When her husband was given an opportunity he couldn’t refuse with his job, the Huff family packed up and moved from Indiana to North Carolina. But with that move, Flavi had to start all over again in another state. Rebuilding her senior photography business proved to be quite a challenge, but she made it happen.
I am so happy that my sweet friend and amazing photographer, Flavi of Flavi Huff Photography is sharing with us her solid and practical idea for rebuilding a senior photography business in a new area. I wish so badly that you could HEAR her say these words. She is so passionate and loving. If you ever meet this amazing lady you will fall in love with her!
Photo Credit: Jessica Rene Photography
Flavi started her senior photography career just 6 years ago in 2013. She’s based out of Wake Forest, North Carolina which right outside of Raleigh, NC and loves working with high school seniors, families and business professionals.
I was able to ask Flavi a few questions about her time in the photography industry and her future plans.
What did your career path look like?
Being a new stay at home mom, I wanted to create lots of memories of my little girl, that's when I found my love for photography, I taught myself how to shoot in manual mode, and all the basic camera settings at first. Once I realized my love for this craft, I started investing in education and started getting hired by friends to photograph their families, then I saw a career possibility. I am so glad I took the chance, it has been an amazing ride so far.
How many seniors do you work with each year?
Well, given the fact that I shoot more than just seniors, I try not to overbook myself and having to start my business over since relocating to Wake Forest has also had an impact on my numbers, But I am happy to say that I have 10 seniors booked this season so far, which to me it's a big number, since I have been here for only 2 years, and only have been working on my business here this past year. I am really proud.
Can you share with us some of your accomplishments?
It's hard talking about accomplishments, but I am so proud of rebuilding my business from scratch in our new town. I had so much fear about leaving my city and all my clients behind in Indianapolis, but I am so thankful for the challenge. Now I know that it can be done. It may just take lots of work at first, but it will pay off.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I came to this great country when I was almost 18 years old. I didn't have any family here. I didn't know any English. The only thing I knew was that I wanted something different for my life.
And now I’ll let her tell you the rest of her story . . .
When my husband told me we were moving to NC, I had mixed feelings. Yes, I was excited to move somewhere warmer. Hello! Brazilian dreams come true, right?! . . .
But part of my heart sunk because that meant I would be starting over with my business. There was something telling me we should go for it, and so in the fall of 2017 we packed everything and moved to Wake Forest, NC. And I can't tell you how thankful I am we did it.
I believe moving gave me time and space to actually think about my business. The downtime helped me make plans for when the crazy times would come. It was hard at times, of course, because I would see all my photographer friends busy, but thinking back, I needed that time to be present for my family and the transitions, and especially to dream. Because most times, we are so busy, that we forget to dream and get back to that space that made us want to do this to begin with. So the move was the restart I needed.
I was fortunate enough to have the relocating across the country to make me take a break and analyze my business, but I know most of us creatives get lost on the craziness and lose focus on our business goals or a lot of times we focus so much on what others are doing that we forget to take a step back and analyze our own goals.
“The comparison game kills joy, and there is so much of that in the creative world. I think that sometimes we just need a reset period. It can do so much good to you and wonders to your business.”
3 Action Items To Take When Starting Your Senior Photography Business From Scratch In A New Market:
Get involved in the community in your new area.
Network. Network, Network - I know it will be exhausting, but trust me, people need to know who you are and what you have to offer.
Shoot for free, for fun, to test a location - shoot for you - No one needs to know you are doing free shoots, but it helps to have images to show with locations that people will recognize.
What Not To Do When Rebuilding Your Senior Photography Business
It doesn't matter how many years of experience you have or how much of a pro you are, do not wait for work to just show up at your doorstep. It won't. Get out there, hustle harder than you've ever had before. Remember it takes time for people to trust you, but once you gain their trust things will start moving faster than when you first started because now you have all the knowledge to back your services up.
Do you have any last advice for the senior photographer moving to a new town?
Just be yourself, have fun, and get to know your new community. It's amazing to me all the new friends I've gained in the past year. My tribe of supporters is stronger than ever. I am so thankful for the opportunity of serving such an amazing community.
Most importantly, always remember this job is a gift, you are gifting your talent and touching so many families’ lives in the process, know you are worth it!