Today we’re excited to feature our user Jennifer of Jennifer Driscoll photography! Here’s her story:
Tell us a little about yourself!
Being a Navy brat I lived many places around the world, but after 25 years of living in Indiana I’m starting to see the value of having “roots” and our family really loves it here. We have three daughters, Annie, Mary and Emily. Annie is my second shooter at weddings, but her “day job” is at Roche. Mary is a freshman at Purdue studying elementary education and Emily is a junior in high school. We have a dog named Millie and she’s a golden retriever and the biggest lap dog we have ever had. The cat, Betty, is a rescue who tolerates Millie’s happy-go-lucky attitude. We also have a grandchild, Jack, who is 4 years old. He’s pretty much my favorite person on earth and his life is VERY well-documented.
I have a 2000 square foot studio with an awesome camera room in the historic district of downtown Fishers. My studio has been there for almost 20 years now! About 7 years ago we built a new studio one block from my first “brick and mortar” studio in a 100 year old building. The new space is a well-planned studio that feels more like a home to my clients. There are three of us working at the studio and we are all moms, so we get it. We are prepared to quickly turn the mood of a cranky toddler and have mad negotiating skills when it comes to getting smiles. Alyson, is a graphic designer and meets with clients. Annie is our production manager and second photographer, but she is phasing out of production and we are welcoming Madeline in June after she graduates from Purdue. So excited for her to join us!
Obviously, I love photography, but cooking and whole living is another passion of mine. I eat whole-food plant-based so I cook a lot as there aren’t as many restaurant options for eating this way. I love being in my kitchen and find some of my best creative ideas originate there. Adventure and fitness are a huge part of my life! I find being strong enough to lug around photography gear and suitcases will always have me ready to travel and experience life to the fullest. My husband, John, and I have a trip to the northwest planned for May to hike in the mountains, kayak, run, climb and find the best vegan restaurants the area has to offer. In the coming years we will be doing a lot more of that because our youngest daughter is 17 and we will be empty nesters soon!
What do you specialize in? What made you want to focus on that specialty/specialties?
I specialize in many types of photography because I appreciate the skills and growth that come with being diverse as a photographer. I’m known for weddings and babies, but my commercial business has surged over the past few years and often times I find myself at corporate events these days. I am so lucky to get to hold and play with newborns at least 3 times a week and then get silly with toddlers. It keeps me young and my heart full. A few times a year I get to travel to other states for portrait sessions or corporate gigs, weddings…it’s great to get out of the camera room sometimes and explore a new area.
It is fitting that my very first paid session was a maternity session. They weren’t as popular two decades ago as they are now. Of course, photographing maternity sessions led me to photograph newborns, who turned into toddlers, who grew into seniors and now I’m photographing weddings of seniors I’ve captured. It’s a rewarding business!
How did you first get started in photography?
I’ve been taking pictures since I was 9 years old and because we moved every 2-3 years I was taught the value of documenting people and places. After I had Annie I was crazy about taking pictures of her and a friend, who is a portrait artist, noticed my photographs of children that I took just for fun and she asked me to start photographing her clients so she could paint them. That led to paid sessions because at the time we used this stuff called “film”…and film cost money and then, of course, I wanted more lenses so I had to charge.
How has using Iris impacted your business?
Even though I have 3 employees I found myself still wanting more automation in our production workflow and schedule. At first I thought Iris was going to provide us with a neat and tidy means to have everything in one place and able to be accessed from anywhere, client information, documents, calendar, contracts, invoices, etc. It has turned out to be so much more than that. We save a significant amount of time booking clients and they are better prepared for their sessions thanks to the workflows we set up in Iris. Not only that, but things that are sent to our clients are “pretty” and I’m a sucker for pretty packaging.
Because I have multiple employees we reference the “to do” section of Iris often to see what tasks have been done as well as have fun checking off items we have completed (that’s my favorite thing to do). This eliminates having to check in with each other or use worksheets. Because my studio isn’t in my home if I needed to know something I had to wait until I could physically go into my studio, or e-mail one of the girls to find out who did what. Iris makes us so much more efficient!
What are your future goals for you business or what are you looking forward to?
I just wrapped up my last 5 year business plan ahead of our goals and I’m working on a new plan as my husband and I have a new phase of life coming for us with no children at home. I have to say that I have a perfect balance where my business is at right now. Things are just where I want them in 2017.
My new business plan will focus on creativity and new ideas within the industry, which is challenging because there is SO much out there thanks to the world wide web and the access we have to what other photographers are doing. My staff and I have been at this so long we need to mix things up and try some new ideas in marketing and photography as an art. It’s going to be a fun journey in creativity and stepping out of our comfort zone.
I lived in the Philippines from aged 3-6 and used to speak Tagalog.
I used to be a sailing instructor in high school.
My first job was at a candy store called the Peanut Shack.
Be sure to check out more of Jennifer’s work!
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