December 17, 2019
To all Clients and Employees:
2019 was our second full year with our downtown studio, and marked 10 years of serving the River Valley with my photographic services. This year was very impactful for us for several reasons: We empowered over 120 clients from more than 25 cities and 6 states, grew the Amber’s Gems - Empowered Women of Arkansas online community to nearly 3,000 members, hired two new team members, and continued refining the systems put into place in 2018 to best serve our clients.
Focusing on helping women find their own unique brand of beauty and build their self-worth and confidence has taken Amber Lane Photo from a small, home-run studio to a serious business that has had a significant impact on empowering women in Arkansas and beyond, and this year has been a true testament to that.
In 2018, we made the decision to switch from a “bare basics” studio to a fully immersive photo experience for our clients. We’ve spent 2019 focusing on high quality, excellent service, and meeting the needs of our patrons to the best of our abilities. We continue with our signature boudoir program, offering everything our clients need for a unique, empowering photo session. I am still personally so happy with this decision we’ve made to move in this direction. Nothing is more important than our client’s confidence and their satisfaction at the end of their time spent with us. With 98 5-Star reviews between Google and Facebook, we are confident that the time spent in our studio is just as transformative and important as we aim for it to be, and we are beyond grateful for our clients’ willingness to share their experiences with others.
2019 was a wildly successful year for Amber Lane LLC. There were several factors leading to this success, and our list of what we accomplished is astounding.
A 2019 Recap:
Celebrated my one-year anniversary of being a Certified Professional Boudoir Photographer
Restructured our pricing system to reflect a higher quality of individualized service
Grew our Facebook group, Amber’s Gems - Empowered Women of Arkansas, to 3k
Hosted three dinners at local restaurants, a “Gems Only” pool party, several classes and workshops, and two holiday parties for clients and friends
Partnered with several local artisans for upscale “thank you” bag goodies
Collected several positive client testimonials across platforms
Hired, trained, and began team structure with a multi-person stylist team as well as virtual and in-studio assistants
Had our studio featured in Arkansas’ Times “Best of 2019” print and online issue
Created several resources and webinars for our clients to use prior to their sessions
Continued offering Live Facebook video for direct and quick access to information for clients
Entered a mentorship program to further streamline our services and help focus on an incredible client experience
Introduced a faster, higher-quality photo lab, as well as fun new product options
Added an no-charge application for Arkansan entertainers to work with our studio creatively
Revamped our website to create a more streamlined online experience
Donated time, services, products, and money to several worthy causes
Spoke at the May 1 Million Cups presentation about our mission and studio work
Completed several education courses, both business and technical photography related
Implemented a successful referral program for generating consistent leads
Created three rotating lines of branded clothing, homewares, and accessories
Expanded our studio’s props, sets, and equipment to offer even more options
I’m incredibly proud of everyone at Amber Lane LLC for their extremely focused efforts to move the business in a better direction, better serve our clients, and create a business structure that will continue to grow.
When we opened up our current downtown location in 2017, we had no idea the kind of support or growth we would see. We have received an outpouring of love and loyalty from our community, both online and among other downtown business owners and patrons. We realized earlier this summer that we would most likely need to expand our space to grow into the ideas we have, and were greeted with the perfect opportunity. In January 2020, we will be moving into another beautiful downtown space, just around the corner from our current studio, and it will serve as a springboard for our future plans.
Goals for 2020:
As we look forward into 2020, we believe the overall attitude towards women’s empowerment is only becoming more positive and widespread, and that this will be a very important year in continuing those feelings. We can’t be complacent, we must continue to move faster, do better, and serve better. Our company is only as good as the service we provide to our clients, and we want to serve them better than anyone else.
In 2020, Amber Lane LLC has four major goals. We want to incorporate Fine Art sessions into our calendar, increase our media coverage, create rotating sets, installations, and costumes, and bring more events and get-togethers to the Gems.
Incorporate Fine Art Sessions
This year, I spent time focusing on developing as an artist and honing in on where my passions and style meets. During this experience, it was brought to my attention that much of my personal inspiration comes from paintings, specifically Renaissance-style art, and I enjoy bringing that element to our current boudoir and maternity sessions. While our focus will still remain on boudoir and maternity, In 2020, we will finalize plans for these all-ages Fine Art sessions and begin to offer them in our studio.
Increase our Media Coverage
In 2019, we experienced our first featured printed article, as well as our first opportunity to speak about our mission in a public forum. These are incredibly important to our studio, because many people still are unaware that something like this exists. Our group stays private for safety reasons, and most of our activity happens within that private group. On the topic of privacy, we have several clients who choose not to share their images or experiences with the general public, simply because of the sensitive nature of the photos. While this is absolutely fine and even expected, it can make it difficult to spread the word about how truly revolutionary these photo sessions can be while still respecting privacy. We hope to make contact with more media outlets in 2020 and do our best to share the availability of both our photo services and our online community to those who would benefit.
Create Rotating Sets, Installations, and Costumes
Our photo sessions are all fully customized and made personal to each client. I really love infusing something new and different that is unique to the person in the photo, and we are excited about new ways to do just that. This year, we plan to create several rotating set options, as well as limited-time outfit and prop options. We are collaborating with artists and makers from all over the state to bring our clients several alternatives to our classic boudoir options, and are excited to create something truly special for clients to treasure for years to come.
Bring More Events to the Amber’s Gems Online Community
Our Gems group continues to serve as one of our most valuable resources. Through Facebook Live video, on-topic articles and points of interest, and clients sharing their own images and stories, we are able to bring more attention to our business than ever before, and spread our messages and values with a wider, sincere audience. In 2020, we’d like to expand the events and get-togethers we currently offer our Gems, In addition to our regular dinners, Holiday Soiree, Galentine’s Party, and Summer Pool Party, we hope to offer workshops, coffee dates, themed parties, and more.
In addition to our 2020 goals, I’d also like to list our core values.
Ensure our clients feel safe, served, and confident above all else
Treat each client the way we would like to be treated
Provide high quality service and products
Use positive language and actions to bring confidence to clients
Learn and evolve personally, professionally, and as a team
Every day, women are constantly bombarded with messages telling them that they are “less than,” or that taking a moment for themselves is selfish, but that’s all changing. Messages of body positivity, female friendship, and women’s empowerment are becoming more mainstream. The services and experience we provide are beyond just a photo shoot. Women are getting rid of their old ways of thinking and yearning for a chance to see themselves in a brand new light. These are all powerful forces that are moving in our direction and Amber Lane LLC stands to benefit in a big way. We continue to have a massive opportunity in front of us. It’s time to run, not walk.
As we close 2019, I’m delighted to report that I’m as excited as ever about this business that we’ve created. There is so much more ahead of us than behind us and I can’t wait to jump into 2020 and start putting plans into place. Reflecting on a decade as a professional photographer has been incredibly rewarding, and wrapping up the decade on such a positive note is more than I could ever ask for.
If you’re a client, we thank you for believing in us, investing in our services and in yourself, and joining us on this journey to empower more women around the world through the art of boudoir photography.
This is only the start of a massively impactful year ahead.
Wishing you the warmest New Year,
Amber Lane Roberts
Owner & Photographer
Amber Lane LLC