When I was eight years old, my dad put me on a bus to summer camp with a Fuji Film disposable camera in my hand. He gave me two instructions:
1. Don’t take pictures too close to the subject
2. Don’t take indoor pictures
I came back from camp with photos that I took inside… of people who were super close to my camera. Needless to say, I take his camera instructions much more seriously now. But despite the fact that I took a whole bunch of terrible photos, it ignited something in me. The ability to tell stories using images from my life. The memories that came back so vividly when I looked at a picture.
As I got older, I started to take photos for 4H competitions using my dad’s fancy camera. I would find a subject and and he would show me which buttons to push and which dials to turn. A few years ago he gave me that same fancy camera to use full time. I started practicing on friends and siblings until Jeremy and Analee Lounds graciously asked me to take their family photos. It was a huge stepping stone for me and I fell in love with family sessions. The way different families interact touches my soul. Shortly after that I named my little business ‘Indelible Images’, created some business cards on Vistaprint and set my prices super low so I could pay for gas to drive to photo shoots. Two years ago I found another Indelible Images in Lansing… turns out people were getting the two Facebook pages confused. Unfortunately, the other one was a tattoo parlor #awkward. I used a lot of brain power to think of my next name: Emily Jane Photography. Just kidding. I actually just changed it super fast to something that could hold my business while I thought of a new name. I was never able to think of anything that felt right but I recently found that there are about 100,000 Emily Jane Photographers in the world, with one of them in East Lansing!
When I was 19, I started taking business classes in an attempt to use it with what I was learning by taking pictures in the hopes that I could eventually launch a photography business on the side. I am on track to finish my small business associates this spring!!! With all that said, 2016 is going to be SO MUCH FUN. Mostly because I finally named my little business and decided to re-brand into something I can work with for years to come.
Photography has never been about the money for me. It started off as gas money and then I raised my prices once when I decided I knew enough about my camera to consistently take images that I was proud of. My desire for the last 8 months has been to determine a price range for my new business that would set me apart from my 16 year old skills but also allow people to get photos without breaking their bank. The prices I am rolling out for 2016 are hopefully closer to that middle ground than last year, but I realize it is a line that changes depending on the client. I never want people to be hindered from getting photos based on price. I want people to see my images and ask me to take their photos because they like what they see, not because it is the cheapest they could find.
Now for the new business name!! It probably doesn’t catch anyone off guard… but it is becoming a theme that I’m embracing. My new photo business is Brumwell Town Photography. Just like this blog, I plan on being able to travel and move with my photo business so why not include it as part of Brumwell Town? Plus, someday, I hope that Brumwell Town is the home town for my real life newborn studio. Check out my website and let me know what you think! I’d be happy to hear feedback and I’d love to schedule some winter/spring photo sessions.