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Community Highlights: Meet Sylvia Runyon of RP Studios

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sylvia Runyon.

Hi Sylvia, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I am a California native (high desert area) that ventured off to the military after high school. I joined the United States Marine Corps. Bootcamp at Paris Island, SC was the first time leaving my hometown. Towards the end of boot camp, we are told what field/occupation we would be assigned to.

I found out that I was going to be trained in the field of photography and be a Combat Photographer. This is where I picked up my first professional camera which became the foundation of my photography career. I served for a little over 4 years at Camp Pendleton, CA. I was one of the first female Marines to be implemented in an all-male division unit.

We worked with military units from artillery to providing imagery for military change of commands and worked with outside government agencies as well. I will be forever thankful for the time that I served and for the amazing mentors and friends that instilled great knowledge in leadership, integrity, and commitment to what we did for others. These values hold true to everything that I do in life and in my business.

My business officially began in 2000. At this point in my life, I was a new mother to a sweet little girl and wife to an amazing man I met while in the service. My husband received his first set of orders to Beaufort, SC., and started our venture as a military family. Our time in the military has taken us to Okinawa, Japan, California, New York, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Fast forward to today, Our two beautiful young ladies, ages 22 and 18 are both in college. My husband has retired from the Marine Corps and we have planted our roots in Jacksonville, NC. I am honored to have a brick-and-mortar studio after 20 years of traveling with the Marine Corps. It’s been a long time coming but I am excited to provide a space for my clients and for creatives in our area to rent the space for their clients as well.

I am a Portrait and Personal Brand Photographer that provides services for high school seniors and business professionals. I am considered an international portrait photographer with our time overseas and have been blessed to be published in magazines like Lipstick Magazine, Shutter Magazine, and Military Families Magazine.

I’ve recently been published and recognized in online publications like the Jacksonville Scene Magazine and images recognized by Shutter Magazine online and Photobiz.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely! As a business owner and being a military family, it was a challenge to pack up and move once I had an established presence in the location we moved to.

Having to stop the moving train when we had orders to a new state or overseas, made it a stressful moment as it was to start all over in the new location.

Some of the obstacles/struggles were getting reestablished and adjusted to the area, finding new clientele, and sharing what I offered in some very overpopulated businesses like mine.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about RP Studios?
Anyone can take a picture nowadays. It’s the experience of making each client feel special and cared for that no one can emulate.

I do my best in making sure each client is taken care of. I offer one on one consultations to listen to and discuss the vision they have for their session. From there, everything is customized to their needs. At the session, I make sure to have items they may need prior to their arrival. Once we’re done we connect again to review their images and follow up when their final prints and products are received.

I am known for my customer service and professionalism in the field. My mission is to lead with integrity, commit to what my clients need, and serve with love and compassion. I have over 20 years of experience and have been blessed to be published in several magazines and recognized in online publications as well.

RP Studios is a Personal Brand and Portrait Photography studio. We specialize in high school senior portraits, personal branding, headshots, and product photography for our business professionals.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I am a huge fan of connecting with people one on one (in person or online). I know there are so many online groups and programs that are wonderful, but they can make you feel like a small fish in a big pond.

There’s something so genuine about having a conversation and really seeing the passion in what others do come to life. Find someone who truly enjoys what they do and has time to connect to be a light to you and your business.

Make sure you are aware of your target market. Once you have this information down, you can begin researching for networking groups in your area that have the clientele you are looking for. I am thankful to be a part of our city’s Chamber of Commerce.

I have met many wonderful people that are also connected to wonderful people. Word of mouth is still alive and a very large portion of where my clientele comes from.

Get involved in your community.

Contact Info:

  • Email: sylvia@runyonphotography.com
  • Website: www.rpstudiosllc.com
  • Instagram: @rpstudios_nc
  • Facebook: @runyonphotographyllc

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