Rachel Rouhana is a photographer who helps women entrepreneurs create visually stunning brands to attract their ideal clients. She founded the Haute Chocolate Style stocked library to make it easy for boss ladies to create gorgeous graphics that get more sales.
[bctt tweet=”Tips to improve your photography with @rachelrouhana #blissfulbitespodcast” username=”nicoleculver”]
- In this episode you’ll learn:
How Rachel got the idea to start a stock photography membership site
How she went from a few sales to 6 figures
Photography tips to improve your pictures
- In this episode you’ll learn:
Tell us a little bit about you, Rachel Rouhana, and what you do.
I’m a self-taught photographer and I create styled stock photos for women entrepreneurs and bloggers. I started the style stocked library in March 2015 because I really saw a need for having beautiful, stylish, chic, feminine photos available, and I couldn’t really find what I was looking for. I decided to start a membership site so that women could have access to a variety of photos to create their visual content. I’ve been doing that for about a year and a half. Before I started Haute Chocolate I had a graphic design business where I created invitations and party printables. I’m definitely not new to the entrepreneurship world, but my business has taken some different paths based on needs that I saw in the market.
How did you get the idea to start a membership site instead of a more traditional pay per picture stock site?
There were a few different considerations. The main thing was that I was trying to create a sales page and I kept having to buy individual stock photos but very few kind of fit the aesthetic that I wanted. The cost was adding up really quickly. I just thought, there is going to be a better way. Online entrepreneurs have to create so many visuals with blog posts and social media posts. I wanted to create a styled stock photography membership site where I upload new photos every month so there is always fresh content and there is no limit to how many images you can download.
How did you launch your site? Did you go to your current design clients or did you start in a different way?
I actually started brand new because my previous clients were not business owners. They were individuals who needed party invitations and party decorations. I did not have a base of business owners who were looking for any kind of help with graphics or photos. I started completely fresh with zero. I had no people on my mailing list. I launched to a couple of different Facebook groups, and then I just kind of put it out there like, “I’m starting this new thing.” I knew a lot of people wanted stock photos and were interested in it. I knew there was going to be a market for it and so I just basically was like, “Hi! I’m ready to… This is what I’m doing if you’re interested you can find out for my mailing list and get two free stock photos.”
Did you have a 6-figure launch the first time you put yourself out there?
Why would people want to use stock photography?
Stock photos used to be really stuffy and corporate. We’re seeing a big shift now. People really want to use stock photos because they want to elevate their branding and maybe they don’t have the funds yet to hire photographers and get custom photos created. They still want professional, really great looking photos to use. Another reason is just the sheer amount of visual content that we have to create these days. Pretty much every piece of content that you post requires some kind of image to go with it because it’s going to get more interaction. As someone who is not a professional photographer, how do you do that? How do you create visuals if you don’t have the photos? The other thing to is that the industry is changing as peoples’ taste changes as well. I try to stay current with what people want. We have to listen to our communities, hear what they are saying, and really give them what they’re looking for. Stock photography has gotten way better in the last year or so for women entrepreneurs and I think that people can really just elevate their brands really quickly by using professional, high quality photos.
How can people make your stock photos fit their brands?
I think a lot of people don’t want to use stock photos because they think, “Everybody else is using these. How can I make it look like something that works for me?” There’s a few ways you can easily do it. I love using Canva. It’s one of the best online editing tools available right now. There’s a lot that you can do easily to make it your own. A few things are just infusing it with your own brand fonts. You can change your fonts to your own brand colors. You can add color overlays. You want to add your own URL. You can crop them in a lot of different ways. My main advice is to add your own specific brand fonts, find a way to incorporate your brand colors, and add your own type of like graphics for your brand. By overlaying some of these different elements of your brand, you’re creating a custom image that’s going to be recognizable to you.
Rachel Rouhana is the founder & creative director of Haute Chocolate. She’s a self-taught graphic designer and photo stylist. She has been running a successful graphic design and branding business since 2011 and have worked with thousands of customers & clients from around the world.
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