Today’s business spotlight is sponsored by our friends at Rebooku!
Madison Fairburn of M. Chase Narrative Photography is a woman with a passion. Not only does she run a profitable, highly recognized photography business, but she is a also a full-time High School Fine Arts and Photography teacher! That is incredible, and maybe a little crazy 🙂
Her photography is absolutely beautiful and quite unique. While she paused at first at our offer to retouch because she wants the truest form of her clients, she eventually realized retouching doesn’t have to mean altering the person. It can simply fix some things she didn’t get perfect straight out of camera. Her clients can retain their natural beauty, and she can know that she is not altering her clients to fit anyone else’s standard of beauty, if anything she is accentuating their beautiful humanity by removing the distraction of glasses glare or bad lighting.
Take a look at her images and read our interview with her. She is a lovely woman, and she cares deeply about the integrity of capturing life—real life—in her photos.
What is the most valuable business advice you ever received?
The most valuable business advice I’ve received is to know your numbers. You must have a budget and a way to see your expenses and income. Otherwise, you’ll be spinning your wheels. To me, It’s the most unpleasant part of starting (and running) a business, but vital for success.
In no more than 12 words, how would you describe your brand?
Editorial Film & Digital Portrait Photography for Teens & Young Adults.
Is there something special you do when your business reaches a goal?
I will find any excuse to eat out! I love to celebrate with friends and family with a dinner out on the town (especially at local and new restaurants) – and I will use any special occasion as a reason to go out!
What is your favorite tool that helps run your studio?
This is tough – I feel like I use a lot of tools to run my studio. Outside of equipment and software… I am a huge fan of sticky notes, lists, and folders. I organize by color coding, labeling, and checking off lists and it is the only way that I’m productive in my home office.
What product do you sell most of?
My high school seniors love digital images, but their parents love prints!
How do you nurture your creativity?
I am also a full-time high school Fine Arts & Photography teacher – so I am constantly looking at artwork, collaborating with my peers and students, and brainstorming ideas. I think you have to see art in person and step away from the computer. You have to interact with other creative people, and stay engaged in your surroundings.
What is the best application investment you‘ve ever made?
Geez… so many software programs help me run my business effectively. I purchased Shoot Q almost 3 years ago and it has kept me sane when balancing contracts, emails, and my calendar. It is the first and last program that my clients filter through during my workflow.
What is the best equipment investment you’ve ever made?
My best investment has been to stay with Nikon. I shot with my Dad’s Nikon film camera in high school (over a decade ago) and have continued to add to my collection of camera and lenses. Since I shoot both digital and film formats, they are easily interchangeable and have helped me to save money on equipment purchases.
What’s your advice for better profits?
In-studio sales is a must for my business. I really love being apart of the selection process and client education when it comes to printing images. I want them to have images on display instead of handing over a disc of images. This was not only more profitable, but also the type of service my clients want.
Have you had to change your game to stay ahead in the photography world?
I haven’t changed to stay ahead, but I have (and am) changing so my business works best for my artistic vision and voice. I am shooting more film sessions this year, and it was a part of my business I put on hold for awhile thinking my clients wouldn’t want it… but since my background is in film and darkroom photography, I am so excited to offer it because it makes the most sense to my style.
If you were to go back in time and start over, knowing what you know today, what do you wish you would have learned early on to help you succeed in your business more quickly as far as image quality?
Speak up! Since I shot weddings early on in my business, I would often find myself wishing I had spoken up more often when directing my clients. Even now when I am photographing teens and seniors, I make sure I talk them through their wardrobe choices, location ideas, and movements as we shoot – so we’re both on the same page and create beautiful images!
In efforts to help more photographers discover additional resources to help them obtain and maintain a competitive edge, M. Chase Narrative Photography was invited to try the professional services offered by Rebooku and provide feedback to our readers. Here is what she had to say regarding her experience:
Truthfully, I was hesitant at first to try Rebooku’s retouching services. I pride myself on minimal retouching for my clients. I work hard to make sure the lighting, composition, and color correct in the camera before it hits the computer. Additionally, I want to keep my client’s images as true as possible. I also loathe spending time behind the computer.
However, because I work with teens and young adults, I am also very aware of the common insecurities that we all face during those teenage years. I will edit and retouch images, but it can be a time consuming process and I was curious to send a few to Rebooku to see how they would be handled.
Can I just say… I’m sold!!! It was a seamless process and what seem like minor changes will really impact my clients’ confidence and save me hours of time! It’s money well spent and a win-win for everyone involved!
Where can potential new clients and our readers see more images and learn more about your business?
Do you want to win a FREE trial of Rebooku? Leave your comments below and be sure to like their fb page! We will pick one lucky winner to try a FREE service with Rebooku ! Why spend time at your computer when you can outsource! The winner will be chosen at random on Monday!