MOB Monday – Lani of Lillian Parker Photography
If you’ve been to a MOB NW networking meet up, you may have noticed Lani taking photos during the event.
Lani is the owner of Lillian Parker Photography – Family Portraiture and Intimate Portraiture with Lani. She was inspired to start her photography business after being disappointed with the “cookie cutter” poses, backdrops, impersonal feeling, and hundreds of prints they received from typical photography studios. Lani continues, “We also realized that there were so many cute little things that happened in-between those portrait sessions that we would essentially ‘miss’ because point & shoot cameras just weren’t great quality and camera phones were even worse.”
After receiving a DSLR camera from her husband for Mother’s Day, Lani began photographing the moments she felt were being missed between “official” family photos. She also began to photograph family and friends. “At some point, my best friend asked me ‘How much do you charge for family sessions?’ and it sort of caught me off-guard because I hadn’t thought of myself as a PHOTOGRAPHER. I realized that I was offering something to these families that they wanted, appreciated, and loved. I’ve been growing ever since,” says Lani.
She works on-location in the Portland area for both her family photography and her intimate portraiture. She explains, “My intimate portraiture sessions are done either at client homes or other locations that fit the needs of my clients and me. Sometimes that is a hotel or bed & breakfast, sometimes that is a forest/park!”
Although she grew up in Portland, she has also lived in Montana and Phoenix, and her dream is to own “a few hundred acres with a house that has a wrap-around porch and a 10-stall horse barn (filled with horses, of course) so I can sip coffee with the ponies in the morning and photograph beautiful people in the evenings.”
Lani says she wouldn’t call her dad her mentor, but credits him with much of her interest and talent in photography. “I remember him teaching me how to use his old 35mm before a school field trip to the Tacoma Aquarium in middle school and being so intrigued when my frames would come into focus as I turned the focusing ring on the lens. I was so obsessed with photography that every Christmas after that, I would get some sort of camera from my dad (disposables, polaroids, you name it!),” she says. Photography must run in Lani’s family because her dad is now a landscape photographer, and her sister is a contemporary art photographer!
Lani says her biggest struggle is the sheer number of photographers in the Portland area. “People have an overwhelming number of options and it is easy to select a photographer even before they reach me or have an opportunity to learn about me and the service I offer.”
However, instead of focusing on the competitive aspect, Lani chooses to support other photographers by learning as much about them as possible and referring clients who aren’t a good fit for her to them. She also focuses on the part of her business she is most passionate about. She explains, “The goal of my business is to earn a comfortable living, but the higher focus of my work is to provide a personal, customized service that families want to invest in as well as empowering individuals to realize how beautiful they are from someone else’s perspective.”
She recommends new business owners practice and never stop growing. Lani also encourages fellow photographers to support each other. “I want us all to be successful. But MOST IMPORTANTLY – know your worth and charge accordingly,” she says.
Lani loves to work with individuals and families who want personal, consultative portrait experiences and realize the value and importance of family portraits. For intimate portraiture, she wants to work with someone who is ready to celebrate their beauty and sensuality. She also loves to work with men and women who may not fully realize their beauty, but want to get outside their comfort zone, break down the barrier, and allow her to uncover their beauty.
She considers her biggest accomplishment to be jumping into her business feet first and ignoring the “can’ts” and realizing her worth.
Lani loves being a MOB because “I just love this group of motivated, accomplished, driven, and passionate women. I love that we can all share “pains” and wins in business and in personal lives! Does anyone know what it’s like to have a sassy toddler take over your entire household??”
Like most entrepreneurs, Lani loves her work. “I love that I could be hitting the 80th hour of work in the week and it doesn’t feel like I’ve put in 80 hours. I love knowing and controlling my schedule, my income, and my growth.”
Lani is offering MOB Alliance members an exclusive 20% BONUS on portrait products and a 20% discount on your session fee (excluding Weddings).
You can find Lani online at:
Instagram – @lpphotopdx