Seven years ago, I started Louis Pang Photography from a vacant bedroom in our house in Tawau. I was the janitor, dispatch, receptionist, photographer, retoucher, album designer, customer service manager, all roll into one. I had to! Nobody else cared about the brand and photography as much as I did, so I thought. It wouldn’t be pure art & romantic if I didn’t do everything. It would be commercialism!
Before long, I was way behind in my production. I couldn’t meet deadlines. I was backed up on emails, making anxious bride even more anxious. This was not artistic or romantic at all. It didn’t take long to see my idea of being artistic was just faulty thinking.
Jasmine quit her job and we founded the company together. She is everything I am not. Organized, punctual, and methodical, or rigid, I would allege when she wouldn’t agree with me. We fought like dogs and cats. It was a mistake to work with your wife, I thought. Yet, I grew to admire her abilities, depended on her and counted on her to have my back. I learned to see my own limitations. Do you know most artists have big egos and think we are somehow more special? Well, Jasmine bursts my bubbles. I can’t run the business without her. We shared the good and bad, bouquets and brickbacks, fame and shame.
Business grew some more and quickly, it was beyond Louis and Jasmine. We brought in more people, train them, setup workflow and system, empower them and trust them. Today, we have a team of six in the studio. Just as I depend on Jasmine, I rely on the team.
The brand grew from a one-man band to a team of six. Yet one IDEA remains unchanged. We want to deliver top notch service, beautifully and promptly, with integrity. It was impossible to deliver this idea alone, by one man. Remember how I thought I was the best janitor, dispatch, receptionist, photographer, retoucher, album designer, customer service manager? It was and is not true. We have dedicated personnel in each of these positions and they are 100 times better than me, well except for the position of photographer Even that is going to change soon.
Over the years, many people told me that I must have an army of photographers if I wanted to make money. I was and am stubborn. I believe profitability is the end result of doing the right things. Hiring right is far more important than hiring. Anyone joining the team must be of the right fit to the needs, values & culture of the studio. They must be able to deliver the IDEA that Louis Pang Studio embodies. And I think we have finally found the right people.
A great idea is more important and powerful than one man, even the man who founded this photo studio. Stay tuned…