The TPS Experience Begins
All right, phase 1 of our business plan has finally come to a close, now we are beginning to make the transition to the Studio aspect of photography, and many new changes are on their way, most notably is our brand new physical site. That's right! TPS actually has a studio! Why is this so amazing? well unlike many of our competitors in the north state TPS can in addition to shooting on location, offer full studio services. Nothing beats the quality of studio lighting, and in recent years the advent of cheaper "pro-sumer" level cameras has made the traditional studio all but extinct. Sure, a number of local photographers have studio setups in their garages, or spare bedrooms, but TPS offers the unique experience of store frontage, with all the requirements of a true studio i.e. high 18' ceilings, large amount of moving space (over 1,000 Sq Ft.), as well as complete segregation of outside, or uncontrolled light. In addition to these "requirements" for a pro studio, we offer many comforts as well, AC and heating, Bathroom, two private changing rooms and prep areas, as well as a comfortable lounge area with beverages. Of course seeing as we are now a physical commercial space, TPS is fully licensed and insured.
Moving on from the studios for a moment, we have been advertising on Facebook for about a month and will begin an effective direct marketing campaign. Also we have several posts on Craigslist as well as a FBN announcement to run for four weeks in the Record Searchlight. Our goal is to have a decent name recognition by October. Pricing is still being sorted out, the studio fees are going back and forth, we will strive to come to an understanding of what we need to keep our doors open, while still being understanding of what the market will bear. Online our pricing structure went a revamp in the last month in preparation for phase two of the model. We have coupon codes available now, the code we will be using until our grand opening in November will be: 20freeship. This is good for 20% off all orders online as well as free shipping up to $20. Like I said earlier, we don't have our studio fees structure set yet, but it will probably be in the $60 to $70 range and will include 1-2 hours of studio work as well as some on location shots. I understand the concerns, $60 studio fees is a bit high, considering the competition charges about half that, but the quality we provide due to our studio setup, is by far cheaper than what you will find at other true professional venues like T.A. Schmidt. In the final pricing structure I am positive we will have a location shoot fee of $35 for those who either want to save money or have an exclusive location shoot.
Another avenue we are currently gearing up for is wedding photography, I have a contract drawn up that is lengthy, but legitimate for the purposes of wedding photography, this is something most other local "pros" sorely lack, example, what happens if uncle bill who you hired for your wedding brakes his camera? Answer you lose everything after that, TPS is dedicated to preparing for everything, as should any true professional, we have several cameras, our main daily camera as well as our equivalent back up, and an additional back up past that, for any event, even senior portraits. our pricing on wedding fees is set, 5 hours of work at the specific direction of the client as well as a 2 hour bridal/ engagement session in the studio for $1000, the fee will result in a CD for small prints, and of course the online photo gallery for proofing review and specialty orders.
Also in Phase 2 we are going to be starting a new advertising campaign for a different set of clients, the general photographers in Northern California who don't have the money, space, or equipment to shoot in a studio. Northern California is unique in that we have a near limitless option for location shoots, however studio photography is a valuable asset for any photographer looking at establishing their skill and trade. Phase 2 will be renting TPS out to any photographer for their own personal business needs, all the equipment in studio is at the disposal of the photographer. By appointment of course. The rental fee is nominal, $18/ hr.
So, figuring out how to get through phase 2 is the goal of our team right now, there is quite a bit to be excited about, and there is quite a bit to be nervous about, but our goal is to offer the north state a great option for photographs weather we take them or not. as far as the page, there will be some new additions as we get the wedding, portraits, and studio aspects up and running so check back in often to see what's new!
well of course my equipment is woeful and lacking, that wasn't the point, my goal:
a) to make money
b) raise the expectations of earea phtography,
c) help pay for a better studio experience, exentually
So yes I know my "small soft boxes aren't going to turn the heads of a true pro, they aren't who I'm marketing to anyway, do we really have any true pro's in town anymore? most of them retired a long time ago and work at crown.
Check back in a few months, I may not have a lot to start with, but I promise our studio WILL be premier, call, me make an oppoint ment to view the studio, if you don't personally think the space and my vision hold promise, then I'd like to see you do better and become my only compition
Most, if not ALL "pro" studios use strobe for their lighting of choice. Hot lights work ok for most things, however you will need some professional lighting gear to be known as a "pro". Also your softboxes are woefully small to be of any real use other than a hairlight or perhaps a striplight. To achieve pleasing lighting ratios of 1:2 or 1:3 you'll need at least a six foot box or bigger. Octobanks are beautiful too especially when they are huge. As for being Redding's premier photo studio you have a ways to go yet. You'll probably be able to rent it out to some digital mommies, but a real pro would pass. But that's ok...true pro photographers that know lighting, posing, pricing for profit and a complete customer experience are a dieing breed in Redding. Everybody that owns a digital SLR "thinks" they are a pro now and have taken the profession to an all-time low. Most people in Redding only care about price not quality anymore so it doesn't matter anyway.
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