training

BeDigital Northumberland Springboard Programme

In October I was selected as one of 20 women entrepreneurs in Northumberland to participate in the fully funded 'BeDigital Springboard Programme' which is a 6 month intensive programme of business mentoring, masterclasses, meetups and Google+ mastermind sessions.

As part of BeDigital a photographer and a video company visited to help create my story, it's interesting to be on the other side of the camera and feel what my customers must feel like.  I usually love to chat but I found speaking on video very difficult!

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Thanks to RJM Photos and MC Media for taking the time to come up to Berwick, it was a great fun day.

Here is the interview article that accompanies the photography:

"Hi Sarah, can you tell us about yourself and what inspired you to set up your business?

Hello, I'm Sarah, I have run a small business called Pictorial Photography in Berwick for 9 years now. I specialise in portraiture and photograph family groups in natural locations.  I also do professional business head shots for ambitious and creative individuals and I style themed backdrops for children's photo sessions in the studio.

I had wanted to be a photographer since the age of 14 after starting a beginners photography course at the local community centre, simply for 'something to do' as a bored teen in a small town. I soon became hooked on the magic of the darkroom and enjoyed photographing architectural details and dilapidated buildings. I furthered my studies at college with a graphic design and print background and went on to contemporary photographic practice at university. It was actually long after graduation that I discovered portraiture was where my passion really lay.

After studying I worked at Northumbria University Design School as an Apple Mac and photography demonstrator for 4 years. I helped students to realise their design and fashion ideas in the studio and demonstrated how to use specialist software to produce their work. After maternity leave I started to grow tired of the commute and wanted to spend time in a more creatively rewarding position that could work around having my own family. Employment in the creative sector is rare in a small town so starting Pictorial Photography seemed like a natural step.

What tips would you give other women who are thinking about setting up their own business?

Surround yourself with positive people. I am part of a very positive group of female photographers, which started on Facebook. We support each other with advice, ideas and encouragement. If there is a photography event or conference, we often meet up and go together - this is great as some of us might not go by ourselves, having the company of other female photographers is a real plus.

I'd also say not to be scared to ask for help - you can't do everything. For example, recruiting a professional copy writer to help with editing the text on my website saved a lot of time and enabled me to get across what I wanted to say in a much clearer way than I could have on my own.

We love your website and your studio looks fabulous - what are the benefits of the internet for your business?

Thank you! A lot of time has been spent in making my website easy to use and informative so that customers have a positive experience right from the start.

The internet also helps me run the business much more efficiently. I use tools like Eventbrite for managing online bookings, Paypal for taking payments and Mailchimp for creating and sending out newsletters. Sharing what is happening on social media is a great free way to keep in touch with my customers.

What are your future plans for Pictorial Photography?

Alongside what I already do, I have started to create online articles to help customers. I want to use the website to share lots of helpful tips, features and free resources. Currently I am writing an article on 'How to prepare your skin for a headshot session when you've only got one week to go'. This will make sure people get the most benefit out of their photography session. Providing more stuff online is something I'm passionate about and is an area I want to grow the business into."

 

Name of interviewee: Sarah Jamieson

Business name: Pictorial Photography

Website: www.pictorialphotography.co.uk

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/PictorialPhoto

Twitter:  twitter.com/SarahPictorial

Business type: Lifestyle Photographer

Location: Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

You can visit the BeDigital website to find out more about the other women HERE, there are also great resources for those thinking of starting thier own business or just getting a bit more 'digital'.

New strategy planning - it outgrew the folder!

New strategy planning - it outgrew the folder!

Carol from SPEAK's Profile Portaits

Archive Post

Carol and I met at a wedding fayre in Kelso earlier this year, I was fascinated by her zesty stand which featured a massive bowl of fresh, bright lemons.  Her stand was for SPEAK which offers professional workshops for individuals (including best men, fathers of the bride and grooms!) who want or need to successfully present themselves.


I chose to attend one of the workshops myself as public speaking is something I have had trouble with. This might seem rather strange to those of you who have attended a wedding I've photographed as you will know that I don't have any problem in standing up to direct a group of 200+ wedding guests into a group.  I guess it only overcomes me during 'set' presentations,  I think it all started at university - I'd stand up to do a talk and my knees would start to wobble, this would then move up my body to my hands, shaking the notes, eventually even my jaw would start to shake making my voice wobble, REAL,L,L,Y emb,arr,ass,ing, agggh!


Carol was brilliant, her experience and knowledge shines - she taught me how to express my ideas and to give information in a really clear way.  I'm actually looking forward to putting my new techniques and presentation into practice, something I thought I'd NEVER again want to do.

Here are some photographs from a portrait shoot Carol commissioned, the photographs will be used for advertising and promotion for the new SPEAK website and in publications featuring SPEAK.

Carol said:
"Dear Sarah, Thank-you, You take a good photo whether indoors or out, even though I was tired on the day, you capture my animated enthusiasm in a 'thoughtful' context.  You have real talent and wonderful eye."

Thank you Carol :)

Do you have trouble talking in public?  Visit http://speak.uk.com/ for more information on the workshops with Carol, I'm highly recommending them (incase you hadn't realised).