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.
New in the NAPCP Store: Snapshot Travel GuideHave you been looking for that perfect summer travel buddy? Someone who will inspire you, push you to explore your surroundings and take it all in? Well, we’re here to tell you a secret … you don’t need one! We’ve created the perfect travel buddy for our photography-loving friends (that you can print)! Introducing the […]
2017 Best New Emerging Child Photographer Finalists Announced!Our judges spent time getting to know each and every one of the 25 semifinalists and have chosen the top six photographers for NAPCP’s 2017 Best New Emerging Child Photographer! Your 2017 Best New Emerging Child Photographer finalists are here and we couldn’t be more excited to share these awesome artists with you all (from […]
June Inspired Magazine: Featuring the First Half 2017 Image Competition Winners!Click here to read our June magazine featuring the winners our First Half 2017 Image Competition as well as our 25 Semifinalists for the 2017 Best New Emerging Child Photographer Contest! Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save
Semifinalists Announced!With excitement, we are elated to present you with the semifinalists of our 2017 Best New Emerging Child Photographer Contest! NAPCP is seeking our industry’s newest stars, and thanks to you the photographers below made it to the second round of our contest. These child and family photographers will now move to the third round, […]
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.
June Inspired Magazine: Featuring the First Half 2017 Image Competition Winners!
Click here to read our June magazine featuring the winners our First Half 2017 Image Competition as well as our 25 Semifinalists for the 2017 Best New Emerging Child Photographer Contest! Don’t forget, Inspired is now printable! Print your copy straight from MagCloud, and share your favorite pieces with friends, family and clients. Save
Summer Birthday Pack: Printables, DIYs and so much more!
Summer is officially upon us folks! Time to soak up some sun, enjoy the longer days and hunker down for the wave of birthday invites to soon flood your inbox. But fear not! If you have been tasked with planning an epic summer fling, it just so happens that we have an equally epic birthday kit perfect for […]
May Inspired Magazine: Featuring the Inspired Gallery Event Winners!
Click here to read our May magazine featuring the winners of our Inspired Gallery Event! 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
Announcing the Inspired Gallery Event Winners!
Hello friends! After much excitement and anticipation, we are absolutely thrilled to announce the winners of our Inspired by NAPCP Gallery Event. In contrast to our bi-annual International Image Competitions, the NAPCP Inspired Gallery Event was creative in nature and gave both members and non-members the chance to place in one of three categories — […]