Several years ago, I realized that I wanted to be a professional photographer and no longer a hobbyist. Since that time I have read everything I could possibly get my hands on for education. I felt that although my skills were improving, the desire to make my art into a business was lacking as I had no idea how to go about it. Eventually, I landed in a social group for photographers and began correlating friendships and I was amazed at how business savvy these women were. Since that time I have had the opportunity to work with many of the most well known newborn and family photographers in the world. I became a part of this community and wanted to build my business around my clients. What will make the best experience for them? Will getting to know them on a more personal level help elevate the stress of a portrait session? Will working with vendors that produce museum quality products really be what my clients are after? In short, yes, yes to it all. I have my clients come back to my studio about 2 weeks after their session and we sit down together and build out the wall art for their home. Our homes are sacred, our safe places; putting imagery on the walls instead of replicated paintings fosters growth and has even shown to boost self esteem in children. We love our families, let us walk past that portrait from three years ago every morning so we can remember the joy.
As a mother myself, I feel the fleetingness of childhood. With my son turning five this year, my heart breaks a little. His chubby cheeks are gone, he does not stumble over words much anymore, but the joy, oh that joy! His innocence is still ever so palatable every day in our home. I look back on this photo of him and it just makes my heart sing.
With my husband's never ending support, I created Little Lion Photography Co. My children were my inspiration for the name as our last name "Leon" means "Lion" in Spanish. My two children are my little lions, they test me to be better everyday.
I would encourage anyone wanting to take on this daunting venture to educate yourself on best business practices, research everything you can and reach out to people who have done it. Learn from their mistakes and then... soar! Soar! Put your prices to a place that you will be able to make an actual living wage. Many people question why licensed photographers have prices set the way they do. We have to pay takes, maintain/purchase our equipment, have safety education for newborns, and pay to market ourselves. Do the research you need to make sure you take care of yourself and your family. Create the art and imagery that you want. Create a business that clients love and want to come back to year after year because of your professionalism, grace and ease of the process.
I'm so excited to see where this next year takes me and my family. With moving Little Lion Photography Co. to Fresno, I am having the opportunity to get to know a whole new community. It is such an exciting time!