A Photography & Art Business
I am passionate about art and photography and have always dreamed of finding a way to combine those two into a business. My goal was to create a social media and web based platform where I could advertise and offer my services. I wanted to have an active business social media account and a functional website where I would have a blog, portfolio and online shop with at least 6 listings by senior showcase.
I spent the first week and a half researching how others started their own small art or photography businesses, following successful pages and creating a plan for my social media and eCommerce site. Polls on Instagram stories were used to gather data on what my audience wanted to see. I asked about frequency of posts, types of subjects and preferred styles of art and content. A minimum of one day a week was spent driving to beautiful places I could photograph and use to create social media content or as art inspiration. After editing, I arranged photos in an app that would allow me to plan posts in advance and stay organized. Below are some examples of my feed after planning posts.
Social Media Content: Reels, Posts and Stories.
I posted a minimum of 3 days a week, aiming for closer to 5 days. When I didn’t post in the feed I made sure to stay active on stories and through interacting with the online community. I sought out other creators and ways to connect with them through commenting and following their accounts. It was fun finding people who enjoy doing what I do and making connections.
I created a logo, built a new website under a new domain and created an online store. Below are some of the rough drafts for the logo.
A lot of time and effort went into researching how to build an eCommerce site through WordPress, setting up a shop with different attributes for each listing and linking secondary sources for shipping.
One of the most time consuming parts about organizing this website was picking photos to be in my professional portfolio. I compiled 500 of my favorite photos in a Google Photos folder and sent it out to my family and friends asking them to let me know what my best work was. I then sorted through the photos with the most feedback and uploaded them to my portfolio.
I plan on keeping up with the blog portion of my website as I continue to travel and take photos. I was able to upload 6 blog posts during this project.
Art & Prints:
A few of the listed prints are paintings I have been wanting to sell for a while, while others were completed during this semester. All my paintings are based on photos of my own. I learned how to create high quality prints of artwork by talking to my painting professor about his methods. Using photoshop, I cleaned up the edges of a high quality photo of the art piece. Then I went to the Photo Lab on campus and the lab tech was able to teach me how to use the printers there. I am in the process of looking for a third party to print my art and ship to customers for me. That will be a bigger priority when there is a greater number of customers to worry about.
90 hours spent.
10 hours of research, 30 of travel/photography, 20 of editing/posting on social media, 20 of website building and 10 of writing blog posts/final report.
I was able to grow my social media account more than I anticipated and complete all my baseline goals for this project. Going into this project my priorities were focused on content creation and marketing. Part way through I realized I needed to shift my focus to the foundation of the business. I had my Portfolio WordPress website I initially wanted to revamp into the Amcquiveyphoto page. I started off using that for the first few weeks of my project and was posting blogs of all the adventures I had gone on. I then decided to buy a domain to make the page more professional. After purchasing the domain, It would not transfer to my old site. So, almost a month into my work, I began building a new website from scratch. I had to learn how to set up a shop, plugins, shipping and all the other background work that goes into an online store.
I am very happy with the new website I created. I was forced out of my comfort zone and was able to learn how to build an eCommerce store. Having to start over taught me much more about WordPress than I anticipated needing to know. I count these that as the greatest successes of this project.
Success I saw
- 16.1% increase in followers
- Over 50% increase engagement
- 138% increase in accounts reached
- 7 listings posted
- 6 blog posts
- Professional Portfolio
- 1 photoshoot booking
- 1 new client
- 2 print sales in the first week