In this series, ActionCOACH Mary Ann Hauser (MAH) and team virtually sit down with business owners to learn how they are working through COVID-19. Check out their inspiring stories for tips on how to cope with and successfully recover from this pandemic as well as ideas on how to avoid making common mistakes. And be sure to look at special offers from these businesses – we can all use a little extra help right now!
BKN: What do you do and how long have you been in business?
MI: 2-AM photography has been in business professionally for about four years, but it started as a hobby. It is just something that my husband and I love to do together. I bought a nicer camera for Father's Day a few years ago. And with that, 2-AM Photography officially came about. We have started the business officially, four years ago, but we have been doing photography since college.
BKN: Who is your best customer?
MI: Any family who wants to create memories that will last for a lifetime. We offer family portrait photography, wedding engagements, graduations, birthday parties. Graduations have been a big part of business since Covid-19 – we have photographed drive-through graduations for families. It's nice to be able to capture their photos for graduation, since they were able to have the normal graduation as in the past.
BKN: Biggest impact of Covid-19?
MI: Weddings were the biggest impact. March, April and May were rescheduled. We worked to be able to photograph downsized events for the bride and groom. You have a plan for your life and have planned so long for a wedding and then Covid-19 happens and changes everything. That is really hard. The total number of clients scheduled dramatically decreased due to Covid.
BKN: 1 or 2 actions you've taken because of Pandemic?
MI: We started doing in studio temperature checks on everyone. We've had to limit the number of clients that are in the studio at one time. And then everyone has to wear masks for the NC Covid requirements - except when they're in front of the camera. We are cleaning everything between clients – making sure everything is sanitized for the next client. We have done a lot of photos outside, as well.
BKN: How are they working?
MI: It is working well, and clients have been understanding, which helps.
BKN: Biggest learning since you've been a business owner?
MI: You're only going to get out of anything what you put into it. It is hard work running your own business, but you have to put the work in to be successful.
BKN: Any offers to include in the newsletter?
MI: We offer a mini sessions and we are doing mini Christmas sessions – both priced at only $25. We also have a virtual photo booth for $200 for 24 hours – which is great for small events to capture memories and add an element of fun.
BKN: What is most inspiring to you today?
MI: What we do - it is a Ministry, as well as a business. It touches me to be able to capture memories for clients. We are able to capture these moments for families. Recently, we have been working with families whose loved ones passed away and they don’t have proper photos for the obituaries. It is not something we planned, but it is a really important thing that really helps families. We had a young girl whose mother passed away, and she couldn’t find the right photo with the right lighting. We love what we do and it is inspiring to be be able to bring families together and capture memories for a lifetime.