Rachel Walters Photography | Launch and Priorities

Thank you so much for joining me as I launch my brand new venture, Rachel Walters Photography! I've been operating my business as Alphonse Photography for the past three years, which was officially started by my dad and me in 2008. You can read about the history of all that in my previous blog post HERE.

I'm so excited to be launching my new name, and I'm using this change as an opportunity for a rebirth, to completely start fresh with new ideas and new ways of doing things in order to make the photography process simpler, more refined, and to create an overall more positive experience for people who are looking for beautiful images of their babies and families.

This post is a bit lengthy, but I really need to get real with you guys about some significant changes that are happening with this launch. I'm looking to break out of the mold of what most photographers are doing, because I don't believe it's working well at all. I know because I've been one of those photographers stuck in the "norm" for almost 8 years. I've been stressed and overwhelmed with the need to book too many sessions in order to keep my doors open, which has resulted in me neglecting my marriage since its very beginning, as well as friendships, family, and myself. I have also not been pricing my work appropriately for all of that to even be worth anything in the scope of running a business. I've been learning a lot these past couple years about what's most important in life, and I've been working hard on making some significant changes in order to be a better wife, friend, and photographer.

One of the changes I'm implementing is the elimination of weekend appointments. I will be scheduling appointments Monday–Thursday between 10am and 7pm, and occasional Friday mornings only for newborn sessions when needed, but mostly reserving Fridays for catching up on emails and edits during the day. Saturday and Sunday will be spent with my husband and family only, something that has never happened in the entirety of the almost 8 years my husband and I have been together. No emails or phone calls will take place on the weekend either (unless you've booked your newborn session with me in advance and just had your baby!). I value my clients' time, but no session scheduling is important enough to warrant having my face glued to my phone or computer all weekend while I neglect my marriage and family. I am also officially no longer photographing weddings (even though I haven't done one in over a year anyway!) in order to be able to completely focus on and specialize in newborn and family photography!

Allowing myself time to rest will also reflect enormously in my ability to find fresh inspiration as a photographer. Session availability will be more limited, which means I'll have more time to invest in each client's session, photo edits, and print consult. This means I'll be able to provide even more beautiful images from each session, and also allows me the opportunity to create an even more personalized, fine art photography experience for you, instead of you feeling like you're just another appointment in my calendar to check off.

I'm after more than just taking some quick photos and sending you on your way with files to be printed at a drug store or cheap online printing company who couldn't care less about how your photos turn out, or worse yet, to have the files sit in a drawer somewhere never to be printed at all. I'm an artist who is passionate about creating a beautiful final product for display in your home. I care about each and every one of my clients, and I've spent countless hours creating beautiful images for you and your family; you deserve to have those images professionally printed to display in your home by the person who knows how they're supposed to look.

Another big change I am making is the elimination of online galleries. Instead, I will be presenting your images 1–2 weeks after your session at an in studio print consultation, where you'll be able to look over all of my available products, and I'll be able to help guide you through the print ordering process. This makes things much more simple and stress free for you as I'm able to answer any questions you may have right there in person, and you won't have to stress and agonize at home trying to navigate through ordering prints alone. I've unfortunately also seen too many instances of clients printing screenshots from their online session galleries instead of ordering prints, or running those screenshots through Instagram filters and crops, completely distorting my work and how it is intended to look. Facebook sneak peeks and previews will also wait until after you've seen all of your photos and placed your print order, allowing you the excitement of being the first one to see your photos beautifully printed in person. In this digitally saturated world we live in now, there's something to be said about being able to see and touch your images, and I want that to be a magical moment all of my clients are able to experience.

My goal is to be real with you, to capture raw, honest moments that beautifully showcase the sweetness in all of the tiny, completely unique features of your new baby, or the love and silliness that you share with your family. Creating photo memories should be enjoyable and memorable, and I love being able to provide exactly that for each and every one of my clients.

I'm so excited to have you join me on this new journey, and I look forward to creating beautiful images for you!

Check out more of my work HERE and HERE, find out my investment information, and contact me to book your session today!

Alphonse Photography History and 2016 Name Change

I am so thrilled to announce that in January 2016 I will officially be changing my business name from Alphonse Photography to Rachel Walters Photography!

My studio location and passion for my work will not be changing, and I am thrilled that through the changes to come, I will be able to create an even more personalized experience for my current and future clients. Read on to find out the full history of Alphonse Photography, and why I've decided to change the name.

The story of my business has only been made possible by and begins with my dad, Terry Alphonse. He has been photographing people and events since he was a kid, and took classes to learn how to use his first professional film camera to document the birth of my oldest sister. He has always been passionate about photographing the life of my siblings and me growing up, and has been sure to capture important life events for anyone and everyone he's known for as long as I can remember. In 2008, he finally decided to turn his passion into a business on the side of his full-time career. Shortly before that time, I was in my first year of college and completely unsure of what I wanted to do with my future. I was helping my sister search for her wedding photographer, and it clicked for me that photography was what I wanted to pursue. By August of 2008, I was starting classes for my degrees in Photography and Digital Layout & Design, and my dad had nearly finished work on an incredible photography studio for us in his basement. It even has a completely separate outdoor public access to its own driveway and parking lot for clients!

Throughout the first few years of the business I was my dad's assistant, helping him with studio lights and occasional posing, and learning about all of the equipment, software, supplies, paperwork, knowledge, skill, and money needed to run a photography business. We photographed pretty much everything, including senior pictures, weddings, engagements, children, newborns, families, events, and even portraits for dental offices. Over time I had learned enough from him and my classes – and he had started to become overwhelmed with running a business on top of maintaining a full-time career – that I started taking the lead with sessions, edits, client scheduling, print orders, etc. By the time I graduated college in 2012 I had taken over all responsibilities and officially started running the business myself full-time. I had my little sisters, and occasionally my mom, assist me with newborn sessions for about a year.

At the start of 2014, a few months after I got married, my dad decided to pass the business to me, and I became the sole owner of Alphonse Photography. He has moved on to another photography passion – researching and collecting Daguerreotypes (the first officially declared photography process) – which is much more flexible for his schedule (and which I think he's actually more passionate about if that's possible!).

For a time I figured it would be best to leave my business name as Alphonse Photography since it had already been established and recognized by my clients, and since I was still operating out of the studio in my parents' home. I have discovered in the past year and especially in the past few months that the name has become more of a confusion to clients who have a hard time pronouncing it, who don't understand why Rachel Walters is running a business named Alphonse Photography, and for people who still think my dad is running the business! It's clear to me now that the name has become a hinderance to the personalized brand I want to create, and since I'm in the process of paying for the business anyway, I have decided to take the leap and change the name of my business to Rachel Walters Photography!

I'm so thankful to my dad for taking the risk and starting this business for us 7 years ago, and I'm so proud of everything I've accomplished even just in this past year: I've grown and honed my skill exponentially in every aspect, and am so excited to now specialize in working with my favorite clients: newborns! I am dedicated to creating an even more personalized and specialized photography experience for each and every one of my clients in this next year and for many years to come!

I look forward to working with you soon!

Rachel