In late 2010, Amy Clark’s photography business began to outgrow her in-home studio, so she launched a search for a new workspace that would complement her creative needs and her clients’ tastes. She found that space at 1242 N. High St. in Columbus’s Short North.
One of the main reasons she relocated Amy Clark Studios to the Short North is that it’s near the majority of her clients.
“Most of them live in the Short North, Clintonville, Upper Arlington, Downtown, etc.,” says Clark. “I like that I can shoot both in the studio and out around in the urban area. Clients love the urban feel of our new studio and feel at home. And so do I!”
The studio isn’t all that’s new for Amy Clark Studios. The name is new, too.
It used to be called Baby Steps Studios, as Clark focused on photographing small children. In fact, after being in business for less than a year, Clark was asked to shoot all the 2008 covers for Columbus Parent magazine. (She continued shooting the covers until the magazine’s ownership changed in 2010.)
However, she has since photographed musicians and local celebrities, such as Kirk Herbstreit, and her studio now offers boudoir and wedding recreation sessions that don’t fit the original name.
To celebrate the recent changes to the business, Amy Clark studios is hosting a grand opening event from 6 to 10 p.m. during the Short North Holiday Hop on Dec. 3. The event includes a studio tour, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, cupcakes from Polka Dot Cupcakery, and 50 swag bag giveaways with items from more than 50 Short North area businesses, including Camelot Cellars, The Candle Lab, and Mukha Custom Cosmetics and Medi Spa.
To learn what Clark, who has a bachelor of fine arts degree from Ball State University, likes most about working for herself, what she struggles to balance, and which of her photography awards is particularly memorable, keep reading.
The Metropreneur: You’ve said you founded your studio to give parents “an alternative to box store photography and tiny waiting rooms filled with screaming children.” What makes your studio different?
Amy Clark: We book all of our sessions to allow plenty of time both between sessions −to prevent waiting− and during the session to allow time for outfit changes, diaper changes, feeding, soothing, etc. We only book a small number of sessions per day to help with this. We custom design each session to meet the needs and desires of the family, whether that be the styling, location, times, etc.
[M]: You’ve won several national awards for your work. Are any of them particularly special to you?
AC: I won a Gold Award for the October issue of Columbus Parent magazine back in 2008. I think that was probably the most special because it was my first one for the magazine. It got the magazine a lot of exposure in the publication world and my 6-year-old client was so thrilled to not only be featured on the cover of a magazine, but also the model for an award winning photo!
[M]: What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve faced as a business owner and how did you overcome it?
AC: Honestly, things have just fallen into place for me and the business. When I started my little photography business back in 2007, I thought it would just be something fun to do on the side. It quickly grew to a full-time business, which required us to remodel the basement of our home into a studio, which we used for two years.
Now with the opening of the studio storefront in the Short North, I feel like it’s a dream come true. I truly love what I do and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I guess the biggest obstacle is trying to balance being the owner of a thriving business and a mom to two little boys, Chasen my 8-year-old with Autism and Kyan my 5-year-old. I have always said that I am a mom first and intend on trying to keep that mentality even with running the business.
[M]: In your opinion, what’s the best aspect of being a business owner?
AC: My favorite part of running my own business is doing what I love every day. I decide when I want to go into the studio and when I would rather plan a fun day with the kids at home. I am able to be myself −pink hair and all− without reporting to a corporation that might not allow me to be myself. I am able to use my creativity on a daily basis knowing that my clients trust my creative eye and talent.
To learn more about Amy Clark Studios, visit AmyClarkStudios.com.