Since starting my business full time in early 2020 (I know, terrible timing, right?!), I have fallen into branding photography. And it’s been a very welcome fall! My focus has always been families and weddings and the idea of taking headshots professionally or helping people create and sell their business brand hadn’t really crossed mind, despite taking them for colleagues at my old company. That is until my best friend started her own HR consultancy and wanted some images for her website and socials. Of course I obliged, and we had a lot of fun in the process and I realised that I could do this for small local businesses as part of my work. I did more headshots for friends and slowly built up my portfolio and confidence in this area.
I’ve come to discover a real passion for branding photography now, and I’m a huge advocate of shopping small and local – partly as a result of Covid, but also because I’m a small business myself. I know how amazing it feels to make that booking or that sale, that you do a little happy victory dance in your head. I also understand the importance of referrals, recommendations and sharing events – this is how I get most of my work and I love the feeling when I share my experience of a business and can see them make new connections and sales off the back of it.
I can’t express enough how important it is to me to support small local business. Small business owners know they have to show their face in a competitive and visual market, but they don’t necessarily feel comfortable doing this. Let’s be honest, you just want to get on with the job you love and have been trained for! I love giving my clients the confidence and drive to show the face behind the business, and share photos that they can feel proud of.
Getting to know local businesses has been an unexpected part of my job, but also one of my favourites. I love hearing people’s stories and sharing the highs and lows of self employment, especially as a lot of the people I get to know are also Mum’s like me! Being a member of Buzz Hub Co has also been key to this. For the past year, Buzz Hub Co has been run by Corrine Wallington and it’s a fantastic community of local business owners. Corinne’s networking events are so relaxed and informal, it’s been the best way to meet people – I’ve met wonderful clients through the network and done a collaboration. Lots of these people I genuinely now call friends and hang out with them in non-work situations! I never dreamt that in my 40s I’d been making such great friends!
Anyway, when Corinne said she was putting an event on for International Women’s Day, ‘Female Founders Rise’, I knew it was going to be something special and I wanted to be a part of it. So, I took the opportunity to offer my services at the event with mini headshot sessions. It seemed like a fitting time to celebrate women in business, embrace what we do and get some fresh headshots. Although not a full branding shoot, it gave people a chance to get some high quality photos and in some cases, experience getting a professional headshot for the first time. They were just 5 minute slots at the cafe venue in Berkhamsted so nothing intimidating and you could choose 3 images from your final edited gallery. I had 6 awesome women participate and I was really pleased with the results.
“Tanya made me feel so at ease (even surrounded by a room full of people) and gave great instruction when I had no idea how to stand or where to put my hands! Having this type of opportunity at an event was so handy and a great way to top up photos for my social content.” Sam from Gab Marketing.
I also took event photos for Corinne (as she hopes to hold further events like this in the future). It was great to catch the speakers in action and get audience reactions. The event itself, got such positive reactions and we all left with our cups very full! There were three incredibly inspiring speakers: Adele Wimsett, women’s health practitioner from Harmonise You; Ruth Gilbey who is a business and marketing coach; and Suzy Reading, author and psychologist. Adele spoke to us about how your cycle can affect your productivity which all seemed so obvious once she said it, but was real light bulb stuff. It was something I know a lot of women in the room will be looking into and tracking more closely. Ruth got us uncomfortable about our relationship with money in order to get us more comfortable and really question our worth. Suzy inspired us to rest to reset and explained that rest doesn’t mean sitting around doing nothing and that it can take as little as a minute to rest and reset (I immediately bought her latest book and am loving it!).
As well as hearing the speakers we got the chance to mingle and make connections, plus eat a delicious lunch! The day ended with a lovely goodie bag from the Buzz Hub Co and a warm fuzzy feeling (despite the snow!). I’m already excited for what Corinne will be planning for the rest of the year and in 2024 for IWD.
If you’d like to know more about The Buzz Hub Co, you can check them out here https://thebuzzhub.co/