Why would quit someone full time corporate job at the start of a global pandemic?
That's the question I always get asked. Why? Why would you do that? & to be quite honest there are a lot of reasons why. The main one being my mental health. I worked in an environment that was really detrimental to my mental health which then started to effect my personal life so it was time to make a drastic change to everything and quitting was the only way.
Yeah, I did say "shit, have I done the right thing?" over and over. But honestly, this last year has been insanely wonderful for myself and my family. During the early stages of the pandemic, it meant that we didn't have to worry about childcare whilst the schools were closed which was a major bonus and during this time. I focused so much on learning about the stuff I never thought I would ever learn about. SEO? Like what the hell.
It had been a long while since I had properly used my camera & to be honest, it was really great to find my style again and really put my whole heart and soul into something. Not only was I starting a business but I was also using this as a sort of photographic therapy to help myself come to terms with my passed trauma. Which helped so much.
At first I started by taking my camera on my dog walks, capturing everything around me but it wasn't hitting the spot. I have always been into portraiture. Landscapes just don't interest me or hold my attention long enough. I love capturing people, showing true emotions and showing relationships. That's when I had to bribe the husband and child to get involved, then once I was feeling confident enough, I started to ask friends locally, if I could capture them and their families in their gardens at a distance. Then from there onwards, I have invested every single penny earned in upgrading my equipment & attending workshops to grow my style and portfolio.
Marketing the shit out of myself...
Okay, I have got about a bit over this last year. Shouting from the roof tops seems to be a talent of mine. I am constantly marketing myself. Constantly telling people what I do. Asking for features, speaking to vendors and venues and people everywhere. People have said "how the hell did you get featured so much?" it's basically just as simple as telling people who you are, what you do and what you've created. You might get a lot of no's but you might get a few yes' along the way.
It's not luck and to be honest, if you tell me I'm lucky I tend to correct them. It's hard work & dedication. Constantly learning, getting better, upgrading my kit and creating the most amazing experience for all of my clients.
Oh my god, I have so many ideas and plans to grow my business. But first, I need to kick off these weddings in August. I've got a lot coming up. I am so excited about and cannot wait to shoot every single one they're all so different. And continuing to study for my Masters in Photography which is so amazing, I've found it's really helping me grow within my business and practice. The understanding of having a vision, context and feelings. Being able to capture people in the most truest way, filled with emotion and getting to share them relationships.
I'm constantly striving for more, bigger things, I have a bucket list of shoots I want to create and locations I want to shoot at. This is really pushing me GET IT DONE. & Of course a major part of surrounding myself with amazing female role models and business bitches helps me daily.
3 things I've learnt whilst running a business;
Down Time Is Important!
This is often overlooked. Messages coming in late at night, enquiries via your website whilst I'm on a family day out or even a WhatsApp message early on a Sunday morning. It happens. && It's dead important for me to take time away. Oh my goodness, I struggle so bad with this.
Being myself is key!
The more I show myself, the more I get the clients that really get me. Being myself is key & the biggest tool to creating an amazing brand. People buy off real people and the only way you build trust is by being a honest and genuine person. It shows through. Don't try and be anyone else. Because people want YOU!
Never stop learning!
Grab every single free learning opportunity you can. Because honestly, you will learn something. And that something MAY change your business drastically for the better. Honestly, I attend as much free learning as possible & I can honestly say, I've not regretted any of it.