The definition of "Boutique" means a small shop or business that specializes in a product. For my business - this means I specialize in Senior Portraits, while also offering a unique product; makeup services. I market to a specific demographic - High School teens (specifically women) that are looking for stylized and natural looking images to represent their last year of high school. By offering such a specific service, I'm able to create a niche by solely focusing on the one thing I want to do - and do it to the best of my ability. If you want to run a successful boutique photography studio, it's important to hone in on one specific market or product, and create a product targeted to one demographic.
If you are wanting to create your own boutique style studio, or simply focus on more specific types of sessions, there are a few simple things you can do to get started. When you are first starting out, I recommend trying a lot of different types of photography. You may not know exactly what you want to do yet, or what you like and dislike shooting. Experimenting and trying it out will give you a taste of what's out there, and you might stumble upon something you didn't even know you totally loved shooting! It took me quite a few years of shooting tons of miscellaneous work (everything from band promos, to weddings) to really narrow down what I liked to do and what I wanted to focus on.
Creating a boutique experience for your clients is what puts the finishing touches on your specialized experience. Beyond anything else, having great communication with your clients, and treating them each as if they are your only client is the best possible thing you can do to give them the ultimate experience with your studio. Offering the best products is expected, but giving your clients the highest quality customer service, is what will set you apart from the rest. I am all about the experience, and having fun at my sessions with my clients; treating them like rockstars so they leave feeling empowered and confident. The thing I am most passionate about with my clients is giving them an experience they will never forget, and helping them feel beautiful just how they are.
I strongly believe that creating a boutique photography studio can work for you - and give your business an edge that it may not otherwise had. I've been able to grow a successful business because I can focus all my energy on doing the one thing that I love to do - Senior Portraits.
© Michelle Moore
About the Author
Michelle Moore is the premiere High School Senior Portrait studio on the West Coast. She offers unique, boutique-style portraits to her clients. Her approach to senior portraits is fresh, natural, and inspired by teen fashion. Michelle is located in Seattle, WA and travels the coast for work throughout the year, shooting fashion, editorials for ZOOEY magazine and teen portraits. Michelle is also the founder of salt&prep - a website dedicated to teens, fashion, and features work from senior portrait photographers across the nation.