02 Nov 2009

Contest Winners

By Sarah Petty

Congratulations to Laura Reese and Dan Ablan, our Summer Contest Winners. We had such a tough time choosing a winner between the two of these awesome Cafe Joy members that we decided the BOTH deserved to win goodies from Wild Sorbet and other Cafe Joy sponsors. See for yourself what Dan and Laura each did to help their business this past summer. I bet it will inspire you!

 

Dan Ablan of Ablan Gallery:  Opening our retail studio in June, in a terrible economy, we knew it would be challenging. Our first goal was to build relationships with the stores nearby. One in particular was a kids haircut shop.  Their message board has three other photographers’ cards posted. While these photographers don’t have studios, they do have a loyal following. So how could we do one better than just a card added to the rest? We offered a full, free session to the store manager with no obligation. She took us up on our offer as she has a beautiful baby girl, just 8 months old. The shoot went great, and we got to try different backdrops, different outfits and different lighting situations.

We also teamed up with a local framer to give the image it’s final polish. Not only did we use a 30×30 canvas from this session in our front window, but the framer also wants a copy for his frame shop to cross promote our studio. The kids’ haircut shop manager is so proud of her baby she tells everyone to come next door to see the image we have in our front window. We’ve had so many people come to the studio to learn more about us that we’ve had to order more brochures and price menus. And the final image was shown at a local art festival where we were sponsored and it attracted so many people to us at the event that we had no time to eat or take a break all day!

Laura Reese of Heartsong Photography Studio:  I contacted Cindy Simmons, the morning show radio personality for Star94, a top Atlanta radio station with thousands of women listeners. She’s active in children’s charities, has a young daughter, and is well-connected so she seemed like the perfect target for my studio.  I intially contacted her via email on her station’s website and was pretty skeptical that she’d respond. After 3 weeks, Cindy responded and was super friendly and very excited about the possibility of new, professional images of her daughter. I was so excited and proud of myself for taking the leap. I mailed my marketing piece to her, along with pricing information so she could get a real feel for my business.  She LOVES her images and has plugged my business sevearl times on her blog and facebook page. Not only that, she ordered images from the complimentary session, too!

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