A little background on
Sandy Prints Photography...
A company was born...
Many photography companies have a creation story very similar
to many others in the field. It usually goes along the lines or even starts off something like this..
"Our company was created due to the love of taking photos or photography in general..." Well, what if I told you, I chose photography as a career and as my professional business because I love customer service and working with people!
Would you believe me?
Well, it actually is the truth for us. Photography actually came second! We don't love it any less, but it changed the way we built and branded our business.
I spent many years working in the manufacturing industry and I saw first hand how relationships worked at all levels of the industry's ladder. The positive impact of great customer service and even just relationship building was huge for the industry.
But however, the importance of creating such relationships was merely mediocre and thus, would impact the business itself and the emotional well-being of those who worked within its walls. It stands true for most company's, that a company's growth and success is very dependent on its employees and clients. Like my business now, my client satisfaction is the main component to whether my business grows in a positive direction or not! I worked very hard in my previous career to make my employees feel heard and to maintain a positive morale, or try none the least. And still, many of my employees carried the feeling of being under appreciated and invisible in the company's eye. No matter what I did, they were miserable and unhappy, and in the end, so was I. It effected the amount of work they accomplished and in turn, damaged the company and strained relationships with customers due to our failures. I tried a few fresh starts in new companies looking for the right fit. I watched companies with great plans and starts transition in a direction all too familiar and watched all the same things happen over and over again. I was tired of unhappy employees, tired of unhappy customers, and tired of feeling like I was helpless to do anything about all these situations. I was so stuck in a negative environment all the time and felt helpless to almost every situation. So, it was time for a change!
I had a huge amount of business skills and education under my belt and I knew I enjoyed working with people. I had a few hobbies that had been swept under the rug, one of those happening to be taking photos. I decided to stay home with my son and take a break from working. I needed some serious soul searching as my life was completely turned upside down and I had been miserable for so long now! I wanted to do something that would bring others happiness but also make my life, my family and my happiness a priority as well. I started studying small business practices and looking at options and careers I might enjoy. I never imagined myself as someone who would start and run their own business. And I had never imagined myself as a photographer.
And then, I found a folder of images I had saved on the computer of when I did my sister's senior photos. I remembered how much fun we had taking them and it was probably a lot of luck, but they came out pretty good for an amateur! I knew nothing of editing so they could have been so much better but even for my skill set then, they weren't half bad. But the biggest thing was that, i enjoyed myself while taking them!
One of the sample images of my sisters senior portraits we took.
And i'm pretty sure i was using an old canon point and shoot handheld.. lol
I tossed around the idea of picking up some classes and learning how to do professional photography. When I saw the amount of competition out there, I was kind of discouraged for a bit. I thought, "what am I going to offer that is so much better and that these hundreds of other photographer's cant do?!" Well, I decided I had my work cut out for me but I had never let that stop me before so, I bought a camera and purchased some classes!
Well, if we fast forward a little ways, it seemed as if things just kind of fell in to place. I took what I learned in my classes and started shooting. I made mistakes like any other newbie does but I was quite shocked at the quality of images I was capturing along the way. So, I just kept perfecting until I felt my images were quality enough to be called professional. I spent the first 6 months of my photography business career editing, practice shooting, editing some more and taking on more challenging classes and tasks to properly learn this skill. I submitted my images to a few other professional photographer's whom i followed as business mentors, and had them look them over and critique. I was super happy that their remarks matched what I felt about my own work!
That was a proud moment for me to realized the knowledge I had learned and the skill I had created from all my hard work and practice.
During this time frame, I had also created a legal business, finished every task I was instructed to complete to have a legal running company and I was ready to hit the ground running.
One of my first portrait clients..
My son always seems to enjoy the camera and has been great for giving nice shots like this one while practicing!