We had the good fortune of connecting with Liberty Boston and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Liberty, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
As I was booking my own senior photos, I audibly gasped when I saw the price tag. I knew quality senior photos were an investment, but I never imagined they would be THAT expensive. My parents spent roughly $1,500. That’s absurd! Over $1,000 dollars for a 2 hour session, a handful of unframed prints, and a few social media images. I’ve even heard of cases where families pay 5 to 10k for their senior’s pictures.
Thankfully my family is well off, so I had the opportunity to have my photos done professionally, but after seeing the steep price, I realized many families are not as lucky. This is the fundamental reason I created Liberty Boston Photography: to provide high-quality photographs for affordable prices–because everyone deserves awesome photos!
I was confident I had the skills to take amazing photos through my past five years of learning, experimenting, and improving, so it was time to take the final step and turn my passion into a legitimate business. I am a big picture type of person–and I knew I wanted to provide a service that would fit the needs of every type of customer–so my slogan was actually one of the first things I created: “Adaptable. Affordable. Awesome.” These words perfectly represent my thought process behind starting my own business. There is no one-size-fits-all when purchasing photos, so adaptability is key to allowing clients to choose the session length and number of photos that suits them best. Providing lower income families, or anyone who wanted a less expensive option, was always my top priority, so I made sure my prices were fair. I set my intentions: to help as many people as I could get professional-quality photos without breaking the bank. Last comes the awesome part. I knew the photos I would be taking could end up on social media, framed on walls, be on cards sent to family and friends. Photographs are a valuable part of our lives, and I could not sacrifice the quality of my photos even if my prices were a fraction of the cost of my competitors’. I wanted my customers to have a seamless experience, so, I had to create systems that were easily accessible , be an excellent communicator, and deliver awesome products while building relationships with each face I captured.
The final push for me to start my own business was not just because I wanted to, but because I felt like it was the right thing to do, and I could have a positive impact on my community.
What should our readers know about your business?
Other than being a budget-friendly photographer, I believe several other aspects of my business set me apart from the competition. The first thing I noticed when doing research on other photographers was that most of them only offer packages, i.e., for a 2 hour session you get 3 outfits, 15 images, for $500. I thought this method was rather rigid and does not offer much flexibility for the client. So, it was my goal to offer as much flexibility as I could, while still making the photo selection process as easy as possible for my customers. I accomplished this through offering a variety of session times and allowing people to choose the exact number of photos they wanted (anywhere between 3 and 60) without being locked in to a specific package that didn’t tailor to their preferences. I also noted that many professional photographers do not explicitly display their pricing on their website. I understand each session is different, so the costs may vary, but I think this is sneaky. It is important to give visitors to your website an idea of your pricing right off the bat so they know if it is even worth contacting you. I fully respect how each photographer determines the price for their expertise, but I think they owe it to potential customers to be transparent, and at least give an idea of where the cost starts.
I am most proud of myself for running every aspect of my business. My passion for photography turned into a fully functioning business in three short months. In this time, I managed to create a user-friendly website that includes a portfolio as well as contact and booking forms, so customers don’t have to scour the web to contact me. I did not hire anyone to create my website–I was meticulous with the photos I chose to display and I worked hard to create an aesthetically pleasing design. None of this was easy, but I used my resources. We have a world of knowledge at our fingertips with the internet, so I certainly took advantage of this resource. Articles, blogs, and forums all helped me to figure out my next steps. Additionally, I reached out to some mentors and talked to real-life humans! They helped me troubleshoot and brainstorm. I took this abundance of knowledge and completed all the steps I needed to turn Liberty Boston Photography into an official business.
Though I’ve only been in business for about six months, I can already see my efforts pay off. I’ve been able to take photos of many people my age during senior photo season and have received feedback of how grateful they are for my affordable services. I take every ‘thank you’ to heart and am touched hearing how excited people are when they get their final photos.
The process of creating my own business was time-consuming and challenging in many ways. However, in spite of these challenges, I believe my business lives up to it’s mantra: “Adaptable. Affordable. Awesome.”
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The Denver-Metro area is such a fun place to live!
I love being outdoors (said almost every Coloradan ever), and some of my favorite places around here are Red Rocks, Mount Falcon, Matthews/Winters Park, and Evergreen Lake.
I’m a picky eater, so I have pretty high standards for where I like to eat, but Le Peep, The Cow, and Café Jordano all make the cut. Want to devour the best New York style pizza ever? Head to Genesee for Guido’s Pizza. If you’re visiting from out of town, I’d almost certainly take you to Magill’s or the Sweet Cow for some divine ice-cream too.
It’s important you visit the Denver Art Museum, the Botanic Gardens, and the Zoo! Downtown Golden and Littleton are both full of history and great places to shop and grab a coffee or tea.
Whether you’re outdoorsy or not, Colorado is a great place to be, and the Denver-Metro area has enjoyable activities for everyone!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Gosh, there’s so many people I’d like to thank for my success as a photographer.
Thank you to my preschool teachers for fostering an environment where creativity was encouraged and providing a vibrant place for young minds.
Thank you to my elementary school art teacher, Mr. O, for helping me recognize my talents and further cultivating my passion for art.
Thank you to my high school photography teacher, Ms. Frisbee, for introducing me to many different photography techniques, editing software, and encouraging me to create my own website. Her support and guidance convinced me to join National Art Honor Society and continue to give back to my community. Ms. Frisbee is one of the kindest souls you’ll ever meet and I’ll never forget first period Introduction to Photography my freshman year.
Thank you to my friends and family for being my subjects in my starting years as a photographer. You’ve dealt with my bringing my camera to every occasion and helped me pull off the variety of visions I’ve had over the years. Your praise kept me motivated, and I can’t thank you enough for sticking with me through success and failure.
Above all, thank you to my parents. You’ve taught me determination and grit. I bought my first camera at age 12, and you guys were thrilled to see what I could do. You’ve always supported my dreams, but never spoiled me too much. I think that lesson is so valuable–but I know you’re always there for me when I need your help. Thank you for being role models of strength and for your unconditional love.