For quite a while, I've considered Christine to be the "queen of social media!" When it comes to the photography world, I honestly can't think of anyone who understands social media and USES it on a regular basis, more than Christine. I asked her if she would be willing to share her expertise on Photo Lovecat and I'm excited to say that she'll be joining us as one of our regular editors! In this Web 2.0 going on 3.0 world, it can be hard to keep up with the pace of technology, so I think it will be great to have someone who is on the cutting edge helping us make sense of it all. Please be a lovecat and leave some warm fuzzy comments for Christine so she'll feel welcome here! Also feel free to ask her questions to spark ideas for future Photo Lovecat posts!! We're all about sharing the love around here.
(Photo by Elaine)
Name: Christine Tremoulet
Business Name: Christine Tremoulet & Boudoir Mon Cheri
(I think she needs a few more websites don't you? ;-))
Location: Houston, TX
When did you start your business? Spring 2007
What services do you offer? Wedding and Boudoir Photography
What products do you offer? I'm a huge fan of all of Miller's Products - and their customer service can't be beat! I'm testing Cypress Albums and other products this winter and plan to add them also in 2009.
Are you home or studio based? I do most of my editing work from home, and I have a office/studio space where I meet with clients and photograph Boudoir sessions.
What do you enjoy about working from home/studio? I like doing my editing at home because it is more eco-friendly - Houston is a huge city, and I like to keep my driving to a minimum. I adore my studio space for client meetings and Boudoir sessions because it has a nice, intimate feel and beautiful natural light.
What have been the challenges of working from home/studio? It is easy to get distracted while working at home - especially since my husband, Mike, also works from home most days. I also forget to stop working sometimes. Life needs more balance than that! The challenges of working at the studio is the commute time.
Do you have any employees? I have a permanent second-shooter for weddings, Elaine, and I just hired my first office employee at the beginning of November. It is a learning experience for me figuring out how to train her and to let go of control.
What do you outsource and to who? I've talked about outsourcing for months now, and yet the control-freak side of me can't let it go. Someday...
How did you acquire your photo skills? I still remember my mom commenting back in the early '80s that I should take the family vacation photos because mine always came out better. I bought my first 35mm P&S in 1982, and my first SLR in 1986 for a high school photography class. Since then, I've photographed a LOT of things! I see the world in photographs, even if I don't have a camera in my hands.
How did you acquire your business skills? I started my first business in 1999 (making soap) and owned a blog hosting company for years. I've always tried to treat clients like I would want to be treated. Things like bookkeeping, taxes, etc? Lots of reading books, blogs, forums, and any other information I can get my hands on!
What do you wish you would have known starting out? It isn't as scary as you think it will be -- I wish I had not waited so long to start out! The most successful people in the world actually fail 70% of the time -- failure doesn't have to be something to fear. It can lead you to some really great places.
What has made the biggest difference in your business? Networking with other photographers. We're all in this together, and I'm so grateful for all the people who have helped me with advice, support and encouragement. Having a supportive family has also made a huge impact.
What do you want for the future of your business? To continue to grow and have FUN doing it! But to have more balance in my life - to let go of some control and not have to do everything myself.
What do you want for your personal future? To have more serenity, and more time with my family & friends.
What are you passionate about other than photography? Knitting! Oh, how I love to knit. There is something so calming about the feel of wool and making pretty things. I'm also pretty passionate about social media and all things internet. Especially blogging -- I've been doing it now since 2000, so it is second nature to me.
Share a little about your home life: I'm married to the most awesome man in the world, Mike. While we didn't meet online, we did meet thanks to blogs back in 2002, and we got married in 2004. My fantastic and amazing son, Jason, is now 16 and a junior in high school. We have a cat, Mona, who likes to sleep a lot, but will wake up at any time for some good head scratches. We live way out in the fringes of northwest Houston, but dream of moving into the heart of the city once Jason graduates from high school.
My favorite quote, that I totally live by (for better or worse) is:
What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
Tell us a funny story about one of your experiences:
Oh, goodness. I have the best clients, so most of my stories are more warm & fuzzy than they are funny. Recently, I was shooting an engagement session at the Houston Zoo. I was doing what I like to call "photographer yoga" which involves getting into weird positions as you try to get that perfect shot with gorgeous sun flare. I was crouched down, balancing on my toes, as I felt it happen. I started to tip slowly backwards. It was like it was in slow motion, a scene out of the Matrix as my arms started to twirl in the air. All I could think was, "Protect the camera!"
I ended up on my back on the ground, laughing. I was ok, the camera was fine, and once I reassured my clients that it was all good, we had a great laugh over it. I giggle every time I look at the photo, and at their wedding we laughed about my Matrix photography skills!
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