We had the good fortune of connecting with Ilona Gorokhovskiy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ilona, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
One of the most difficult decisions I had to make was to raise my prices to be level with my CODB (cost of doing business). I knew that going up in price probably meant I couldn’t serve a lot of the amazing clients I had once served, but it was vital for the health of my business and my own boundaries that I wanted to set. Raising the prices of my services (photoshoots) invited me to work with clients who valued my work and perspective and even took time to save up for shoots with me. In return, I could take on less clients and give them 100% instead of spreading myself thin. This HARD decision helped me grow dramatically in my art and skill, and value myself and the type of memories I can create for my clients. It was a hard decision that was pivotal to my business growth.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am captivated by people and their relations. After a shoot I had with a couple that was struggling with fertility, but still wanted to capture the season of waiting, I realized what my word was. JOY. You see, joy comes from the depths of souls. You can be joyful even in seasons of defeat and being downcast. Happiness is quite different and more circumstantial. HAPPENINGS = What is currently happening, HAPP-Y. I don’t care to just capture people momentary happy moments. I want the hard stuff too, because there can be joy found even in suffering and I want my people to know that and not be afraid of doing a photo-session in their hard seasons. It seems like we as a people are always waiting for the right time, to look the right way and be at the perfect weigh, and have something special to announce, before they can book a session. Thats not right. There is so much beauty and joy in ordinary life, through the suffering too. Lately I have photographed couples with infertility struggles who are NOT announcing any new additions to the family, I have captured a couple whose husband received a terminal diagnoses, a family who lost their baby in womb and are grieving over her, and a family whose grandmother had only weeks left to live. There is so much to say about life in those kinds of shoots. They are painful and have still have aspects of joy to them.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
DFW is such an incredible place for weekend getaways. I would have to show my visitors the most touristy cool spots like the Fort Worth Stock Yards. I love walking through the Dallas and Fort Worth Botanical Gardens. And shopping at North Park. Outdoor shopping and eating at Legacy West in Plano.
Im located in Denton so I would have to take them to Barely and Board for some steak and burgers. My favorite coffee shops that make in house flavors are West Oak in Denton and Edison in Flower Mound.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I took a “business” photography course from Tonie Christine called “Blaze” several years ago. This course changed everything for me. I went from charging so little just to book clients, to recognizing that my creative photography is an art and charging “what Im worth”. It helped me look for clients that would also see my value. It helped me to focus on being excellent in what I do.
I have to mention my husbands unwavering support and encouragement as I took leaps in my business. He has always stood by me and advised me on so many of the moves I made. He helped me see what I had to offer and encouraged me to create an online course to share with my people all that I have learned.