Welcome back to another edition of Behind the Lens a blog series where I get to interview dope photographers and creatives in my hometown city of Jacksonville, FL. I enjoy meeting other creatives like me who are loving what they do and leaving their mark behind.
In this edition I interview Carissa Glanton, who many may know as the woman behind the lens of Diamond Eyezzz Photography. You may also know that Carissa has transitioned away from photography within the last year and into something much greater.
Have you heard of the Selfie Showroom in Jacksonville, FL? If you have great, and if not, this is your opportunity to learn more about it and meet its owner, Carissa.
1. What is the selfie showroom and how did you come up with the idea or concept?
The Selfie Showroom is a Selfie Museum & Photography Studio that accommodates for all levels of photo and video capturing starting with the smartphone. I came up with the concept after personally visiting a few selfie museums. I use to host small events called Queens Night Out with a similar concept and wanted to take it onto a larger scale.
2. Prior to the Selfie Showroom you did photography for 13 years. What prompted the transition/ pivot in your business?
I became very stagnate in my previous career and realized that the bad was outweighing the good. Essentially if I was to get really sick or injured it would bring my photography career to an end. I needed an exit plan that gave me the freedom to allow more volume of clients as well as to work more openly with photographer and creators in the community.
3. Do you ever miss photography or have any plans to return to it in the future?
I will always love the industry, however, I may not want to go directly back into photography. Once I have things operating smoothly I plan to pursue teaching, creative directing, or other positions in the industry.
4. How did you decide on the themes of the various set up? Which ones would be standard along with seasonal set ups etc?
I used a lot of concepts that my clients enjoyed with my photography work. I have areas for seasonal scenes and some will stay as signature scenes that I can transition occasionally.
5. Which set up is your favorite and why?
My favorite is the brick wall and gold bike scene. The wall was painted by @artofarcissa and the colors are so very whimsical.
6. How does running the Selfie Showroom compare to running a photography business?
The Selfie Showroom's operations are less complex than running a photography business. I feel it also takes the pressure off the visitors because they have the option to make content from off their phone without feeling judged.
7. What was the hardest part of getting everything set up, built etc behind the scenes in order for the Selfie Showroom to open?
The hardest part was permitting and inspections which pushed me back 2 - 3 months in my estimated opening.
8. Any advice for anyone else looking to pivot their business?
(If you are also looking to open a studio or small indoor space) I would highly recommend getting accurate estimates for the time it takes for inspections as that could possibly set you back extremely far on your plans. Or budget in a private inspector.
9. What's the biggest myth that people have about starting a business or being an entrepreneur?
I feel a lot of people are under the impression that opening a business means immediate success and it's not that simple. You will work harder than you've ever had before. My 13 years of photography was the same workload in the beginning as it was at the end and after all of that I decided to start completely over. This time I start from experience.
10. What's a fun fact about you that people may not know?
People may find it surprising that I am actually very camera shy. I feel more comfortable behind the scenes, thus why I'm a creator.
11. Introvert or extrovert?
12. Canon or Nikon?
13. Any last words of advice or any final thoughts you would like to share?
You owe it to your younger self to become the person you've always looked up to!
Follow Carissa & Selfie Showroom
Selfie Showroom Website: https://selfieshowroom.com
Selfie Showroom Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theselfieshowroom/