Settle down at your computer (or with your phone or tablet or laptop!) for a lovely update with Small Business Chat interviewee Ingrid Abraham of Candid Creativity. We first met Ingrid in May last year, and when I asked where she wanted to be in a year’s time, she had exciting plans: “I’ve had photographs published in national newspapers and magazines, but I want to be more established closer to home, exhibiting at local wedding fairs and to being the preferred photographer for a few local event promoters. I want to see my work regularly appearing on clients’ blogs, websites and social media. I’m also a qualified teacher, so I want to set up regular photography workshops aimed at teenagers.” So, how have things gone since then? Read on to find out!
Welcome back, Ingrid! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Yes. In many ways I’m further ahead because some unexpected bonuses have occurred.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
I have a business mentor who helps me with marketing and a photography mentor who helps me with the technical aspects of photography;
I have a monthly newsletter which is aimed specifically at commercial clients;
Since January 2014 I’ve been working on a personal project based around portraiture, which has been featured on the London Photo Festival Blog;
A local community radio station – East London Radio – have also featured me on their blog and I am their official photographer;
I won 3 awards for portraiture from the Guild of Photographers and this too was featured on the East London Radio blog;
I became a photography practitioner for the National Citizen Service – teaching photography to local teenagers during the summer break and getting them more involved in the community;
I was the official photographer for the International Women’s Day Event at Waltham Forest Assembly Hall, attended by well over 1,000 women from all over East London;
I secured my first international booking – a family from Chicago booked me to photograph them while they were on vacation in London.
I’m still photographing portraits, weddings and events and still evolving as both a photographer and a businesswoman.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
Do what you love, which may differ slightly from the work you are usually paid and known for. However, these personal projects can open your work up to a wider audience, resulting in more bookings.
For example, I love photographing food but would never promote myself as a food photographer, which is a completely different niche to portrait photography. However, I offered to volunteer to take pictures for a local cookery school, and this way all of their patrons are now being introduced to my services as a portrait and wedding photographer (and I’m having fun while doing it!).
Any more hints and tips for people?
Start a blog – It’s great for SEO and gives people an insight into your thought processes. It shows the personality behind the business and educates people about what you really do, which is sometimes different to what they think or assume.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Qualified in portraiture with the Guild of Photographers, more personal projects, self-publish an e-book.
Wow – Ingrid’s certainly achieved her goals and then so more. I love that she’s got mentors set up – I have been enjoying mentoring a couple of colleagues in my line of business, and I’m excited about plans to put together a workbook to go with my business books to help people to mentor themselves through the processes – you can’t beat having advice from someone who’s been there and done it. I’m pretty sure that Ingrid will be exactly where she wants to be this time next year – and I’m looking forward to finding out what else she has achieved in that time!
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.