Angie Capri Photography is turning 3 today!! Wow – 3 years since we revealed our newly renovated studio at our official grand opening and ribbon cutting extravaganza! That’s when our business baby began to actually resemble a real business! We hosted this event just 2 years after we made the plunge into our discovery, learning and experimentation phase – which brings us to a total of 5 years in the professional photographer biz world, as of today :)
We began with travel and abstract photography and fine art exhibitions – we were actually terrified of photographing people because we can be so critical of ourselves in photos. But then we found out that we’re actually pretty darn good at photographing humans! And… we choose to photograph and specialize in the most challenging demographic of them all…. women!
There are many many talented photographers out there, but till this day we have found very very few (less than a handful around the world in our opinion), that are really able to authentically capture and express the true authentic energy and essence of a woman, who is not a trained professional model – in a way that honors her, in the way she should be represented!
Our studio was originally intended for our photo consultations and photo reveals. It has since been transformed into a boudoir studio where we shoot – serving as a great option in addition to our on location work that we’ve become known for!!
We poured our love into the renovation of our intimate studio space, carved out of a corner of an electronic manufacturing facility, in an old (we mean old) industrial building!
Our grand opening back on May 4, 2013, was a huge success thanks to everyone who showed their support then, and continue to send us love today! We would not have come as far as we have without our communities’ support!
Our special day was a super hot one, especially during the morning event (yes, we had a 2nd evening event too!). But thanks to my honey Jeff, we had ample amounts of shade to avoid sunburn (thanks babe! ;) ).
The (giant burlap) ribbon cutting was super emotional for us during the opening ceremonies. Julia our fantastic MC, choose the perfect song to play, “Girl on Fire,” to commemorate the festivities (which quickly became our new theme song!).
The vibe was relaxed as everyone enjoyed our outdoor garden setting in the industrial parking lot outside of our studio, mixed with eclectic vintage furniture, a stacked wooden pallet table home to our treats, and an antique coca-cola refrigerator keeping our beverages cold and refreshing! The incredibly detailed (and time consuming) ACP female figured mascot cake pops, were a huge hit and meant so much to us!
We had a wonderful group of friends, family and small business owners attend who were also excited to network with other heart-centered and energetically awesome people! We even raffled off almost $5,000 worth of raffle prizes throughout the day (oh hey! that’s how we roll).
The team: Photography: Outlive Creative // Event MC and Sound Services: On Stage With Julia // ACP Female Figured Mascot Cake Pops and Cupcakes: Christine’s Creations // Vintage Furniture Collections: Outlive Creative and Angie Capri Photography // Venue: The Angie Capri Photography Studio, Concord, CA
The juicy part is, we’re only getting started on this journey as creative entrepreneurs, out to make a difference! We’re finally getting over that super challenging (at times is was ugly, painful, discouraging and just really shitty – we don’t have to lie to kick it) start-up “non-profit” phase, and we’re beginning to develop a wonderful flow that keeps us going, excites and motivates us even more than ever before :)
It has been a much more grueling endeavor than we ever imagined it would be when we got started as heart-centered, passionate adventurous artists – and completely inexperienced and naive entrepreneurs!
As portrait photographers, we’re dealing with humans for goodness sakes!! We better be ready to accept all of the incredible good, inspiration, adventures, experiences and connections that can come our way…
But we also must be ready for and willing to deal with the bad and the ugly – situations, challenges, negative attitudes and beliefs that come along too. Plus, we’re protecting our fragile reputation and very carefully managing expectations all along the way!
Of course, our portfolio, branding, marketing, and who we choose to spend our time, energy and talent with (applicable to both colleagues and clients) is to an extent, within our control. However, it’s quite a free-for-all in the very beginning – when you’re trying to find your footing, before you get enough experience to know better – in your niche and in the business world!
We have to be confident and stand up for what is right in our business, protect ourselves, make sure we’re receiving credit where credit should be given, put our foot down when people try to take advantage of us – that’s where our established reputation, connections, and super comprehensive contracts and agreements protect us (thank you criminal justice degree!).
Every single day we have to hustle, we have to be self-starters, we have to be self-motivated, we have to be professional and reliable, we have to under-promise and over-deliver, we have to be “on”, we have to diffuse stressful situations and come up with creative solutions on the fly – all the while, with a smile on our faces and a positive can-do attitude :)
It is so tough that if we started our business for other reasons…
Being primarily concerned with monetary gains – which takes years because the cost to be in business is so high, hence the “non-profit start-up phase reference…
If we weren’t as passionate about our mission to empower more women with life altering, authentic, non-cheesy, lifestyle and personal branding photos, and non-creepy, non-pornographic, empowering boudoir photos, and documenting incredible life moments for everyone (yes, we are also LGBTQ friendly too!)…
If we weren’t so obsessed with taking control of our own lives, creating our own freedom and our own destiny…
If we didn’t love working with and connecting with humans so much and if we weren’t really good at connecting with and making humans feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera (thank you psychology degree and our personalities lol)…
If we were weren’t willing to live simply and be all in – time, money, heart, soul, mind, body (yes, long days of shooting are super tough on our bodies, then we sit at computers the rest of the time editing, blogging, responding to e-mails, inquiries, coordinating photoshoots, building social media, and about 57 other tasks to maintain our businesses)…
Our flame would have burned out a long time ago. So it appears as though we started this baby for all of the right reasons, few! ;) ;)
A humongous thank you to all of the wonderful souls we’ve met along the way, the wonderful collaborations we’ve experienced, the incredible new friendships we’ve developed, the mentors and coaches who have guided us and taught us so much (ok really gettin’ teary eyed now…) we love you all so much, we appreciate you all so much and we are so damn thankful for you! We would not be able to continue doing what we love to do without all of your unwavering support!! It definitely takes a village.
Virtual high fives all around to that and cheers to what the future holds (we’re really excited)!!