Over the next few weeks I will be sharing a series of conversations with some of my lovely sponsors, to give us a peek behind the scenes at their businesses and get inspired as well! Each of these women (yes, they all happen to be ladies!) are smart and creative entrepreneurs with interesting stories to tell. Today I would like to begin with Diana, who owns D. S. Brennan Photography. So go grab yourself something yummy and hot to sip, and let’s get started, shall we?
Lolalina: What first inspired you to open your own shop?
I have always loved photography, and was truly addicted when I took my first photography class in high school. In 2005 I got my first digital SLR camera, which rekindled my love and made photography accessible to me again. In 2006 I was between jobs and, while looking for new work, decided to start a photography business.
What is your favorite item in your shop right now?
It’s usually the newest, and this is no exception. I’ve just listed my first limited edition loose canvas print and I just love it. I have the test print in my living room and, while I’ve brought it to some of my holiday shows, I’m reluctant to part with it. The photograph is of five feathers from my new feather collection digitally joined into one image. I was inspired by a featured home in “DECORATE” (pg 28) to offer loose canvas prints (I think they’re just gorgeous), and being able to roll the print makes it feasible for me to ship the print anywhere in the world. Frankly, I’m giddy about this one.
How do you generate new design or product ideas?
It’s a very organic process, and not just because I photograph nature. Usually I feel a pull towards something – feathers, ocean shots, botanicals… If I’m feeling uninspired I take a walk in the woods or along the beach, or visit my local natural history museum.
Thinking back to when you first opened your doors, were there any resources that were especially valuable to you at that time?
Photo sharing sites that focused on peer critiques were invaluable in strengthening my skills and honing my eye when I was starting out. At that time I participated in photoSIG – which is still around at http://photosig.com. It’s vital to accept critiques with grace and truly think about if and how to incorporate any comments. Critiques are tools to help photographers grow, not personal attacks. The books “Craft, Inc.” and “Licensing Art 101″ have also been great resources in more recent years.
What do you dream of when you think of the future of your business?
Oh! My vision of the future is a beautiful thing. I am determined to earn enough from my photography work to not need a day job, and to have flexible hours that allow me to spend lots of time with my (future) children. I want to spend more time creating and less time on marketing and accounting. I want to focus on large format pieces, working with interior designers, and having a line of images to license to art publishers. I also want to remain accessible – I want anyone who loves my work to be able to find and purchase something in their price range. That’s really important to me.
Thank you so much, Diana!
If you have any questions for Diana, please leave them in the comments : ) I hope you have enjoyed our first installment of the “Shop Owner Q&A”, and I will see you back here tomorrow…and it will be Friday! xo Laura
(all images: D. S. Brennan Photography)