Faye Pfenninger, Owner & Boutique Photographer with Pfenninger Photography, started the business in 2019. Pfenninger Photography is a locally owned boutique style portrait photography that focus on moments that can be displayed on your walls instead of in your phones or computers. Pfenninger Photography is one of the Chamber’s women-owned business members.
Faye's husband bought her a professional camera in 2018 for Christmas and it changed her life. She grew a passion for it right away. She always loved taking photos of events in life and people in her life, but never thought of it as a career to pursue. Then, Faye's friends started seeing her work on Facebook posts and started asking her to do photos for them. It began as a hobby in fall of 2019 and grew to a business after having their daughter in October 2020. She began to really dig deep and self teach herself (with the help of her husband) in 2020 while on bed rest while pregnant. In 2021, she began doing it part time. While still working full time, she got a studio as her clientele grew.
Questions & Answers
What motivated you to start your own business? How did you develop the skills to start your own business?
My motivation is my husband, family, and friends. We have developed skills by researching videos and learning tutorials on our own. My husband will send me links and videos to watch daily. It kind of came natural for me as well. I like to be simple and natural with my photography and make it real. Also learning by doing it. At each session I try new things and learn new things just by trying things to see what works and what doesn’t. I have learned each session is different, not one session runs the same as the other. That is one thing I love about it.
What inspires your work and what sets you apart from everyone else?
My kids inspire my work, other kids inspire my work. Being creative is so fun and it is great to be able to use that creativity as inspiration for sessions. I have a passion for storytelling in sessions as well, that is why our Storyteller Collage is my favorite piece we have to sell, display and share with clients. What sets me apart from others I feel is that this is a strong passion of mine. My photography business is not just a career but a faith driven passion and God given gift for me to use while here. It helps me connect and relate to other women with things we have gone through. I have had 4 miscarriages in the last 6 years and that helps me connect with other moms in our Angel Baby Project we have. We like to connect with our clients in a sensitive emotional way, and it lasts forever. We accept anyone in our photo sessions, our motto is “Come as you are”. We love working with special needs children and families. Showing them there is beauty in trials and struggles. We connect on a real level and share love with our clients.
What makes your business stand out from other businesses in Bloomington?
We are here to get to know and grow with families in our communities. We are not a photography business that wants to just take your photo and be done. Yes, we need to provide for our family but we want our focus on loving these other families in the community as well. To give them a great, comfortable experience during the whole process, not just during the session. We want to keep in touch with our clientele families even after the sessions are over, and to grow with them. We want to support them in any way we can and make them feel special and loved. People need that now. Not just families. We are in a community with college students, some that don’t have family close by. So we want to reach out to them and help them feel special and loved while “alone” in a new world as well. That is why one of my favorite sessions to do is student headshots for IU Law and just get to know them as a person.
What has been your biggest success to date?
I would say our location is our biggest success. Being able to bring photography to families and individuals in a convenient location is a blessing. To be able to share our story and what we want to offer people on a daily basis.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Right now just growing to the point where I can support my family with a stable income. Growing our clientele to where we can be profitable. We know it will happen in time, we are only in the beginning years still. Trying to get the word out there about us and getting the recommendations.
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