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3 Ways to build a studio wardrobe on a budget

Pregnant woman holding her bump looking down. What to wear for maternity session.

Planning to invest in portraits can cause authentic stress. As your clients scroll Pinterest they are flooded with beautifully curated content. The pressure to document their lives perfectly styled is more overwhelming than ever before. The Problem? Pinterest often leaves you with more questions than answers. Leaving your client investing precious time and money, attempting to DIY style the session of their dreams.

A studio wardrobe alleviates the anxiety and adds value to the service you provide. Time and time again my clients express immense gratitude for the full-service experience I provide to them. Many opt to visit the studio before their session to try on and select their favorite options, some opt to shop from home with my online studio catalog.

Wardrobes are an investment into your future clients & into your business. Leaning into your expertise as a creative, your clients trust your vision. an investment worth making but here are three tips to build a low cost/ no-cost client closet.

Woman shopping through client wardrobe. What to wear for my newborn session.

How to build a low cost or no cost wardrobe:

  1. Plan an event. Call it “Style the studio” You provide a mini session event for your existing clients, their ticket to the event is to purchase a dress from your studio wish list. Dresses $-$$ receive 1 digits, $$-$$$ receive 3 digitals and dresses $$$-$$$ receive 5 digitals. After the session, the client donates the dress.
  2. Contact past clients. Clients who have worn pieces you would like to add are usually willing to donate or trade their wardrobe for print or digital. Reaching out with an email “Hey________, I was just shopping online to start building my client wardrobe and I just LOVED the dress you wore, would you mind sharing where you purchased it? Also if you’re not planning on wearing it again I would be happy to trade you an 8×10 print for the dress? Absolutely no pressure, if you wouldn’t mind sharing or are interested in the trade let me know”
  3. Shop sales. Right now (during stay home orders) SO many retailers are offering unbelievable discounts. While it might be hard to invest in your business when so much is unknown. If your able to now is the time to take a chunk and shop smart. Some of my favorite places to find pieces are Shop Pink blush (25% off), Lulu’s, Free People, Show me you Mumu (25 % off), Nordstroms (up to 60% off) Anthropologie. Also joining destash photography groups on Facebook are a great place to find popular styles, however, beware of the condition of the item being purchased. That Fillyboo dress might not be worth the discount when missing buttons, snags or stained.
Halleigh Hill Studio wardrobe catalog of dresses. How to build a studio wardrobe

Shopping tips:

When building your wardrobe you do not need to purchase a dress in every size. Often I purchase Medium or Larges and use wardrobe clips to fit it to my smaller clientele. To make budgets go farther shop for dresses that can be worn for both maternity and postpartum clients, think empire waist, A-line, & wrap dresses. Lastly colors, I opt for pinks, creams, nudes & muted blues – shades that edit well for my style of images. To get a better idea just take a peek at my Instagram or take follow me over on Pinterest.

Halleigh Hill is a full-service photography studio specializing in Motherhood, Maternity & Newborns. Her work is drenched in light & filled with the people you love. She is passionate about turning your memories into tangible moments that become heirlooms. Serving Southern California:

Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Mission Viejo, Rancho Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Cypress, Costa Mesa, Santa Ana Heights, Tustin, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Westminster, Long Beach, Culver City, Rancho Palo Verdes.

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