When Jen McGlasson started her first business, she had no idea where it would take her. In November of 2008, McGlasson started a photo album designing company.
She said that while the business got off to a great start, soon after, the economy crashed.
“I kept it going to see if I could make it work,” she said. “I tried as hard as I could, and it just never really picked up, unfortunately.”
At that time, McGlasson decided to start working a part-time job to help cover the loss of income, reluctantly putting her business aside.
“My parents and my husband were so upset because I was a stay-at-home mom, and the business brought out my artistic side and helped me to be happy and keep going,” she said. “Then, I was looking at a job at a day care, and I met a mom who was deciding to quit her full-time job and find a work-at-home job.”
A new direction
McGlasson said she worked out a deal with the other mom to work on the album design business at home while McGlasson worked at the day care. The two women formed a partnership, and later that year, they decided to do a show together.
“The kids at the day care dressed in costumes, and we took pictures of them,” she said.
That show was what eventually led to McGlasson’s photography career.
“My husband and I were going to rent a camera for the show, but it was a better option to buy one,” she said. “I bought a beginner’s camera and took pictures of my daughter, capturing emotions and everything. I fell in love with photography.”
After that, McGlasson said she began to offer parents at the day care free sessions in order to get experience. When she began doing family sessions, she knew she had found her niche.
A career is born
McGlasson met Kelly Adler, the former owner of Adler Photography, in 2009.
“I came into the business as an album designer and was doing some designing for her,” McGlasson said. “I told her I do portrait photography on the side, and she asked if I would second shoot at weddings.”
She said the two became fast friends, and she was soon Adler’s main wedding photographer.
When Adler announced late in the year that she would be moving to California, the two women worked out a plan that would have put two branches of Adler Photography on the map. McGlasson would run the Missouri business, and Adler would run the California business.
“But then she got sick and was bedridden,” McGlasson said. “She asked if I would buy the company, so I did.”
What’s in a name?
When Patch asked McGlasson why she didn’t change the name of the business after Adler left, she said it was simple.
“I worked my butt off getting her name out there when I quit my first company and started focusing on hers,” she said. “Last year, I worked with mostly her clients, but this year I really gained a lot of my own clientele.”
She added that she feels blessed for the business she’s pulling in, and that she probably won’t change the name of the business because she worked so hard to get it out there.
Adler Photography today
McGlasson said that she no longer photographs weddings, except for family and friends, but she has added several other types of portrait photography to her list of services.
“I decided that since I really love portrait photography, I should stick with that,” she said. “I do boudoir, maternity, childbirth, newborns and kids, families, seniors, modeling photos, commercial and engagement portraits.”
She said that for the boudoir photos, she works on location at a local hotel.
“I want my clients to feel as comfortable as possible, so I have them come to a hotel room and set out wine and food,” she said. “We talk and I give them time to feel comfortable with me before we start the session.”
She said that it’s a two-hour session with unlimited clothing changes.
“I absolutely love it, and I do it because it helps to boost up their self-esteem,” McGlasson said. “It’s awesome to watch them start feeling good about themselves.”
As for the other kinds of portraits, McGlasson does both destination photography, as well as studio photography.
She has a studio in her home, and she has a list of park suggestions. She will also go where she is needed—so if a family wants portraits taken at home or in another local location, she will work with them.
“I want people to know I’m a Christian with a Christian background,” McGlasson said. “I’m very outgoing and I am always about pleasing my clients.”
She said that it “hurts her” if her client’s aren’t happy, so she always goes “110 times beyond” when it comes to providing the best portraits and customer service.
“I do a mini-marathon every October and then again in the springtime,” McGlasson said. “My mini-sessions are $100, but they will get $25 off, and this will include a free 8-by-10 print.”
She said a mini-marathon involves a one-day event where she takes clients all day in 20-minute sessions. During her October event, people came every half hour to get their portraits taken.
“It was a lot of hard work, but it was fun,” she said. “I’m going to have the next one probably in May.”
McGlasson is also offering a “sweetheart” event in January at her home studio.
“It will be like a Valentine’s Day setup,” she said. “You can bring in the kids and have Valentine’s pictures taken.”
The sweetheart event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 14. McGlasson is offering 20-minute sessions for $60. The price includes one free 8-inch-by-10-inch print and a DVD of 10 to 15 edited photos with full copyright permissions.
To learn more about Jen McGlasson or to schedule an appointment, visit the Adler Photography website.