When I started my photography business last year I jumped straight in without a plan, stuck a website up and just went for it. I didn't even consider anything about branding, the business, my market audience, my style, what I wanted to achieve...the list goes on. It was basically just an online portfolio without any message to potential clients. Looking back now as I am sitting here a few clicks away from launching my new website, it really makes me shudder and think "what on earth was I thinking". But like many photographers just starting out, I thought it was all about the images and the business side wasn't as important. HOW EMBARRASSING - I know. I knew something wasn't quite right and I had a lot to do, but I suppose it was a good way to just get my name out there and start my 'professional' photography journey.
I went to the Photography Show in March this year at The NEC, I was very excited to learn and pick up some great tips. Little did I know it was probably the best thing I could've done. My first day there was when I discovered the amazing Wedding & Lifestyle photographer Kate Hopewell-Smith. I think it was one of the first talks of the day and I remember walking out from the room feeling dizzy, inspired, mesmerised and pumped. I felt ridiculous but excited! I straight away looked up all of her talks and made sure I attended them every day. Kate talked about Lifestyle photography, the business, pricing, branding, composition, so much that I hadn't even thought about but once I was actually hearing it I had a lightbulb moment. I couldn't believe how inspired I was after hearing someone talk for 30 minutes. I came home knowing that the person I wanted and needed to learn off was Kate.
To cut a long story short I started a mentoring programme with Kate wherein we spoke mostly about the business and how to find my brand. It seemed I knew exactly what I wanted once I was asked the right questions. I had all my branding made by The Autumn Rabbit who I discovered from the wonderful Pinterest. We worked together and after me asking myself millions of questions this is what was created.......
However I learnt that a brand isn't just 'a logo', that is just a part of it which is made up of you, the messages you want to give off and the audience you want to attract. Once I learnt more and more everyday, there was another thing I needed to consider so it's actually taken me six months to put this website together. That isn't because I am terrible with computers it's because I care (& I'm a perfectionist). I just kept discovering new things and knew I needed to find my feet and give it time to breathe before I did the "here is my website" again. So I would like to thank everyone for being so patient with me, The Autumn Rabbit for my beautiful branding and Kate for opening my eyes.
So now after blood sweat and tears I'm ready to launch! But this is just the start and I will never reach a point and think I know everything about photography, cause that's ridiculous. I feel privileged that I have been able to second shoot a wedding with Kate and I'm looking forward to being a model for her in October for the Winter Wedding Training and learn from the best! This proves that if you want something you can make it happen. I knew coming home from the photography show that's what I wanted and it happened, and I'm so glad it did because it's opened my eyes and I now feel proud when looking at my website, which is very important.
I read a brilliant quote yesterday so I will leave you with this. Oh, and if you have managed to read down this far - thank you for reading the first post on my new blog!
"Great people do things before they're ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you're afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that - that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that's really special and if you're not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself."