Treasuring precious memories often means exploring the options in photography for families of all types across the U.S. Tana Ava Taylor is a Los Angeles-based photographer and entrepreneur who is constantly looking to make a difference in the lives of families who pass through the doors of her Tana & Rose Photography boutique. Over the last few years, Tana Ava Taylor has become one of the most respected entrepreneurs in the photographic industry because of her often whimsical work as a family photographer.
Once a full-time Mom, Tana Ava Taylor has developed her position in the photography sector because of her willingness to adapt to the needs of the different families arriving in her boutique studio. One of the most impressive aspects of the work of Tana & Rose Photography is the specialty Tana Taylor adoption shoots offered through the Los Angeles studio. As an adopted person herself bringing her own experience to the studio, Ava Taylor adoption shoots are much-sought-after as the photographer understands both the joys and difficulties of bringing together a family. As the success of the adoption and family portraits offered by the Tana & Rose Photography brand have become well-known, the brand is expanding across the state of California.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
I have always loved photography, so the chance to work in a sector I have a passion for always appealed to me. My business partner is a friend of many years who I have always felt close to was instrumental in the establishment of Tana & Rose Photography. In college, I trained as a photographer, so I had the basic skills to expand on before completing my first shoot which was a nerve-wracking experience.
How do you make money?
We complete family and individual portraits in our boutique to meet the specifications of clients. One of our most popular packages has been the adoption shoots for families who are celebrating adding a new member which have been loved by almost everybody taking part.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
It took us a couple of years to start making a profit which was very small. Largely because of the expense of starting a photography boutique which includes the purchase of equipment and technology in this era of digital photography. I’d estimate we began to make money we pushed back into the business after two years of operating Tana & Rose Photography.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I have to admit I did have some dark days when there seemed little light at the end of the tunnel. In those early days, we were getting bookings, but we never seemed to get enough to cover our expenses. Slowly, we began adding customers and building our brand which has helped to bring new customers to our boutique and build a solid base to build upon.
How did you get your first customer?
My business partner’s Mom was our first customer. I think she took pity on us and wanted to be a constructive help. After her initial booking, it took a couple of days for a non-relative to make a booking Online. That first customer brought her family to the boutique and continues to do so as one of our most loyal clients I now look upon as a friend.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Social media has been huge for Tana & Rose Photography. I’ve been shocked at the response we get to social media posts consisting of our favorite images. I’d say our social media and Web presence has benefitted from rise up the local Google search rankings which has been a long but rewarding process.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
We recently had to make a tough choice about investing in new software and editing technology. On a personal level, I felt a lot of pressure to make sure Tana & Rose Photography made the right decision about our new equipment. New photography equipment can be expensive and can make or break a growing brand like ours.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I think I listen and communicate well. Some of the best images I have ever captured as a photographer have come in the moments after a parent has told me their family’s adoption story. Each session is different but almost every time I find myself crying, laughing, and often simply talking about adoption experiences.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Paying off our first loan. Without a doubt, the knowledge we had achieved something in our first couple of years of operation was a huge moment for my business partner and me.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Expansion. We are looking to open more locations around California and take on new staff members. I’m excited about this, and I believe we can hold on to our caring approach to family photography.
What business books have inspired you?
I recently read “Million Dollar Women” by Julia Pimsleur and was inspired greatly by it. Women own the entrepreneurial sector in the U.S. with around twice the number of businesses opened each year by females than men. “Million Dollar Women” is written by a female business leader who has moved beyond the small business sector and generated million in funding.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
New editing software and hardware. It is amazing how fast technology moves in the photography sector, and we do not want to appear obsolete. Making sure we can give our clients the best images available is vital to the success of the Tana & Rose Photography brand.
Who are your business heroes?
I have so many it is hard to narrow down. I loved playing soccer as a younger person and was inspired by Arsene Wenger, a French soccer coach who stood by his principles and business ethos no matter what was happening around him. As a photographer, I always loved the work of Linda McCartney and saw her as a female business inspiration. Not only did she become a famous photographer but she established a vegetarian food brand which was ahead of its time.