We sat down with Kristy Romero, a newborn and baby photographer in Murrieta, California. We had a lot of questions about what it takes to run a successful photography business, as the industry is known to be quite competitive. Kristy shares her thoughts about marketing, creating a niche, and how she stands out in the crowd.
Do you think it’s important to have a specific niche in photography, or can someone be successful as a photographer who offers a variety of services?
I can see both sides to this, but I think having a niche shows potential clients that you have a strong point of view and a passion for what you do. Specializing in a certain field of photography also shows a certain level of confidence in your work, which helps build trust with clients.
One of the primary services presented on your website is ‘Fresh 48’. How do your in-hospital photo sessions work?
My Fresh 48 hospital photography sessions are done before mother and baby even leave the hospital or birthing center. In these sessions, I capture those first glimpses of the new baby from Mom, Dad, siblings, and other family members. Mothers that have used this session realize later just how valuable it was to document these moments. It is such an emotional time, and memories of it can fade, so having images that they can come back to is important for families. I always keep my schedule open to allow time for these sessions, since babies’ arrivals can be so unpredictable.
You talk a lot about the importance of printing photos. Can you share more about why that’s so important to you?
I can’t tell you how many of my clients tell me that they still have their wedding images on a CD and have yet to print them! When you hire a professional photographer, you do so because you want to document life events that you feel are important. You want images that you can come back to and help you remember that particular moment in time. You want something to pass down to your children and your children’s children.
Too many people have their images on computers, CDs, hard drives, and other devices that can fail at any time. Working with the generation that is most photographed and least documented, I want my clients to feel the urgency to print their images so they can be looked at and shared. I encourage my clients to print their images, even if they won’t be framed and hung on a wall. I don’t know about you, but I have boxes of photographs that I pull out and look through much more often than I browse through the ones on my computer.
How have changes in technology affected the photography industry?
Greatly! My passion for photography started in the dark room—when it seemed to be a much simpler field to be in. Now, with the accessibility of quality digital cameras and social media playing such a huge role, many more people are jumping into the industry. There are now so many hobbyists, in addition to professional photographers, that I need to work much harder to separate myself. I focus on presenting myself as a professional—one that has an actual photography studio, a professionally designed and well maintained website, a photography assistant, and the ability to offer high quality print and product items. I also place a high emphasis on customer service and really strive to get to know my customers on a personal level and offer them a great experience at every photography session.
For many small businesses, social media is an important part of marketing. How important is it for you, and what advice do you have for small business owners regarding the use of social media?
You are right—so many small businesses depend on social media for marketing. I have many clients that find me through social media. While I do believe that business owners should stay up-to-date on current social media trends, I also think it is just as important to have a well designed and maintained website. A website is what really helps you grow your company’s brand.
You can find out more about Kristy and her newborn and baby photography business in Murrieta, California, as well as see her work, on her website: http://www.inspirationsphotography.com/