How about a little cream with your Sugar?

No, these pictures are not out of a magazine...



This little angel is Ellis, my friend Devra's little girl, who's just a few days older than Noel.  Devra hooked up with Jennifer, owner of Sugar Photography  after Ellis was born, and got lined up for a 4 session package with Dallas' Favorite Family Photographer
 
Jennifer was sweet enough to answer a few questions for us, even though she's been swamped with work (so a huge thanks for taking time for lil' ol' Mums the Wurd).
 
MTW: When was Sugar created?
Jennifer: I've taken pictures my entire life, always photographing what I know.  When my daughter was born I was unable to find a photographer that offered the type of photography that I envisioned (well, I found them, but I couldn't afford them).  So I dug out my trusty old film camera and started playing.  This led to photographing little ones around me (cousins, close friends, etc).  Friends of theirs would see my work and ask "Who did that?", and the ball started rolling!  I became an official business in August of 2005, and Sugar Photography was born!

MTW: Where are you located?
Jennifer: I am in Dallas, and work out of my home office.  My sessions all take place on location (clients' homes, parks, or various locations around the city).  Clients (the grownup ones) come back about two weeks later to view their session in the viewing room, and we're able to show various print sizes, framing samples, and all of our specialty products at that time.

MTW: How can people find you?  Do you travel for clients?
Jennifer: We have a (very out-of-date) website (www.sugar-photography.com ) and a (very up-to-date) blog (sugarphotography.blogspot.com). The blog is updated after each session, with a sneak peek for the families (and the rest of the world) to enjoy.  We are available via phone (but we warn you-we are slow to return calls) and email (always good about sending those 2 am email responses...who needs sleep?).

Do we travel? Sure!  We travel around the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and to cities outside DFW as well.  We've traveled as far away as Paris (and I don't mean Texas) and as nearby as Houston.  Contact us for details!
 

MTW: What was your inspiration for creating this type of business?
Jennifer: My inspiration came purely out of a desire for an easy, low stress, I-can-do-this-with-my-eyes-closed way to occupy my mind while the kids napped.  Or, not exactly ;)  Once word got out that there was a new photographer in town, I was suddenly bursting at the seams.  The business was created as a way to compensate me for time spent away from my family, and it's been all uphill from there.

MTW: Any advice for moms out there who are thinking of starting up their own companies?

I love every. single. minute of what I do...but there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes than just a two hour session a few times a week, and this is where the business side comes into play.  I see new photography businesses starting up left and right, and I think it *looks* so easy, so therefore it must *be* easy, right?  Pulling all-nighters proofing sessions followed by photographing the next morning followed by placing orders, packaging orders, delivering orders and dealing with the finer details of a home business makes me remember my pre-kid working days fondly (because somewhere in there I pack lunches, deliver kids to morning preschool, keep up with birthday parties and piles of laundry, organize playdates and pediatrician visits, and don't forget...most importantly I am a mom and a wife).
So my advice is to take it slow.  Build a strong foundation of organization (Ha-I'm not sure I should even be doling out advice on this topic), education (professional memberships, workshops, and seminars are so important), and allow your business to blossom slowly rather than peak early...resulting in burnout and unhappy clients.
Jennifer is the featured cover photographer for Dallas Child and Fort Worth Child Magazines.  Although she is pricey, as you can see, her work is unbelievable, and well worth the price to capture these fleeting moments. 
 

2 comments:

Umbrella Shoppe Collectibles said...

Good interview! Her photos look wonderful...

Anonymous said...

Interesting, well-written story about a start-up, home-based business. She is good, too.