This is an important blog post for me, and I have been contemplating about what to write for a long time. I cannot sit on it any longer, as time is passing by and it is crunch time for my photography studio grand opening.
Let me start by offering you an invitation to my studio’s grand opening!
My family and I moved to Sudbury almost 2 years ago. Although the studio is functioning and I have photographed many Greater Sudburians in there since it opened in January 2016, I feel that has finally all come together and is ready for an official opening party. It couldn’t come at a better time, as this year I am also celebrating my 10th year in business.
A Brief History
So where did it all start, and who is Helga Himer Photography? Let’s go back in time briefly so I can explain where it all began.
I was back in Hungary when I decided that dressmaking was not my dream job, and then jumped into photography, attending a two-year program. This decision came after I received a Minolta camera with four awesome lenses as a gift from my uncle, and knew I had to learn more! I was taught a lot in photography school, such as how to develop black-and-white film in a lab, how to hand-retouch, how to set up lights, and everything about manual photography. After immigrating to Canada, I worked for a photography studio on the east coast, then later as a lead photographer for a portrait directory company. That went on for three years, and finally I decided to open my own business and be my own boss.
I moved out west in 2007, after attending a business course, I officially opened Helga Himer Photography. It was a wonderful and very scary experience as I had no other income at that time. Supporting myself and growing my business wasn’t an easy task, but I managed and I was happy. During my first few years, I photographed lots of weddings and I’m ever so grateful for those clients as most of them became loyal customers and brought their babies and families to me later.
I guess after having my own baby and realizing that weddings are very demanding on a young mother, and having more and more inquiries for newborn photography, I took a step to focus in that direction. I started investing thousands of dollars into my continuous education and I attended numerous workshops to learn from the best newborn photographers in the industry. Some of my most memorable experiences were with Kelly Brown from Australia when she first held her workshop at the Creative Live studio in Seattle and my very favorite Amy from Drewdrops Photography along with Nichole Smith Photography at their workshop in Sacramento. I also hosted Alli from Glow Portraits who is a from BC and one of the best maternity photographers in Canada, if not in the World!
Those are just a few to mention, as for the next five years it was my yearly commitment to better myself and my craft, and educate myself to make sure I offer the safest and highest-quality newborn portrait sessions to my clients. Newborn safety is the most important thing for me. I heard way too many horror stores and I can assure you when you come to my studio, your little treasure is in safe and trained hands! I started offering one-on-one training to other photographers in my area and I also taught through my own workshop program in Hungary, England and Scotland in 2015. You can see some great images from the workshop in this post.
That year, my family and I decided that it is time to move on from Edmonton and relocate closer to my in-laws. Our children were 3 and 4 at that time, and we felt they needed to be closer to at least one of their grandparents, so we purchased a house and at the end of October, we drove 3000 km to relocate to this wonderful city of Sudbury. You can read about our Farewell party here.
I’m not going to lie – it has been a challenge. It’s a big step from a city of a million to a city of just over 160 thousand, but I’m up to the challenge and I really enjoy the early stages of business again. Back in Edmonton, I had many repeat clients and loyal customers so by the end, I wasn’t going out to recruit people. However, since moving to Sudbury, I had to pick up and step out of my comfort zone. It’s been a blast! I met so many wonderful people, attended so many networking events, where I was able to present my business and joined BNI where I connected with numerous awesome business professionals.
Back to the present, please let me introduce to you my brand new boutique portrait studio called Studio H. I’m very proud of it, as it has been a long-time dream of mine. To have a separate studio space from my home, where I can go and work, and I have to say it is beyond my imagination. We designed the space from top to bottom, including upgrading and decorating, and I’m super-proud to call it my own. The people that helped my along the way will always be close to my heart and I owe them big time! You know who you are!
With that, please join me and my family for our Grand Opening! Open house on Thursday, September 14th between 4-8pm, 422 Cartier Avenue (studio in the back).
You can come whenever you want and stay as long as you like. The event is free, however if you would like to win a beautiful gift box, you should register. That way we also have a rough idea how many people are coming and how much food to prepare. Also you can join the Facebook event on my page.
We will have several local business colleagues involved, including:
- Gift box giveaway from the wonderful Lisa, who is helping me with its planning. She owns Eventful Times (FB) in Sudbury, and also started her event-in-a-box company called The Birch Box Studio (FB). When you have a chance, check her out.
- A wonderful friend and business sales coach, Dorothy, who has been helping me with the marketing side of the event.
- Black Rock North Media (FB) will be filming a bit during the event so we can all remember how awesome it was!
- Cupcakes will be prepared by Justine from For Heaven’s Bake (FB) who also won the free downtown Sudbury space for a year contest.
- I’m also intending to get in some Japanese goodies from a friend of mine who does catering.
- Also some yummy chocolate from a downtown chocolate company (will have more details when they’re confirmed!)
Also the best part is, I am offering some great opportunities for attendees to get discounts on my photography services!
- win some great prizes, like a voucher for a different photo session every hour!
- purchase gift cards at a discounted price so your Christmas shopping is all set!
- prints and products are discounted during the time of the event!
So yeah, it will be great!
Here is a little teaser of the studio. Want to see more? Make sure to come and register!
I hope to see you all there; please bring a friend or two so we have a great turn-out!