London Portrait and Event Photography ... Changes Ahead

October 02, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

GanderStickmanGanderStickman

If you read my About page you'll notice Item 7 ... I won't tell you what it is just yet you'll need to click the link to find out ..  Hopefully you did just that because now you're going to find out either way .. until recently photography was a sideline to a City job.  I'm what's known as a weekend warrior.  Increasingly it has been both harder to work 7 days a week and not to start to resent the photography ... and that's a shame because when you can do the things you do for fun in a more official capacity well you should do it in a way to maintain the fun.

By way of a bit of history ... I've worked in the City for nearly 20 years in that time I've worked for some of the world's largest banks, 20140806_18345520140806_183455 seen parts of the world I never dreamed I'd get to, and got to them in style.  I have also however been made redundant a number of times.  During the last stint on the couch, once the garden was neat and tidy and all the decorating complete a strange piece of fortune came my way.  A friend of mine rang and asked me to take some family pictures in the garden prior to a function taking place.  Nothing fancy just she knew I was a keen photographer and if I was taking them at least all of them would be in the picture too.  So I picked up my humble holiday camera, which incidentally still comes out from time to time, and wandered up the road.  For around 45 mins I was arranging and rearranging, shooting and directing, creating something and using what I knew to the best effect.  

Gander Photography 351Gander Photography 351 Once done I came home sat back down on the couch and started to think.  We had spoken previously about persuing photography in one way or another, but this time the simple statement was "If I don't do this now I never will and I don't want to regret missing an opportunity 5 years down the line".  To her eternal credit mt wife agreed with me and also agreed to let me spend some money on what is by the standards of my current kit bag contents, quite humble equipment.  After all if this didn't work out I was going to be left with a nice camera and not a big bill I couldn't afford to pay off.

All of that was a little over 3 years ago ... the photography has grown though it's not a full time job yet and in that time I have shot a 2014-01-26 19.12.332014-01-26 19.12.33User comments great number of portraits, bat and bar mitzvahs, a few new born and maternity shoots and wedding portraiture, I even managed to sneak in a Corporate Headshot shoot day for the day job.  I have also had the opportunity to meet people I would not normally meet, attend events I would not have done otherwise and I've enjoyed every minute.

More importantly for me I've treated it as a business, invested in the right kind of kit ( with only 1 or 2 minor mistakes along the way ), transformed my spare room into a full photography workstation and developed a style all of my own.

 

2014-02-09 11.10.272014-02-09 11.10.27User comments

Being a business owner and photographer is about 5% photography and 95% everything else, websites, post production, training, client meetings, advertising etc etc.  Right at the beginning I used some of the skills from the "Day Job" to define a 5 year business plan that was some way towards working out how to earn enough to feed the family.  It's not been too bad and the sales curve isn't too far off. 

 

Either way it's year 3, a few years ahead of where the business plan predicted independence from the day job, and once again I'm without a day job.  This time though I have something else to do, something else to work towards and a hunger to make a change.  Whilst I will still have to suppliment photography income for a while I current available for weekday work both day time and evening ... I'm willing to travel near and far and cover personal and corporate needs.  Fingers crossed this next period of growth will push the speeding train along and the tracks to full independence will be laid ..


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