Client Check-In with Heather from H Proctor Photography
I am so excited to introduce a new series on the HB Designs Blog called “The Client Check-In”. My goal for this series is to introduce you to a variety of amazing business owners, who also happen to be my past clients. These posts are interview style, so each person was sent a list of questions having to do with running a small business, advice for people just starting out, branding, marketing and more!
Heather is one of my clients who has turned into a dear friend! Although we are in separate states, we stay in contact through instagram, the platform where we met! Heather reached out, after following my work on Instagram, about creating an updated brand for her photography business back in February of 2018. And she was a dream client. She took the homework and the design process to heart and it paid off so well for her business in the end. She now has a beautiful brand, website and a growing wedding photography business. If you’re a bride in the South Carolina area, Heather is your gal!
I can’t wait to dive into her client check-in! She has great things to say about investing in education and finding a need for your skill in your market! Without further ado, here’s my interview with Heather!
Tell me a little bit about your business and what led you to photography business .
I have always loved photography but never in a million years thought I could actually run my own business doing it. I had a second love that is super close to photography which is graphic design. I went to school for many years for graphic design and some of the projects to get my major included photography. After finishing school and getting married I realized very fast that my small town of Lugoff, SC did not need have a lot of graphic design needs but they definitely were lacking in the wedding photography business. After having an experience with a not so great photographer, I decided that I could do better and bought my own camera and that is how H Proctor photography started.
When you first started, did you call yourself by HProctor Photography? If you went through a change, how did that change come about?
Education has always been number one on my priority list, so before ever starting I took an amazing photography business course and one of the biggest things they recommend was to name your business after yourself. It is easy for clients to remember. From day one it has always been my name.
What have you loved most about running your own business?
I love the flexibility of it. My husband has a very demanding job and I love to be able to take vacation when I need to without having to explain myself to anyone. Besides that I love working with clients. They come to me with a need and a love for my photography - It makes me so happy to know they picked me out of everyone.
What have you loved least about running your own business?
What I love least is trying to keep up with the financial end of my business. I hate bills, taxes, and anything to do with balancing a checkbook.
What are some things that you learned from being a business owner that you didn’t expect?
I always knew if I was going to work with people that I would have to become more of a people person. I am a complete introvert. If I could stay in my house everyday all day I would. Learning to be a extrovert is something I have had to force myself to become. I also had to learn more about marketing and social media. I am not one that loves being on her phone all the time, and learning how to schedule posts all at one time is another thing I never thought was as important in a business as it is.
What keeps you inspired and loving what you do?
My couples inspire me everyday! Every wedding and every couple is so different, but their love for each other is always something amazing to watch. Also when I deliver my photos and the couples are just overjoyed with my images, it makes the whole day worth it.
What are a few things about your day to day that may be surprising to others? Any habits or things that you do daily before you can get to work?
I think people would be surprised to know that I always have a long to do list and I wake up everyday at 6am to start tackling it. I know most people see a stay-at-home working mom and think I have a ton of time to do everything but in reality it is a lot. I do a lot - editing, blog writing, designing albums, emailing clients. I take on over 15 weddings a year. That may not seem a like a lot but trust me it is!
What advice would you give to people wanting to take the leap into business ownership in your industry?
EDUCATION! Learn everything you possibly can about your trade, marketing and finances. It is so important to learn everything you can and to never stop learning from others.
Tell me about your branding and how it’s changed since when you first started? If you started your business with professional branding, tell me about your branding and what you like most.
I started by making my own logo in 2013. It was a horrible mess, but it got my name out there. After about 2 years in I got bored and changed it up, but it wasn’t enough to make a huge impact on my business. Then after 4 years in business I knew I needed to make a investment and hire someone that actually knew what they where doing. I got the best designer ever and you can tell from the clients I booked afterwards how much more seriously people took my business from using a generic logo vs. a logo designed by a professional.
How has having professional branding created changed your business?
I wanted to attract clients that took me and my business seriously and that is what I got. I am now booking higher end clients (which was a major goal of mine). I have people coming to me because of my photography and not just price shopping. Having consistent branding through my website, my social media platforms and emails has just been a game changer.
What would you tell someone who is looking into working with a designer on their logo or branding?
DO IT!! Let the professional take care of it, you will not regret it. It has been the best investment, besides education, that I have ever made.