A New Look and A New Website
Welcome to MagicalMemoriesByMichelle.com and Magical Memories by Michelle, LLC! If you’ve been around in the last year or so you’ve seen quite a few new changes. A new look last fall started the ball rolling, and it just keeps getting better!
I’ve been professional photographer in Mesa, AZ for over 8 years now, since the spring of 2009. Back then, photography was new and exciting to me, and I loved working with so many different clients! I started with newborns and maternity and progressed over the years with a goal of being one of the best senior photographers in Arizona. I’ve always been determined to keep my business completely legal, taxes and all, so in 2013 I formed the LLC and that was a big moment. I felt legitimate, and still didn’t specialize so I was working with everything from kids and families to engagements, pretty much everything but weddings. I’ve met hundreds of families, photographed their moments and smiles, and cried when tragedy struck. The loss of one of my newborn clients was enough for me to know that I didn’t want to continue newborn photography of my business. Also, I found that I preferred working outside and moving around, I enjoyed outdoor edits more than studio, and after one of my mentor’s reviewed my work, she was shocked that I wasn’t taking more clients for senior pictures. I realized how much I enjoyed taking senior pictures, being out on the town with teens, and being a part of their new chapter as they finished high school and moved on to college and careers.
The following years were tough. I had some amazing clients, but had many walk away as my pricing increased and my product line grew. I knew I wanted to be more of a full service photographer, but I couldn’t do that and still be lower priced, offer fully retouched images, have a full line of high end products…and keep my sanity! And yet I tried…for over 3 years I tried. Then last fall, October 2016, the transformation began. I worked with an amazing designer to help me rebrand, and for the first time in 7 years I felt like everything was coming together. It felt like me!!! It’s fun, it’s colorful, trendy enough for teens, and professional enough for families. And perfect for my business!
So why now? What changed? Here are the 4 reasons I decided it was time for a change.
1. I started reaching a different type of client.
I was no longer interested in taking every single client and became perfectly happy to work with clients that want exactly what I have to offer, clients that wanted a full experience. There are clients for every service and every budget, and I can’t possibly meet everyone’s needs, and I have to be ok with that. Some people want a photographer who not only takes beautiful pictures, but also creates works of art and offers quality products. People that don’t want to rush , but enjoy the actual portrait session as much as the final images, we’ll work great together! I want to gush over my clients, spoil them, and develop relationships that matter. I want to connect via social media and hear all about your family and keep up on your teen’s new adventures! Teens and seniors are truly a perfect match for me. They want to be treated like a star, they want someone who is invested in making sure they look amazing in every single image! Most important, they want unique images, something that fits their personality whether it be a 13th birthday, senior pictures, or family portraits that haven’t been taken in years. My clients currently are all families with older children, tweens, teens, and seniors. I LOVE IT! How can I not love it when I’m having as much fun as you are?
2. I wanted to offer a full service experience
I know there are hundreds of photographers that do photography as a side job or hobby, but I’m not one of them. I don’t want to meet you for the first time at your session. I want to meet you before your session to be sure we’re a good fit, find out your ideas, and get to know you so you’re not quite so nervous! I want you to trust me, trust that I will do everything possible to make sure you have an amazing experience for senior pictures and not a boring, sit-and-smile set of pictures that will be stored in a desk drawer. I need that pre-session consultation to make your session a success! My clients let me play and often we get amazing results! I get all the great shots, and then we’ll try some different things and see what works. I don’t want you to feel like I’m in a hurry to finish the session and send you on your way. At the Reveal & Design session, I get to see the excitement on a teen girl’s face when she sees her slideshow for the first time…and sees how beautiful she is! Moms love pictures of their kids, so it means the world to me to be chosen to capture these amazing teenage years. Often parents have a hard time connecting to their teens. Parents are busy, kids are busy, and they don’t take the time to enjoy each other. So I love offering a fun afternoon to a mom, who will soon be sending her baby off into the world. I want to take some stress away from this time in your life. Whether you’re racing around with kids or prepping your teen for college, I want you to be able to remember this time.
3. I love the design aspect.
Handing over a bunch of digital files has never been my style. Too many times over the years I’ve had clients say they have had pictures taken, but the images are still sitting in a desk drawer. That’s heartbreaking to me. Seeing my work in print is such a joy, and seeing the happiness it brings to my clients is totally worth spending time to be sure everything is perfect! Do you want large prints of your teen and family? Let’s do that! Do have you a bare wall that could use some images? Let’s choose your favorites and figure out what fits! Do you want spectacular graduation announcements instead of the cookie cutter designs all your friends have? I have thousands of images of my family and it is nearly impossible to choose what to print. How can I expect you to do that without help? When we work together, you’ll have lots of options and because we take the time up front to finalize your order, once it arrives…you’re done! You don’t have to worry about going home and figuring out what pictures to print or what you’re going to do with them.
4. I needed the consistency of a brand
I’m a Gemini, have at least 2 personalities, and can never decide exactly what’s right! I have redone my logos, colors, and website nearly every year which takes too much time away from my photography. Plus it’s exhausting! Now I have a complete set of tools at my disposal. Everything from colors and fonts to my image processing is consistent. That doesn’t mean I won’t play with images and create some fun things too, but at least I have the courage now to say “newborns aren’t my specialty” and be ok with that. I can be proud of the fact that while I can shoot anything and everything, I have chosen to focus on teens and seniors. While I could do mini sessions for $100 and all the images, I preferred having fewer clients and knowing that packages that start at $800 aren’t for everyone. And that’s OK!