Lisa Boyle is a photographer based in Coventry and I got in contact with her through a mutual friend. She was very happy to help me out and we organised a phone call so I can ask her some questions.
The questions I prepared for was
- How she started out and decide on her career path?
- What was her first Camera?
- If she was looking to hire anyone what skills and qualification would she look for?
- If I was possible to gain some work experience?
She gave me amazing advice and the phone call lasted about half and hour and it was very educational. I learnt a lot from her and she has agreed to let me work with her and gain experience. I have also been advised from the evolve program to gain experience with a photographer and gain advice on how she runs her photography business.
She told me that she never studied photography but she always had a passion so she signed up for a photography course and built a portfolio from a lot of free work she did. She didn’t start her own business until she built her brand and logo for herself and was confident enough to make that step.
The first camera she bought was a Canon that is the standard brand for photographers other than Nikons. She advised me to buy a Canon body with a 50mm f1.8 and a 70-200 1.8 lenses and start by building my own portfolio. She gave me really good advice to identify my style of photography that will attract people to my work and why they would want to hire me. To be original and stand out from the many photographers to identify my own style will help me build a community of followers that have the same vision as me.
Then we moved on to her business and how I could start my own business when I was ready. She told me to do some market research to not undersell myself for the amount of work that I would be doing to be able to have a sustainable life. It is important to have a brand and she advised to go to a graphic design student to be able to not only build me a brand/ logo but it will also give them something for their portfolio.
Social Media is a great way to advertise so she advised me to create social media pages for my brand and stay connected and update regularly to be able to get noticed.She suggested for me to have my own website domain and gave me a few examples like go daddy, square space to have my own photography website.
The best advice she gave me was the lesson she learnt while doing her job so I don’t make the same mistakes is to have contracts. She told me to look at example contracts that I could send to clients so I can protect myself and to take a deposit right at the start so I don’t waste time if the client decides to drop out.
The most important are to have a professional reputation when working with clients because my image will be everything. I have to be passionate and that will inevitably show in my efforts of being a photographer. I should have a good working ethic and be committed, reliable and love people.
After that phone call, I know that I am going to learn so much from Lisa and I am proud to have her as one of my contacts and I will stay in touch.