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Featuring Allison Cole

Featuring Allison Cole

This week’s featured photographer is Allison Cole of Allison Cole in Darwin, Australia

 
Where do you operate your business?

Darwin, Australia

Your Website

Your Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AllisoncolephotographyVIP/

Your Instagram account

https://www.instagram.com/boudoirbyallisoncole/

Technical Specs:

 
Camera used

Nikon D810

Lens choices

Sigma Art 35mm art

Processing Software (just provide the names of the one’s you use)

Lightroom

Do you use any actions?

DMWL Actions ♥

Do you retouch and if so can you give me a quick rundown on if you use any plugins, etc?

All I have done is saved a custom preset, which adjusted my luminosity in LR to give the skin a beautiful soft feel without loosing any detail

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CLIENTS:

 
What most people want to know is how you market to your clients.  Have you qualified who your is your ideal client?  

 I have a very active facebook group where I run model calls a couple of times a month which books me out months in advance.

I’d love to add into the article any inspiring client stories you might have.  Also have you had any issues with clients that you would like to share how you resolved them.  That is always something that can hugely benefit the readers.

I don’t really have one in particular, I have found that I have a huge impact on every single client. I find that just listening to them and asking them about them really helps create trust and a better experience for them.

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SALES:

 
This is probably one of the most important things that the readers want to know.  How do you sell to your clients?  Can you provide info on your sales process and your pricing.  I’d like to be able to provide numbers on what you charge for a session and what your range is for your products, like albums for instance, but if you don’t feel comfortable sharing to much, just give me what fits your comfort level.

 
A majority of my clients are model call clients who book in at my standard $150 session fee. However during the sales session my clients average spend is $2500.00. Biggest tip of advice I can offer is give multiple payment plan options.

What products perform best in your studio? 

 I have 3, Albums, Wooden boxes & digitals 🙂

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STUDIO:

 
Best describe your workspace.  Do you have a studio or work from home?  How large is your space?  What are the challenges with it?  What works really well for you?  Can you please include a photo or two of it, if possible.

I have a home studio which is 20 square meters in space. It has taken a long time to arrange it exactly how I love it and its also cost me a fair chunk of money to work out how I want the overall look and feel of it. I now have it all figured out and LOVE my home based studio.

Do you have any plans to change and/or grow from your space in the near future.

Not in the near future, my partner is military so if we get posted elsewhere any time soon then I have to move

Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?

 YES!!!! I shoot Mon, Wed, Fri & every second Saturday at 11am & 2pm. On Tuesday & Thursday I do viewings at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm & 6pm.

I also then have my admin girl who is also my makeup artist come in on Monday and Wednesday who works from 10am to 4pm.

Natural Light, Studio Light, combination of styles?  What’s your preference?  What are your strengths and weaknesses with lighting, if any?

Just natural light. I have been shooting in my studio for a year now so I feel like I have fought my lighting struggles.

Do you have makeup artists you work with in your studio?  If so, can you give me a run down of what the rate is you pay them and how you feel about the importance of that relationship.  If you don’t use them, is there a reason?

 I feel like a makeup artist is very important. my makeup artist is also my admin girl 🙂 for makeup & hair she gets [paid $100 per head and for admin she is paid $20p/hr.

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BUSINESS IN GENERAL:

 

How long have you been in business?  What were you doing before you started your photo business?
I have been in business 8 years now, however this is the first year I have just shot boudoir.

Did you go to school for photography or are you self taught?

 I am self taught.

Did you always want to be a photographer or was it something that came later in life?

As cliché as it sounds, I was that 4 year old who knew photography was going to be my dream job. I wanted it so much I made it happen

What is your biggest struggle in this business?

 My age has always been a struggle. I am only 21 (yes I started my business at 13) and as I was previously shooting weddings I found it hard to be taken seriously.

Is there a reason you shoot boudoir and do you shoot any other genre?  If you’re excusive, and/or recently went exclusive can you give the readers some insight into why you did.  If you’ve only ever done boudoir, again we’d love to hear why.

 I am exclusively boudoir now. I shot weddings for 7 years and fell out of love with it. Everyone told me to shoot weddings for the money… big mistake. Where I live there are very few weddings every year and everyone hustles to get them.

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ADVICE:

 
If you knew someone who wanted to be a photographer, and could give them one piece of important advice, what would that be?

 To never give up and don’t be afraid to ask for help. No matter how silly you think your question is. My other piece of advice would be to have a contract in place with every single client regardless if they are a friend or not.

Have you ever done a boudoir session yourself, if you are a female (sorry guys 🙂 ? Do you think it’s something that is important for female boudoir photographers to do?

 I have done two and I’m excited to do another. I feel as a woman it’s important so you can understand how your clients feel when they say they are nervous or scared. I also found myself being more confident and relaxed with who I am as a person and after my second shoot I realised what my partner sees when he looks at me

How do you feel about the male / female debate regarding boudoir photographers?  

I have no opinion on it. I think shoot till your hearts content just don’t be a weirdo.

What do you do to avoid burn-out? Is there ever a time when you just want to throw your camera out the window?

 HAHA.. this one made me laugh.. I think because I am in a long distance relationship with my partner, I over work myself to keep my mind from missing him. I do get tired and burnt out occasionally but I spend a night in vegging out on the couch with my girlfriends and the next day I am fine.

What do you love about the business?

 The ability to be my own boss and empower women

What do you hate about the business?

 SO MANY EMAILS!!!!

Are you a member of any professional photo organizations like PPA, WPPI?  What benefit do you feel you get by being a member?

 NOPE!

Do you compete and do you have any opinions on it?  AIBP runs contests regularly.  Do you participate?  If not, is there a reason you don’t?

I sure do 🙂 I have entered daily choice on many occasions and although i have been with AIBP for a little while now, I need to get my act together and enter more!

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SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:

 
Favorite food?   

 PASTA!

One guilty pleasure in life?

 Getting my hair washed by a hairdresser so I can have a head massage and peace for 20 minutes.

What is your favorite piece of clothing? 

 Pencil dresses

What’s one song on your playlist? 

 Scars to your beautiful – Alessia Cara

What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?

 Comedy.

Favorite shoes to wear?  

 Thongs – or as Americans call them flip flops.

What are you currently reading? 

 Facebook

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would that be?   

 Greece

If you could go back and do over anything in your life, what would that be?

 Nothing, everything has happened in my life to put me where I am today.
 

If you could meet and photograph someone famous, who would that be and why?

 Kylie Jenner… because well who wouldn’t want to!

What do you struggle with the most in life? (not photo related)

 Saving money… anyone want to help with that?!

Are you married, single, have kids, husband?  Is life a juggling act for you?

 I am defacto in a long distance relationship with my partner who is in the navy
 
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?

My bestfriend, my parents and my partner. With work all the women in my facebook group inspire me everyday to keep going xx.

If you could provide one single piece of advice to influence a young person’s direction in life, what would that be?

KNOW YOUR WORTH!…. and don’t think that you are not good enough!
Cathy Nance
Cathy Nance

Photographer and Owner of Cathy Nance Studios - Intimate Editorial Art

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