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Headshot Photographer Aliyah Dastour Builds a $500K Business from $37 Starting Capital

Aliyah Dastour is a professional headshot photographer based in Loudoun County, Virginia. She is the founder and CEO of Alimond Studio, which offers headshots and lifestyle portraits in Leesburg, VA & Sterling, VA. Aliyah is also a trainer in DMV at Alimond Studio. A true marketer at heart, she is obsessed with all things efficiency-based, storytelling, and media-centric that help connect and highlight the good in people.

Aliyah started her professional journey as a headshot photographer, where she perfected the art of capturing her clients’ personalities in their headshots. Within a few years of mastering headshots, she now helps other photographers open and build six-figure photography studios.

Over the last ten years and more than ten thousand happy clients later, she has discovered a tried and true system to extract and develop each person’s brand, sharing it creatively through photos on social media even when her clients aren’t aware of what their brand is about. Aliyah has served over 10,000 business owners and takes pride in capturing each person in a way that allows them to stand out and build a brand around their personality while looking approachable and professional.

Aliyah’s photographic success did not happen overnight and, in fact, took more than a decade of practice. She has been in business for the last 13 years and has opened up multiple studios in the Northern Virginia area. Aliyah stands out in the photography industry for her focus on headshots and, up until now, has made money serving clients versus just teaching and coaching. Aliyah adds, “We focus on our numbers without including physical products to sell like most high-ticket photographers and offer digital images.”

Today, Aliyah is excited about her business success. She effortlessly opened two studios in the DMV area and launched a community project, The Loudoun 100 Project. In addition, Aliyah has built a flourishing business as a studio portrait/headshot photographer and donated over $100K back to the community through nonprofits. An ardent and innovative marketer, Aliyah has made Alimond Studio’s name through marketing campaigns that everyone else in the industry was not doing. To stand out, Aliyah focused on serving first and donating time, energy, and money to local area nonprofits, and networking with a strong offer.

Upon inquiring about any lessons she has learned along the way, Aliyah stated she only wishes someone had advised her to hire people at the start of her career. Nobody cares if you’re the person photographing them or not—all they want is the

experience. She says she should have doubled down on putting together her CRM, marketing software automation, and building relationships in the community versus spreading herself too thin doing both the photography work and building the business. Aliyah advises new and aspiring photographers to build authority through their visual brands.

Aliyah has great plans for her businesses in the coming years. She dreams of over a thousand more photographers using the system she has built and utilized to help them reach the freedom she finally has in life. “I see myself traveling the world to build hospitals and orphanages to care for needy children. I’ve dreamt of building them since I was a little girl,” Aliyah concludes.

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