The Business

Closing down the books!

  Say What?

Say What?

So..... Surprise! I'm closing down my schedule. 


Are you freaking out? Did you want a session? REST AT EASE... Every little thing... is gonna be alright.  Did you just start singing in your head? I did. Don't mind me: I digress.

You want a session? Don't worry. You can still have one. 

2016 was my first year of going full time with photography. I've learned a lot on the business side and have really been working to develop a photography business to last. Taking workshops, undergoing some mentoring, soaking up sparkly goodness from profitable business savvy photographers...

The average photographer that doesn't work to develop a strong business foundation will be out of business in just a few short years. I've been a "photographer" for 6 almost 7 years now but this year I really studied the business side in a way I've never done before. I've studied, researched, crafted, spent hours and hours behind the scenes working and learning on the best way to improve my business. 


2017 is going to be awesome. I am excited to be doing things a little differently. We are moving to an exclusive scheduling system.

Exclusive Photographer Booking

Essentially here is how it is going to work:
>My schedule will open up 3 times in 2017<

At this point the plan is to open up

  • Spring: February 1st for bookings through the end of April.
  • Summer: May 1st for bookings through the end of July. and the big one...
  • Fall: August 1st for bookings through the end of October

There will be limited spaces available. The deal is this:  I'll send out an email that says something along the lines of: "Spaces are available - here are your options"  (Hopefully crafted a little more fun.. but that's the basic idea) And you will be quick to respond with your date and time choices. Because you will have been watching for the whole week prior on social media, in your email, etc - that my schedule was about to open... and you'll have been waiting on the edge of your seat!  Right? Right!
Then invoices will go out to pay for your session fee... and then you're on the books. and my schedule will be once again closed until the next opening date! 


I will be sure to keep all of you hopefuls aware and reminded about when my schedule is opening up so you can set an alarm, get your friends on my email list, remember to watch your email, or however you get there.  
But here is the kicker... You have to be ON my email list to get this invitation to book! 

 

SO the moment you've all been waiting for: Click here to sign up for my email list so you can be ready when the time comes! Dont worry. I will not be spamming you. You'll get info once in awhile when things are happening. At some point soon - an email series will go out with lots of details about how working with me goes (Booking process, preparation ideas, print prices, product details and what to expect... etc). Other than that you'll only get emails from me when specials come up, booking is opening soon, or anything else exciting that I dig up. My goal is value only though! So don't you worry. 

Keep in mind, getting on this email list is the only way to get a session with me once 2017 hits!
(I do still have a few spots for 2016 if you need to hop in before the end of the year.)

  • If I ever release mini session events - it'll be through the email list.
  • If I ever offer Holiday Specials, it'll be through the email list.
  • If I ever plan an event,
  • have a sale,
  • or book sessions...

it will be through this email list

 

And just so you know - in case you're planner-self isn't ready for the commitment... don't worry! Being on the list does not mean you're locked into a session. You'll just be ready for the process and know what to expect.

Oh - and guess what? Right now I'm offering a free downloadable guide when you sign up for the list - it's called:      "Make Getting 'Camera Ready' Easy" 

Head over and get on the list now! 
 

 

 

Yreka Photographer Warning - FOR SALE! This is a SALES-Y post!

Haha! I figured I'd fore-warn you! We are all naturally repelled by those creepy salesy posts. "Buy this! You want my services, you know you do!" The thing is they have those silly tricks because... honestly - they kinda work. Mostly because - well - you're likely not just going to come to me unless I remind you that I'm here, especially since my business was kind of non-marketed and sort of hiding for a few years. I'm looking for ideal clients, that value photography as an art and want to invest in making their memories tangible. 
 

 Fall is Prime time for Senior Photos!&nbsp;

Fall is Prime time for Senior Photos! 

I've looked ahead to my calendar for the Fall Season; between now and November I have 32 slots available for sessions. So here is my point: I'm trying to get those sessions pre-filled! Let's prevent the rush of people coming to me in October hoping to get photos done in time to get Christmas cards out! Or seniors that realize - OH NO! I have 3 weeks left to get my Yearbook photo in!  And - we still have some time with the beautiful weather. Get on it!

 

 Are you like Everyone else - Someone that finally thinks of Family Photos for Holiday Cards?... Jump the gun - be ahead of times. Get your Family Session in before the weather changes!

Are you like Everyone else - Someone that finally thinks of Family Photos for Holiday Cards?... Jump the gun - be ahead of times. Get your Family Session in before the weather changes!

 

 

I have a trip as well as family coming to visit at the end of September, Wedding to travel to October 1, My bestie's baby is due at the end of November, School is starting (and I'm doing School Pictures for our Church/School this year!) not all in that order... and then of course there is the natural fact that October and November for photographers is like March and April for Accountants. 

 

SO - What do you need to know? 
My session fee is $169 (it is non-refundable and you need to pay this to get on the schedule). You get to order prints, wall art, albums, gift prints, and digitals at the ordering session that gets scheduled for after I'm done editing. My Print Sets begin at $200 and Clients can expect to invest an average of $1200 for Wall Art Collections. (I offer custom & standard framing, canvases, metal prints, albums, and holiday cards too!)
I will take care of you and help you through the process, even talk you through outfit choices should you need assistance. Your job is to tell me you want a session, sign your contract and pay your session fee, be in touch with me throughout the planning stage (even meet with me to go over everything if you'd like), show up to your session, and then show up to your ordering session after I've done all the editing. Pick your favorites, then I'll help you select your art and prints, and then wait patiently for me to bring them to you tied together with a pretty little bow! 

Now your job is this: Click here to Contact me and tell me you're ready to get on the books for your session this Fall! 

Share this post with anyone you think may be interested in a session this season and earn a Starbucks Gift card after your friend books with me! (make sure they mention your name when they contact me or it won't count!)

I can't wait to work with you! 

 Staircase Canvas Gallery to Showcase just a glimpse of a full session!&nbsp;

Staircase Canvas Gallery to Showcase just a glimpse of a full session! 

VHP Beginnings

VHP Beginnings

Take a look at the early days of VHP! They were prodded and prompted by others. Thankful for the growth and the support through the years to continue improving! 

Read More

This morning I woke up and reached for my phone. Why is it SO instinctual to just grab it? I began cruising the details and reviews of a marketing set I want to purchase. WORK! It is hard to remember that all that research and study time is work... and I just need to chill! It was 4:45 in the morning!! Relax!! Think! Wakeup! Eesh!!!! I find that it is that way when going to bed before going sleep too... Or When I'm standing in the kitchen trying to do dishes but get distracted by an idea, or remember something I wanted to look for.... Or notice a corner of the dining room that could be a nice little office space... and start looking at Pinterest! Ha!! Tell me I'm not the only one! Now that I'm back to full time photography, I've found that is very difficult to leave work at work... because its right there. All. The. Time. I've been working hard at developing the behind the scenes, restructuring, researching, fine tuning, tweaking, creating spreadsheets, studying, researching, tweaking some more. I read the other day a statement along the lines of, Creative Entrepreneurs: The only people willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40. lol! Isn't that the truth!

When I had that "It's 4:45 in the morning! Relax, Think, Take time to wake up" moment this morning... I decided today would be different. Its a good day to make it different, kids are home, house needs tending to, and I've forsaken my beloved outlet of Bible Journaling Lately... So after putting my phone down... letting myself enjoy the peace while the kids were still sleeping, I had some prayer time, dozed in and out... and when the kids got up... grabbed my coffee, the kiddos got books, and I left my phone in my room, and came to my cozy window chair, with a blanket, no technology, and dove in for a little bit to start my day off right! I need to go back here more often. Its a safe place, a happy place... a place to recharge.

IMG_5301
IMG_5301

Dare to Dream

Reading this Blog from Jasmine Star (...the oh so successful, inspirational, entrepreneur-photographer-turned-mentor business woman...) I found a striking similarity. Growing up - I too had copy-cat dreams. Often voiced just the typical answers to the question of "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Some how, at some point, I began believing that I DIDN'T have a dream, I didn't have a passion, that Photography was just a glorified hobby, or even at a successful state - a means to an end/result. In Jasmine's blog she mentions a time at the beginning of her business when her dream became, "of working from home and being a photographer." She goes on to say: "...I didn't have the audacity to dream of working with my husband in a home we own, traveling together, being one of the top photographers in the world, and consulting creative entrepreneurs. I couldn't dare to dream that big."  That struck a chord with me, because I've been pretty vague lately with my own dreams. And my literal words, in prayers and journaling, have been "To be working from home around the kids' schedule, and doing photography full time"  HA! Not word for word, but pretty dang close, wouldn't you say?

Change scene for a second - I've been helping at our church-school a lot lately - and there have been a few times during some writing exercises where the 3-5th grade kiddos have needed to work on paragraph writing. Extracting the details from the younger kids can be paaaaainful. They went in to this one particular writing assignment a week or so ago with instructions of giving lots of detail about their weekend, even if they had the slowest weekend ever, they could give plenty of detail about how many hours they laid in bed, or what they ate, and where they ate it... There are certainly enough details to write 3-5 sentences right?! Yet the resounding "I don't know what else to wriiiiiiiite" came often. "I had a boring weekend. I did nothing. I did not do anything fun." Okaaaaaay. But there just HAS to be more to that! You HAD to eat, multiple times even! You prrrrooooobably watched some TV? Slept?  There is more. It goes deeper... *prompting and prodding continued* but do you see the connection I just made and smacked myself in the face with?

IMG_8648-6As Jasmine realized she didn't dream as big as she could have... I realize now.. my Dreams ARE bigger... They do go deeper. I have yet to craft them specifically and be intentional (I'll leave you hanging for a bit because they are journal worthy)... but I challenge those of you reading.. Dream bigger. And if you need a bit of inspiration - go Take a peak at Jasmine Star's early years.... to the woman who literally just decided one day that she'd try her hand at being a wedding photographer... and has created such a deep, meaningful, and rich (I'm not referring to financially) business and life for herself.

 

the Value Factor

I've lately really been faced with looking at my value as a small business owner and in my craft. This running a business thing for a full time income is not for the weary! Its hard work you guys! Seriously... Who would've thought? ;) haha..... But seriously - What do I value about my work and my business... What do I want clients and potential clients to value about my work and business? Pretty Images....? I'm not so sold. While I have spent a good 6-ish years developing and honing in my craft as a photographer, and in editing... (And plan to continue doing so.... ) I've come to realize that I value my work because it is something that I put my heart and soul into. I want to get to know my clients, not just pop some photos in a gallery and send them on their way, never to be heard of again until next Fall for family photos or the next stage of life. I want to be excited about editing and post processing, because I know how perfect a certain expression matches a person, how I KNOW I grabbed a good shot of the toddler who won't sit still... ever. lol! How I caught that daddy daughter relationship that you value or the history in something as simple as a funny face phase that will probably pass in a few short months... or Might be the beginning of something that will stick around and give a good laugh a few years down the road.

I haven't always been successful in developing a proper relationship prior to my photoshoots, but the types that it has worked out in that way have honorably turned out to be some of my best work.Website (149 of 472) It can be hard to develop a relationship with my client at times... especially when you know me enough to know....that I'm not the best conversation starter with people I don't know well! (unless there is just something driving me to randomly ask you to be my friend... lol... I've never done such a thing! *that sounds desperate....moving on*) but it's not difficult to do if that is what YOU, as my potential client expect. If you KNOW that I care to see a glimpse of your family values, the dynamics in the relationships you wish to capture, or the phase you're dying to freeze in time... You will be more apt to share those things with me if going in, you know that I care to know them! If you know that knowing you, and your "WHY" for wanting my work, makes my work BETTER.... it is likely that we will develop a bit of an understanding and rapport with each other before our session.... a connection. You won't be one to freeze or get quiet when I ask about when you two met, or who the funny one in the family is.....Right? Are you following or am smacking a nail with a crayon?

My work is valuable to me. I want it to be valuable to YOU but... I can't make that happen without first valuing it myself. Which is why I've been reflecting on what puts the Valisa in Valisa Henderson Photography?... and allowing more of myself to infiltrate my brand.

It IS valuable to many of my clients, and to those who have valued my work before I saw it's value - I am truly thankful!  When I asked myself, "What is it about a client who values my work?" The answer landed me back to ... relationships. Those that ask and ask and ask when I'm planning to come visit and make sure I'm planning on scheduling shoots while I'm there - shows me that My work is VALUABLE to them. Granted I know I have clients HERE in Northern California and Southern Oregon that value my work, for sure! But I feel my point is made clear with Arizona; There are TONS of photographers in Phoenix, Arizona; seriously. REALLY great ones... but when I visit that city... I have clients ready in waiting... because I have formed relationships with those that value my work. I have grown with them, or they have grown with me... one or the other, or both I guess ;).... It is NOT because I'm the best photographer (Because I do not possess that horn to toot!)...  My work is something that I want to promote... yes, but also protect. Because it's valuable. Why have I transitioned to selling prints and not just passing around digital files like they're candy? Because the color calibration matters, the way I crop something matters, the time I spend working on my business, the time I spend with you, and FOR you behind the scenes, the care and diligence I spend crafting your images... because of the relationship I like having with my clients... is worth far more than the changes and manipulations that non-professional, corner-store printing options do to *ahem* ENHANCE *???* your photos... i.e. my art, that I value.  Can you see how without that connection and relationship... it could be hard to value my work? I do know that that does not allow for just anyone to pop in and value my work in the way that I pray my past, present and future clients will. And I have to accept that. Not everyone will agree with how I do things... and  in finding VALUE in my business lately - I've learned that THAT IS OKAY. There will be others out there, and how they do business is valued by a different niche of clients. I want to attract those that find value in and appreciate my work, value in my one-woman-show business, and value in the ME inside my brand.

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