My ‘Meet the Maker’ blog continues and this is the final part of the series called My Photography Path. So if you’ve just stumbled across this individual blog you might not be aware that there are 2 previous parts to the whole series. Well, maybe you spotted the ‘Part 3’ aspect in the title, anyway you can catch up with Part 1 and Part 2
So far I’ve covered the first few years of taking up photography, first as a hobbyist, then as a freelance equine event photographer and more latterly as I branched out into portraiture too. Now I bring you up to speed to where I am today, in 2020.
Since I stopped doing freelance work at events my role as a photographer has grown and grown. Some thought I was mad to drop the event work, I knew I couldn’t carry on with it. I still do a few small events directly for myself, mostly fun rides as I can easily cover those on my own with the office set up that I have AND I’ve always got an immense amount of pleasure from watching horse riders simply enjoying their horse on a safe hack in parts of the countryside they wouldn’t have access to on a daily basis. Once I had the time to concentrate more on the equine portrait business things started to really go well. I was doing some dogs too. I love meeting horse and dog owners, they have such a wealth of stories to tell and every relationship is unique.
I mentioned in Part 2 that I’d been doing more and more commercial work by the start of 2018 and today this is very much the main direction of my business. I’m working with an incredible mixture of businesses and brands, creating images that give life to the products or story these businesses have to tell. The range of businesses does help to keep the challenges alive and me on my toes too. One of the best parts of being self employed is doing things in your own time or own way and if you want to change something you don’t need to really ask anyone! However, that’s also a bit of a downside as bouncing ideas off someone can be a really positive way to make some better decisions.
Growing as quickly as I have in the last couple of years has been helped by some specific business support networks I’ve got around me now. Fellow small business owners or entrepreneurs who can give me a bit of moral support, decision guidance or simple tips with specific problems when I’ve felt I couldn’t fathom something out for myself. It’s been invaluable for guidance and sanity too. Coffee over Zoom, FaceTime, Facebook Rooms is a great tool to have in business (but also we’ve all discovered now with Covid-19 to stay in touch with loved ones).
Those support connections have also opened up opportunities to some great clients too. As time goes on I get more and more passionate about brand stories, getting under the skin of a business in order to provide them with the best kind of images to complement what they do. Giving someone the visual tools to go on and do even better than they were before is an amazing personal feeling. My one aim in business is to get others to succeed.
As a result my office is filled with scribbled drawings or plans that relate to customer bookings. I’m no artist and they only make sense to me but as a visual person myself I need to jot and scribble for things to get their ‘place’ in my head. This year alone I’ve worked in this way with Tree Surgeons, clothing brands, leather brands, weavers, builders, jewellers, retailers, crafters, horse studs ands tables, accessory brands, those in hospitality, the food industry and I LOVE the diversity of it all.
One thing is for sure, gone are the days when you just picked up your camera, shot something for someone and created a lovely gallery for people to buy from…. today you need to be a whizz in so many areas. I’m SO thankful I have a partner who is just as capable as me at cooking the dinner, riding the horses or walking the dogs because the number of office based hats we wear is ridiculous at times so both being able to deal with ‘life’ stuff is such a relief! That said he can’t take a photo without his thumb appearing in it and I’ve never been able to stitch a hole in a shirt, let alone try and stitch leather.
From all of this gained knowledge and an understanding of what can be achieved I also now frequently find myself in the amazing position of being able to support, encourage or educate individuals too. I’m not the best of communicators but that’s something I’m working on. Standing up in front of people or getting on a Zoom style broadcast to explain how they could be doing things terrifies me but it’s so rewarding too. Such a surprise to be in this position though.
Me, the photographer with no formal training, training others in my chosen field in areas they can change.
Have a fabulous day
If you are looking for a photographer offering simple solutions with effective photography for your business then please do drop me a line today so we can chat about your needs and options.