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Featuring Chelsey Luren Dixon

Featuring Chelsey Luren Dixon

This week’s featured photographer is Chelsey Luren Dixon of Chelsey Luren Portraits in Vancouver, Canada

 

Where do you operate your business?

In Vancouver, Canada


Your Website


Your Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/chelseyluren/


>Your Instagram account

http://www.instagram.com/chelseyluren


>Your Pinterest account

http://www.pinterest.com/chelseyluren


>Your Twitter account

http://www.twitter.com/chelseyluren


>Your Youtube account

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS154LAomB4MBaEIjoVmMgw

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Technical Specs:

 
Camera used

Nikon D610

Lens choices

50mm f1.4D AF

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

Photoshop, Lightroom, Portraiture

Do you use any actions?

I have a frequency separation action I’ve been using. But other than that not much.

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

I use Lightroom for basic adjustments (lighting, colors, etc.). In Photoshop it’s a combination of clone stamp, dodge & burn, and Portraiture. I have been able to get my editing time down to 2 minutes an image.

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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?  

 My entire business is based on body positivity and empowering women, so everything that I share on my blog, in social media, and so on is always related to that in.

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.

Do you have a physical or digital “welcome” product you give the clients and can you share that if you do. You can give me a link or email. Thanks. .

I don’t have a Welcome Packet at the moment, but it is something I will be implementing in my business this upcoming quarter.

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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.

 
In person sales are always the way to go. After the client’s photoshoot, I set up a date and time for them to come back to the studio to see their images for the first time. They get to see a beautiful slideshow of all their final edited images, pick out their favorite images and then order anything they like at that point. My session fee is $350 and I offer 3 collections ($1200, $1800 and $2400).

https://issuu.com/chelseyluren/docs/chelsey_luren_portraits_2017_sessio_e5a4fd8ab100cf

What products perform best in your studio? 

 I sell a stunning lustre album from WHCC that I offer and it’s one of my top sellers. It’s absolutely beautiful and I’m so proud to be able to offer it to my clients.

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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 used to have a home studio, but have opened up a studio outside of my home now. It’s tiny (143 sq ft), but I am in LOVE with it. Because the space is limited it’s been a big push for me with my creativity when photographing. I have everything I need in it and can make it work perfectly for me.

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

I am expanding my business into offering destination Dream Shoots around the world. It’s the perfect combination for me of two of my great loves: Photography and travel.

Do you keep strict hours of operation with your clients?

 I used to be more lenient – replying to emails outside of business hours, doing viewings late in the evening, etc.. And then I began to get texts before 7am from clients. It made me shift into being more strict with business hours. I have them listed on my site, and my email signature, and reply only during those times.

Natural light all the way. Give me a white polyboard, a window, a woman to photograph and I’m golden.

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 have a few stylists that I work with, and our arrangement is $100 per client. My lead stylist is an absolute gem. She’s punctual, can make even the most nervous of clients calm, has a work ethic like no other, and to top it off she’s kick ass at what she does. I don’t know what I’d do without her. Of all of the business relationships I have, hers is the most important to me. She keeps my clients happy, which means I stay in business. I try my best to show my gratitude in as many ways as possible.

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BUSINESS IN GENERAL:

 

How long have you been in business?  What were you doing before you started your photo business?

Before I entered the world of photography, I was stuck in a dead-end, soul sucking job that I hated. Working on the phones at courier companies and credit card payment processors and being yelled at by angry people all day was not my calling.

I have been in business for 2 years now.

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

My introduction to boudoir was through having done a photoshoot with Kari Heese of Lux Portraits. The two of us hit it off at the shoot and she offered me an internship. I learned all my foundations from Kari and am incredibly grateful to have had such a wonderful teacher. I interned under her wing for a year and a half and then branched off on my own to create my own business.

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

I’ve always been very creative. Growing up I always dabbled in different artistic pursuits. Painting, poetry, scrapbooking, sketching, and so on, but I had a hard time choosing a direction. When I did my photoshoot, I knew it was what I had to do.

What is your biggest struggle in this business?

 My biggest struggle is getting out of my own damn way. I have the skills, brains and tools needed to succeed in this industry. But so often I get stuck in my head and think of all the things that could go wrong, or what I ‘should’ try to make perfect before I put it into action. I need to step aside and make it happen. Nobody else can make things happen for you.

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 photograph boudoir and glamour exclusively. The reason I’ve chosen these genres is because I connect with them wholeheartedly. I help women to feel beautiful, because I know what it’s like to feel the exact opposite of that. I struggled with an eating disorder for over a decade, so I am well familiar with the negative self talk that is all too common to women.

I had done a boudoir session to celebrate a milestone in my recovery from anorexia. It was a mind blowing and eye opening experience. I cried when I got home from having seen my images. I had never seen myself like that before. I realized then, for the first time, that I am not all of the horrible things I had told myself I was. I am allowed to feel beautiful and celebrated. Every woman is.

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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?

 Invest in yourself. Hire a coach who can help you through your personal and business blocks. Purchase the courses that you need in order to better yourself and your business. Spend the money and be photographed professionally. You are worth it, and when you realize it, other people can see it too. Why would anybody invest money in your business if you haven’t?

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?

Yes, it’s not a small recommendation either; it should be an industry requirement for all boudoir photographers. How can you sell what you haven’t tried? Get in front of the camera, see how your client feels and practice what you preach.

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

There are amazing leaders of this industry of both genders. There should be no debate. All that really matters is that you are choosing a photographer that you feel comfortable with when being photographed.

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

Self care and balance are the keys to everything. I love what I do, and it’s not unheard of for me to work a 16 hour day without realizing it. But even though I love what I do, taking time for myself is absolutely crucial. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so I’m no good to anybody if I don’t put my needs top of the list.

What do you love about the business?

 I love that there is always the chance to be learning, the room for growth is unending. I love the women I get to meet, connect with, and work with. I love the creativity. I love being able to market and network. I love having a great sale, and being able to learn from the low ones. I love the photographic industry, and the AIBP community. I love being able to work for myself and create the life I want for myself. It was a surprise for me to learn over the past 2 years that in general, I am in love with business.

What do you hate about the business?

 Bookkeeping, and accounting. I have dyscalculia, so I read numbers backwards and completely wrong. It’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed quickly if I allow myself, so it’s outsourced to save myself the headache.

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

 

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 have entered in some images and would love to do more, but to be honest I completely forget a lot of the time. I’ve won Daily Choice a few times and am completely honored each time it happened.

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SOME FUN MORE PERSONAL STUFF:

 
Favorite food?   

 Pho

One guilty pleasure in life?

 Iced chai lattes

What is your favorite piece of clothing? 

 My engagement ring. Jewelry counts as clothing right?

What’s one song on your playlist? 

Fleetwood Mac – The Chain

What’s your favorite movie genre? Example?

 Genre: Drama. Movies: About a Boy. Into the Wild.

Favorite shoes to wear?  

 I have these 6 inch black wedges that make me feel like a bombshell. Sadly my arches disagree, so we only get to spend a short amount of time together.

What are you currently reading? 

 Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

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

 Ho Chi Minh. I fell in love with that city, it was electric. I never would have gotten on the plane home if it’d of been an option.

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

I would go back to this restaurant in Ao Nang, Thailand, called Bussaba Thai. It was hands down the best meal of my life. I get hungry thinking about that massaman curry and would love to experience it again.
 

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

 Living: Kate Winslet. I’m a fan of her work and inspired by her.
Deceased: Frida Kahlo. She was a true artist.

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

 Balance. I get so excited a lot of things in life, and I hold myself to such high standards that it can be hard to keep equilibrium.

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

 Coming up on 4 years of marriage in June. When you love what you do, it can be easy to let things slip to the back burner if you’re not paying attention. I make a concerted effort to juggle things and create a good work-life balance.
 
Who inspires you the most in life? Work?

I am so incredibly inspired by my clients. So many of them have overcome eating disorders, body image issues and other personal struggles. Their resilience and willingness to be vulnerable with me is so inspiring.

I also am so inspired by Tony Robbins. I’m excited to attend one of his seminars in the spring!

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

Set boundaries. Learn to say no to what you don’t want and yes to what you do.

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Cathy Nance
Cathy Nance

Photographer and Owner of Cathy Nance Studios - Intimate Editorial Art

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1 Comment

  • Melle

    Such beautiful work!

    February 20, 2017 at 4:51 pm