How Ines Schaefer Rebuilt Her Business In a New Country
Episode 74: Ines Schaefer
In Episode 74 of the Portrait System Podcast, Nikki Closser speaks with Ines Schaefer of Ines Schaefer Portraiture. As an expatriate living in a mid-size Alabama town, she wanted to be sure her business was run right. Using what she learned on SBE, Ines created a successful (and legal!) portrait studio in Alabama. When it was time to relocate back to Germany, she applied the same methods to create a studio in an even smaller town. Ines’ passion is for empowering everyday women with reminders of their own strength, beauty, and accomplishment. She brings so much fun and positivity to her craft, which helps her always find a way to make things work.
Be sure to listen to the whole podcast to hear how Ines used Instagram hashtags to build a presence for herself in Germany even while she was still located in Alabama. You’ll also hear some great ideas for how to pitch feel-good stories to small-town journalists to help get the word out about your business and mission. And don’t miss out on hearing Ines’s advice for how to make selling wall art simple and magnetizing for your clients.
In this blog, you’ll find some of Ines’s empowering portraits, links to her web presence, and inspiring answers to some bonus questions.
Get to Know Ines Schaefer
Q: Most artists have a point in their life when they knew this was meant for them. Do you have that moment?
A: I most definitely had that moment. It was when those moms told me they don’t photograph well, and I should rather take pictures of their kids. And I still was able to get some great portraits of mom, which she loved. It was then when I was looking for a specific genre that covers “regular women” instead of models or editorial/fashion and when I was pointed to SBE. It was such an eye-opener and I knew, THIS is my purpose in life: To show women they are good enough the way they are. Just because I grew up having been told this exact thing—NOT BEING good enough. It changed my life significantly.
Q: What does the Sue Bryce Education community mean to you?
A: You guys, that community? It means everything to me! The support and help and cheers you get there are one of a kind. The best part was meeting all those peers at the first PM (Portrait Masters Conference) in 2017, and building friendships around the world, and talking & hugging those people in real life!
Q: How did you push past fear when building your business?
A: Haha, that is a great question. If I recall correctly, in the beginning, there was no fear—just PURE excitement to build that model that Sue introduced me to, and I wanted to do the exact same thing. Fear wasn’t really present, though a good amount of nervousness was when I was saying out loud those “business standard” prices the first time to those who came to be photographed by me.
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment since starting Sue Bryce Education?
A: That would pretty much be the fact that I did build up this business TWICE—but on two different continents—and was still successful in providing an outstanding service to my clients and serving with unconditioned love to each of them.
Q: For someone starting out on their photography journey what advice would you have for them?
A: Stop overthinking and just start doing it. Whatever it is that is stopping you is happening in your mind. Listen carefully to each word Sue teaches you and follow her lead (and the lead of sooooooo many photographers around the world doing exactly that!). Step by step. Rome wasn’t built in a day and so won’t your business. It takes time, stamina, and focus to stay on track, and you can be sure that there will also be bad days and setbacks. But don’t let those stop you. Focus on the big picture and your GOALS.
Q: How has Sue Bryce Education changed your life for the better?
A: Oh, where do I start? Over the years that I am an SBE student, now I think there is no area in my life where SBE hasn’t affected my life for the better. Whether it be running a successful & profitable business, or be it my personal development in terms of self-value and self-love, SBE covers pretty much all aspects of life. And if you let those words sink in that you will hear in SBE, and once the mindset changes, you will be astounded how everything falls into place. And you will wonder why you didn’t start earlier with everything!
Q: Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
A: Hah, that’s an easy one: My portrait business will be the best-known photography business in my area and beyond. I will have built a team around me that supports & pushes limits, and I will be known as THE PHOTOGRAPHER who everyone wants to be on her schedule. I also will be helping fellows to build their dream business and dream life with coaching/mentoring and seeing how they become successful business owners.
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Ines Schaefer of Ines Schaefer Portraiture