Supporting a local business, how anyone can do it!

In this day and age where the world is surrounded by cell phones and computers, where finding a better deal is at the touch of a finger- even if it is a chain store or corporate store- a local business strives on the help from their friends, family, and clients/customers to help them out in order to survive. Unfortunately, the question is always the same: “What do I get out of this?”.

Think about it, recently, have you talked about a locally owned business unless you were getting a discount or a chance to get something for free? What happened to this word that we live in? What happened to helping everyone out instead of tearing everyone down?

The most common response a business gets is “I don’t have that kind of money right now” or “I would but your product/service is too expensive.” These responses are completely ok, and respected, as these business owners are not ‘rich’ and understand your struggles. Local businesses borrow money from their families, banks (if they are lucky), and search for other means of income/monetary help because these days it’s hard to compete with “Walmart’s low prices”- especially local artists, photographers, and musicians.

Artists, musicians, photographers, drafters; anyone who designs or creates something are highly overlooked with the ease for others to easily create ‘similar’ things themselves. These artists have lost their  though of what it means to ‘be worth’ something because they are constantly competing with someone who will always trying to be cheaper than them. For instance, a photographer like us will calculate our ‘worth’ cost, after considering our many years/hours of experience, schooling, research, cost of equipment and supplies, time on the field, and correspondence; but this is something that is overlooked by someone who is just ‘looking for a deal’ and they hire the first person who is $20 or less, most of the time being dissatisfied with the outcome.

Owning a business isn’t easy, and it definitely has it’s stresses. That is why I wanted to list 5 ways that you can help your local business- some will cost you money and some are completely free. There is something on the list for everyone! Please, remember to support your local businesses!!

But quickly, before I get into the 5 ways- please, please, please, remember…when you do any of the “5 ways” below, please do it in a positive manner. If you had a negative experience, or you just didn’t agree/like something, please just refrain from any of the below. Local businesses are most of the time either owned by 2 or less people and a lot of the time passed down through generations of family- by spreading negative, you can hurt that business owner, not only by destroying their self confidence but also causing others to not give that business a chance. If you have a problem with a local business, try to keep it private between you and the business owner- it’ll be appreciated!!

5 Ways to Help Support a Local Business

1. Talk about the business to your friends and family!
This is the best and most requested form of help you can give a local business. There are only so many people a business can reach by Facebook, newspaper, billboards (if they are able to afford them), etc. Everyone has a friend or family member. Even if that person may not use/go to that business, they may still spread the word to someone else. Don’t just assume that it won’t help, because it will!

2. Share the business!
This is a long the same route as #1, but more in a way that’s not direct. Share a business’s Facebook posts, hand out businesses cards/leave them at places (that permit it), play their music, hang their photos, etc. By seeing/hearing/using the business’s products, other’s will see it and ask you about it! (and please, do tell! 🙂 )

3. Buy something!
This one is easy! With my friends and family, if they are selling something, I try to purchase at least one small item. Or if I really like it, I’ll purchase more. In the same aspect with services- if you like a photographer but don’t have a lot of money, try a mini session they are offering at a discounted price.

4. Wear apparel/use items!
Some businesses give out/sell t shirts, pens, tablets, even candy! USE IT! Wear your shirt, use your pen- don’t just hide it in a closet or drawer somewhere.  

5. Offer to help out (as a family member/friend, without expecting compensation)!
This one also depends on the business, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that business owners get burned out and sometimes just need a small break. We have a few friends that help us by running effects or even just as simple as holding a client’s coat. Even just that little bit helps. And you are also helping that person by boosting their day that they get to talk to their friend/family member and show them what they do. 

I hope this helps to put a bit more perspective on “help your local business” and that this will help local businesses out a bit more. Please consider doing at least one of these once every month- you won’t believe how much of an impact you will make! 🙂

Why Is It So Different?

While thinking up a new topic for this blog (keeping up with a blog is not one of my talents), I was hit in the face with a topic.

I was driving home one day and I pulled up behind a car at a stop light that was plastered with bumper stickers from different vacations they and their family went on. Whether it was Outer Banks, or wherever they went (I didn’t pay attention to that much detail).
[this is not the car that I saw, just a Google Image.]
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What do you see when you pull up behind this car? What do you think about? I know what I see- Hawaii (hmmm might be cool to go there), Led Zepplin (I haven’t listened to that song for awhile…). Do you see what I’m saying? People who put these stickers on the backs of their cars may see these stickers as personalizing their cars- bragging that they’ve been to Hawaii or Outer Banks or another vacationing spot.
I personally have a Hello Kitty with a camera sticker on the back of my car. Do people think “this girl might be a photographer!”? Probably not, they probably see “OH HELLO KITTY! SO CUTE!”

Which brings me to another part of the car…
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If you’ve purchased a car, used or new, you most likely have this sticker on the back of your car. You don’t really think about it, because it’s not hindering you in anyway- but I know what I’m thinking. In my area “Blue Knob Auto” is very popular on the backs of cars. When I see those, I think “that place is really popular” or “maybe that’s where I should get my next car.”

How many of you use or carry these items on a daily/weekly basis?


Whether it’s a bumper sticker, an auto dealer sticker, a Sheetz cup, soda can or plastic store bag- it’s all advertising. You can’t look at a Sheetz cup without thinking about that Sheetz coffee you had earlier, a soda can without getting thirsty (especially on a hot day), or the groceries you need to buy when you see a shopping bag.

That brings me to my last question of this post…
If individuals don’t have a problem sharing their vacation, auto purchase, food/drink choice or store choice, why is there such a stigma toward photography watermarks?
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Watermarks ARE meant to keep people from printing the image (as many think) but the WRONG people. The people who don’t pay for the image rights (which is for another article) and the people who want to claim the image as their own.

But there is another reason for watermarks- at least this is the reason for us. We watermark (that tiny, annoying text mark in the bottom corner) because it’s our way of advertising, meeting people and booking new sessions.

Just like looking at the bumper sticker and planning your next vacation, the auto logo and planning your next vehicle, or maybe using advertising to influence your next coffee, soda or store purchase- why not let a photography watermark help to choose what photographer to choose for your special memory and event? Why not proudly show your photographer choice and share with others for their chance to have the same experience?

If you choose a photographer you’re not pleased with their images and feel the need to crop off their name/business name- just opt not to share the images. But if you are absolutely in love with your images, keep the name/business name visible to help the photographer keep their job and their dream.

The next time you may think about complaining, seeing that watermark on a friend or family’s photo session album, consider the can of soda in your hand, the car your driving, the gaming controller in your hand, and even the cell phone you are most likely viewing this on. You’re advertising for a corporate company (Apple, PlayStation, Coca Cola, etc). Why not help advertise for a small business who isn’t quite as well known as the ‘big companies’?

A Story of Us

There are many photographers in the world and there are many where we live, but usually you know the photographer by the photography, not the PERSON behind the camera.

I personally think that photographers aren’t treated as ‘people’, but rather ‘objects’. Let’s think about it- if you hire a photographer for your wedding, someone will ask you, “who did your photos?” and 99% of the time, you will reply “Victoria Lynn Photography & Wisor Editing” (or another photographer) NOT “Victoria & Andrew Wisor”.
We are very used to this type of mindset because it’s just what happens when you become a photographer.

In this blog post, I want to introduce you to Andrew and myself. Who we are as people, not business owners, not the ‘people who take your money’.

I need to start with where I began (I didn’t meet Andrew until later). (and of course I will give you the short version)

I grew up on a large apple farm in a small rural area of La Jose as an only child. My dad is a truck driver and my mom is a stay at home mom/wife with odd jobs on the side. I never had the newest things that came out, and had a lot of hand-me-downs for toys and clothes. I always had to work hard for what I wanted and always fight for what I believe in.

My parents homeschooled me from the time I could pick up a crayon until I graduated high school in 2012. I was introduced to the social world by being involved in 4-H, Fair Queen Court, county and local government, Relay for Life, and many more community activities.

My senior year of high school, I started talking to a guy friend of my current boyfriend (fast forward through all the high school, teenage dating drama)- and that following fall I started dating Andrew.

Andrew grew up in Clearfield with his parents like an only child, but with adult brothers who live states away. His dad has worked many jobs, one being a computer repairman for Clearfield Computers and a maintenance worker at the Clearfield Hospital. His mom was a secretary in a law office, but later returned to school to become a nurse and now works at Mt. Nittany Medical.
Andrew attended Clearfield Alliance Christian School from Kindergarten through graduation, where he was Valedictorian of his class (of 2014).

Upon my graduation, I purchased my first DSLR camera with my gift money from my graduation party. I didn’t have any high hopes of becoming a photography business owner because I knew it was a hard job and had a lot of competition. But I did know that I loved it and wanted to learn more about it.
When Andrew graduated, he also asked for his first DSLR as a graduation present.

I continued my education at DuBois Business College (2013-2015), obtaining an Associate Degree in Entertainment Production Business, an all-around degree for photography, videography, graphic design, marketing, etc. Andrew took to self-learning with online courses and book courses, as well as helping me study for my exams.

In late 2013, Andrew proposed to me, and we set our wedding date to be right after I graduated college so that we could work on our careers together and build our life foundation together.

In 2014 we attended a wedding for a classmate of mine (DBC) and we ended up shooting our very first wedding. And I LOVED it. That’s when our business started to develop.
For the remainder of 2014, Andrew and I would schedule about 2-3 photo sessions a month and maybe a wedding here and there.

The remainder of 2014 and half of 2015, I balanced school, occasional shoots and weddings and wedding planning- saving up to fund 90% of our own wedding. Our parents helped where they could, but it wasn’t fully funded by either of our parents, so we sympathize when brides talk to us about ‘saving money where they can’.

I moved into a small DuBois apartment that was just the right size that I needed while I was a student, and we then chose that we would stay there once I graduated.

I finally graduated from DBC June of 2015. My last term at college, I knew I wanted to be a photographer and videographer and nothing could stop me- not even the negativity I was receiving from everyone I told.

Literally TWO DAYS after my college graduation ceremony, I walked down the aisle to marry my best friend. For better or for worse, for richer or poorer. (and definitely more toward the “poor-er, but sufficient and happy” end).

The time between then (July 18, 2015) and now has been a complete blur. Once I stepped out of my cap/gown and my wedding dress, I accepted a new life. A life of compromise, low income, and extreme exhaustion to do what we absolutely LOVE doing.

When I talk about compromise, Andrew and I no longer have weekends to ourselves as “days off” like many can enjoy. Instead, Saturdays we spend 6-10 hours at someone’s wedding that we just met months ago or an event that we just learned about. When family and friends ask to hang out on weekends, we absolutely cannot. During the week, our time is spent editing photos and videos- and a lot of the time we eat our meals while we edit sessions. We have to schedule our own days off so that we can enjoy ONE relaxing day off a month, then go right back at it.

When I talk about low income, I don’t mean that we are poor- we get by. Our weddings pay our rent, our regular sessions pay our bills. We keep our prices low and affordable for those around us, because we know how hard it is to make ends meet, but we also cannot compromise too much because we have to make ends meet too. In most cases, we make $4 an hour.
Along with this, many see us as ‘young kids’ who can just charge a few bucks and get by, but really, we are just as adult as many older couples are. We pay rent, car/renter insurance, water bills, gas bills, internet bills, groceries and gas.
Andrew teaches piano on the side and I do odd jobs for my parents and others to afford the hobbies and past-times that we enjoy.
We even give an offering at church, donate to Relay for Life, St. Jude’s and other charitable organizations and charities. We purchase locally, spending more, but supporting those who are also like us.

When I talk about exhaustion, we spend Sundays chasing around little kids and wiping droll from little faces, pulling all-nighters editing when our computers decide to update at the wrong times to get discs out on time, balancing friends, family and work (sometimes doing all three at once) and like right now- it’s 4am and I’m introducing myself to you instead of going to bed with my husband.

Andrew and I are the only people who work in this business. From time to time we will have a friend come to see what we do, or help with a project, but none of them help us with day to day tasks of calls, emails, texts, messages, advertising, uploads, editing photos, editing videos, sessions, weddings, events, burning discs, signing papers, keeping contracts and agreements straight and filing them, keeping a record of business, filing a quarterly sales tax, taking shipments to the post office, purchasing new supplies (discs, paper, etc.) and keeping in contact with our wonderful clients, as well as corresponding with the ‘not so happy’ clients.

Photography is our passion and our love and we are so incredibly honored, appreciative and fortunate that our business has grown so much that it’s a full time job for us. Even through it can become tough with negativity and being run down from constantly going, sometimes we want to just stop and shut down the business- but we continue to power through it with the support of our wonderful clients that keep us going strong.

We thank each and every one of you for reading our story and we hope that it gives you a little more insight to who we are- a story to the face- and not just another photographer in the crowd.