What does your company do?
Lunar Studio is a full-service photography company. We specialize in boudoir, headshots/portraiture and branding/marketing photography. We provide full-service printing of albums, wall art, etc. to our clients through photographer-exclusive printers.
What is your background and how did you get into the business?
My background is in law, insurance and restaurants. I graduated from Stetson University having declared pre-law with a bachelor’s degree in English and minors in Business Administration and Political Science. I discovered my love of photography living in California after my mom gifted me a camera for Christmas in 2016. I met my now partner (in business and life) Stephen in 2016 and we formed Lunar Studio in 2017. We originally started with weddings and family sessions, but I eventually found my love for boudoir and he made the transition into headshots and portrait photography.
What sets your company apart from others?
I believe that photography is more than just pictures; a session should be a full experience. I believe in being candid with my clients while providing them the best experience, photos and products that we possibly can. We are creative photographers who like to think outside the box. We are also not what’s called “shoot and burn” photographers. Shoot and burn refers to photographing the session and sending the images over the internet with no further interaction and no help when it comes to printing, etc. We enhance the experience through client planners, style guides and Reveal & Ordering Appointments where clients come back to the studio to view their images, choose their favorites and order prints, albums, etc. We believe in a hands-on experience and helping clients display the beautiful pieces of art we create together. We won the Daytona Beach News-Journal’s 2021 Best of the Best, and I was nominated as a Women in Business Honoree this past September.
What is the biggest challenge your business faces?
Photographers seem to be a dime a dozen, especially “cheap” ones! We’ve found that once we’re able to educate clients that they understand why we charge more than $150 per session. We see people constantly asking on social media for cheap, budget-friendly or reasonably priced photographers — all while expecting the absolute best and to receive every single image they take. Besides the fact that everyone has a different idea of what budget-friendly is, people are not going to find the best experience or images with this mindset. The biggest challenge is changing the way people think about photography. Photography is meant to provide memories that will last lifetimes and we think that’s a valuable service.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Besides being my own boss, I absolutely love the connections we’ve made through photography. We have some of the best clients who return time and time again to use our services. Many of these clients have become friends and some like family. When it comes to boudoir, my absolute favorite part is getting to see a client’s reactions to her photos and realizing just how amazing they really are on the inside and outside.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Work smart, not hard. Don’t give in to the idea that you have to work 24/7, sacrifice relationships and make yourself miserable to be successful. There will be times that you have to do these things, but don’t allow these stressors to take over your life. Never stop learning. The second you stop educating yourself in your field and business in general is the second you become obsolete. There will always be another company happy to take your place and your clients. Learn from your failures (and those around you!), but don’t take things too personally. Examine the issues to make your business a better place but don’t dwell on them. Hire a good accountant.