Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with April Courville, owner of A. Dannette Photography, located in Lafayette, LA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
A. Dannette Photography specializes in boudoir photography. We focus on women of all ages, shapes, sizes, and cultural backgrounds. Boudoir photography is a form of intimate, seductive, yet classy photography of women who want to find their confidence and feel beautiful.
Tell us about yourself
I have a degree in fine art photography, and I sort of fell upon boudoir photography by accident! I have shot weddings, families, newborns, and high school seniors. It wasn't until a client asked to do a pinup shoot that I even learned what a boudoir was, and I loved it! I started specializing in boudoir photography in 2011, and the rest was history! The women I get to work with and seeing the transformation they go through is so inspiring. It's my "why" I do what I do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
In 2021, I really rebuilt the way my business was structured and redid my marketing, my product offerings, and my style of shooting. And it was so much work, but it brought my studio to 6 figures and has been growing ever since! In 2022, I was selected as a 20 Under 40 Leadership Award recipient. That's been a huge honor because there are so many other women who are among the honorees that I respect and who have done some amazing things.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Being a business owner can be isolating at times. I work out of my home and only see one client at a time. I am a member of a few volunteer organizations to help combat that, but it can get lonely. The other challenge is seeing that so many women doubt themselves. They will book a shoot to feel better about themselves, then start doubting themselves so much that they will talk themselves out of it and cancel. Of course, it is frustrating to have a cancelation in any business, but we are like, "Just trust the process, girl. We got YOUUU!!!"
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't reinvent the wheel! You don't have to do it alone. There are so many coaches, mentors, and educational programs out there who have already done the work. Investing in that is investing in yourself and can be totally worth it.
- Get out of your own way. Women especially lack the confidence to strike out. It took me years to overcome self-doubt to quit my corporate job and do this full-time.
- Charge your worth!! There will always be a competitor who charges less and one who charges more. There will be potential customers who think a dollar is too much and some who won't bat an eye at spending $5 grand for your services. Charge what works for you, and go find your people.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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