Business Owner Q&A: Terry Estes of Signature Imaging

Terry Estes, owner of Perryton-based Signature Imaging photography studio, is a veteran photographer with two decades of experience owning a shop. We recently talked to her about her business and why she likes being a business owner in Perryton. Here’s what she had to say.

When did you get your start as a photographer?  
I started my photography business about 20 years ago. I had two sons (four and two) and wanted a way to make some extra income. It began in my home. Then, after about a year, I bought a storefront building in Ringling, a town in southern Oklahoma about the size of Booker. I eventually moved the business to Ardmore, Oklahoma.

When did you start Signature Imaging?
Three and a half years ago I married Doug Estes and moved to Perryton. I was glad to have a break, but after a few months here I was really missing it. I opened in the spring of 2009. I love what I do. It’s not just a job for me, but something I truly enjoy.

What all do you offer?
I offer indoor and outdoor photography of babies, children, high school seniors, families, weddings, and sports teams.

How have your business and professional skills grown over the years?
I’ve worked very hard at perfecting my craft, attending seminars, photography schools, watching instructional videos, and joining regional, state, and national professional photographic organizations. I’ve also learned a tremendous amount from entering regional and national print judgings. I was also president of two local professional photography organizations—one in Wichita Falls, Texas, and one in Ardmore, Oklahoma. I became one of the premier studios in Ardmore, Oklahoma, a town of about 28,000.

What do you enjoy about working as a photographer?
I love meeting new people. When people need a photographer, it’s usually for a happy occasion, so I get to see people at good times in their lives. I love getting to share in their joy and being able to produce a portrait they will treasure for a lifetime.

Do you enjoy owning a business in Perryton? If so, why? 
Yes, I do. While it’s been a challenge starting over in a town that is not familiar with my work, I have enjoyed getting to know the people here. I have found them to be so friendly and happy to help me grow my business.

What’s your secret to success?
I think there are two things. One is doing my best to give great customer service. The other is genuinely wanting to give customers the best photography experiences and final portraits they’ve ever had.

What are your future plans for the business? 
I want the people of Perryton and the surrounding communities to know about my business and the quality of work I have to offer. I want my business to meet the photographic needs of Perryton and the surrounding communities and to contribute to the economic growth of our community.

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