Over the past twenty-six years, I called 115 W. Main St. in Downtown Visalia my second home. It’s where I have photographed thousands of sessions, from business headshots to family portraits and groups of resident physicians. I have spent uncountable days putting together wedding albums, doing paperwork, cleaning, repainting, putting new floors in, and working with negatives, prints, and digital files. I have loved being downtown and helping customers with their photography needs. But there comes a time for all good things to end. It’s time to close the studio and move the business home.
After much soul-searching and number-crunching at the end of last year, I decided to close the studio and move the business home. My business is still strong but has changed significantly over the years. When I moved into the studio in March of 1996, there was a demand for studio portraits. Not having a studio at that time was holding me back. Twenty-six years later, most of my business takes place outside the studio, and there is very little demand for in-studio sittings. When I run the numbers, the work I do in the studio itself doesn’t pay the overhead.
With this move comes a change in how I do business and what I will offer.
Business Portraits; I will bring the studio to you.
Business portraits have been a big part of my business for years, and they will remain part of what I do; only now will I bring the studio to you. I have been doing this over the years, and when I checked my records for 2022, I found I did more business headshots on location than in the studio. Many companies have an entire office they would like photographed, and having me come to them makes it both convenient and less costly.
I have redone my business headshot studio kit in preparation, making it smaller, easier to transport, and faster to set up. It also requires less space at the set-up location.
Sports and Schools-my main business going forward.
Sports and schools have become a bigger part of my business for the last ten years, and it’s to the point now that I can say I am a volume photographer. It used to be, when someone would ask what I do, I would tell them I’m a wedding photographer; when your company is doing 80 weddings a year, as we were back in the mid-aughts then, that was true, but now, when I do maybe 6-8 wedding a year its no longer the case. I am a sports and school photographer, a volume photographer who takes 100 kids daily. That is where my passion now lies and where I will be for the remainder of my photography career.
Weddings-its time to say goodbye.
After almost 40 years behind the camera photographing weddings, I have decided it’s time to stop booking new weddings. I have a few more to photograph in 2023, and I look forward to those last few events.
I have loved the business and have many fond memories of couples over the years. Still, with the move home, I also felt the time for another change was in order. I want to put my time and energy into other parts of the business.
Other areas of the business will continue.
High school senior and family portraits will continue, just on location sittings, and I will continue doing the scanning and restoration work that I also enjoy.
Sorting things out.
It will take time to sort some things out, like how will the online scheduling work for business portraits when I do them all on location, and what days I will offer business headshots. Another big thing where everything will go in our home, but that is another challenge.
I am moving the business home, not retiring.
At my age, I have been asked more than once if I am retiring; NO, I am not retiring, just moving the business home. I’ve never had the goal of retiring; slowing down, yes, but retiring completely, no. I do not see the word work as a four-letter word. It’s an exciting change for me, and I look forward to working from home. It’s a challenge to make it work for my customers and me.