medallions in the NAPCP First […]
Staying Grounded, Encouraged & True to YourselfWhen I started my photography career, I was like most newbies in the industry. I was constantly looking at other artist’s’ work and comparing my photos to theirs. I would try to replicate someone else’s picture and criticize myself for my post-processing flaws. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, intimidated and inadequate when you’re new. […]
2017 #NAPCPHalloween Roundup!We just loved all of this year’s submissions to our annual #NAPCPHalloween Instagram tag! We’re thrilled all of you had a fun Halloween holiday, and we’re excited to feature some of you here! From left to right, top to bottom: @applewoodphoto @ashleyberriephoto @courtneymalonephoto @elizabethblankphotography @katiebuckphotography @marenabeckphotog @sablegabrielsen @summerlandphoto @theinvisiblephotographer_ar There are so many amazing and […]
We are so delighted that you are here. The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is an association whose mission is to promote and support the artistry and integrity of professional child photographers. To accomplish this mission, NAPCP provides the most comprehensive resources for its members, bringing together a community of passionate artists committed to growth in their skills, their artistry, and their businesses.
NAPCP.com (formally pronounced "NAP-C-P") is a place where professional child photographers can come and connect, learn, teach, aspire and grow. It is also a valuable resource for parents who are looking for a professional child photographer in their area, and want to be inspired and educated about our specialized industry.
Marketing Summit 2018: You’re Invited!
You’re invited to register for our January 17-19, 2018 Marketing Summit in Atlanta, today! Registration is LIVE. We’re talkin’ setting and accomplishing goals, the best way to market yourself through blogging and email campaigns, and anything and everything you need to know about growing your social media presence organically (read: in the best possible way). […]
October Inspired Magazine: Featuring Second Half 2017 Image Competition Winners!
Click here to read our October magazine featuring the winners of our Second Half 2017 Image Competition. See their beautiful work and read their inspirational interviews – guaranteed to give you the little “push” you need to get you through to Christmas. Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and […]
September Inspired Magazine: Featuring K.C. Crow!
Click here to read our September magazine featuring K.C. Crow! Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save Save Save
Announcing Our Second Half 2017 NAPCP International Image Competition Winners!
Hello friends! After much excitement and anticipation, we are absolutely thrilled to announce the winners of our Second Half 2017 NAPCP International Image Competition. Uniquely focused on child photography, the NAPCP International Image Competition features a range of image categories, including Babies, Newborn, Children, Family, Maternity, Siblings, Toddlers, and Seniors. Thank you to our amazing […]
The National Association of Professional Child Photographers is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com