Home Empowering Tuscaloosa Expatriate Ines Schaefer built thriving Portraiture business by living American Dream

Expatriate Ines Schaefer built thriving Portraiture business by living American Dream



Ines Schaefer is 41 years old, married and mother of two boys and is a Portrait Photographer. Her journey is quite an interesting one living for three years in Tuscaloosa as an Expatriate.

She built a thriving business from the corner of her dining room by living the American dream.

“I want to encourage every human being to step into their own power and follow their dream by leading by example of how I did build my own brand into something so beautiful.”

We were able to catch up with Ines to learn more about her and her business!




What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?

Well, my biggest motivation to start a business was honestly to not get in trouble with IRS and make my business legal during my times in the States- which was a side business only back in that time. And then of course the request of my clients motivated and inspired me to branch out and really take that leap into a legal business- and I will forever be grateful for these people.

Tell us about what you do.

I am a portrait photographer specializing in magazine styled Portraiture for everyday women and Personal Branding for small businesses. My Studio Service provides the full service of Styling, professional Hair and Makeup, Guidance throughout the entire session to get THE perfect Portraits of my clients and of course the finished heirloom products to display their gorgeous self in their homes and offices to remind them that they are perfect the way they are.

No need to drop pounds or to get younger or anything like that, I focus on capture the essence and inner Beauty of my clients and wanna show them the best version of themselves.

Are there any specific awards, certifications or accomplishments you’d like to highlight?

I am actually working on earning my accreditation as Associate Portrait Master and could earn several bronze merits for my Studio work this far. I am  also proud to have been able to create a sustainable business out of my tiny Dining Room in Tuscaloosa into a Studio share in downtown Tuscaloosa and now a DREAM space in Germany over the past two and  a half years.



What has been your biggest challenge so far?

My biggest challenge was for sure to close my doors in Tuscaloosa and move my entire business to Germany. It was heart wrenching to push back on inquiries, that wanted me to take their portraits before I leave, therefore I decided to come back to town for requests and Glamour Sessions to not let “my Town and it’s wonderful people”  down- just because I truly believe from the bottom of my heart, that every woman deserves to exist in a portrait.

That is my mission with my Service – no matter where on earth God takes me.

Tell us about the move and how you’ll still work with people in Tuscaloosa

Haha, well… I am still working on it. I was able to settle in a beautiful little town and find my DREAM studio space there, literally just a stone’s throw away from our new permanent home- I’m a lucky duck! My Studio concept is pretty new to Germany just as it was to Tuscaloosa back then, so it’s still some sort of getting out there to get to be known with what I do and what I provide, but I am very confident it’s just a matter of time until this unique and special service will be known and clients spread the word.

For Tuscaloosa, Ines Schaefer Portraiture will be back in town in August and is booking personalized Glamour Sessions (or Personal Branding Sessions) between August 13th and 17th.

How do you distinguish yourself from competitors?

You would need to ask my clients about that one, haha- I believe its the service around her coming to my Studio and being pampered for a day and feeling like on a red carpet and like a Goddess for a Day? That is pretty much what my team and I do for my clients.

Providing a Day full of pampering and making her feel and look like a million bucks is goal of a Glamour Session- and taking the best portrait that she ever saw of herself.

And many clients throughout the States and Germany have proven that I am capable of doing exactly that- empowering women to accept the shadows and fill them up with their own warm light and embrace this transformation and find the power in her own voice.


What is the best advice you’ve received lately? What advice would you give to an entrepreneur or new business startup?

Stop focusing on others-  only YOU are limiting yourself.

What is a good book or article you’ve read lately?

That would be “The Go-Giver” by Bob Burg & John David Mann. Fabulous little story about a powerful business idea- because sharing is winning and I feel that everyone benefits from sharing their own experiences and by building a community instead of competition.

Is there anything you’re currently looking for help with for your business or future goals?

Actually yes- that would be to SPREAD THE WORD  about the Service, my brand provides for every women- because every woman is entitled to feel beautiful! The main purpose is to help them to exist in portraits they absolutely love and to encourage them to love themselves just like the people around them love them the way they are. I truly believe, that this kind of empowerment is super important in these days of social media and all the things going on in this world- and how much better of a role model would ever mother be for her child, if she could just embrace her beautiful self and love herself for who she is and let her own light shine on others- no matter the size, the race, the origin. Just for the beautiful human she is. And that is the entire purpose of “Ines Schaefer Portraiture”.

Are there anything you’d like people in Tuscaloosa to know about?

YES! Ines Schaefer Portraiture will be back in town in August and is booking personalized Glamour Sessions (or Personal Branding Sessions) between August 13th and 17th. So if you feel like your mother, sister, spouse or whoever is dear to your heart should experience a one of a kind day just for herself, contact me. Because you know, she deserves it! And  we are creating a legacy that will be cherished for decades to come!

What’s the best way to reach you?

You can reach me on many different ways: either by email to hello@inesschaefer.com or PM me through my Facebook (@inesschaeferportraiture).  For those in Tuscaloosa, Facebook will be the best way.