Whichever business you’re in, you’re going to face competition. The question is whether this is something to be feared of something to embrace. Oh, and how does one go about making a difference? Planetfem Business spoke with Kimberley Bosman of Elm and Bloom Wedding photography to learn more about the business of wedding photos.
An added advantage
Kimberley’s approach to her business came about after an interest in documenting life matters combined with a desire to help people. After being asked by a friend to take photos at their wedding, Kimberley took up the offer but was surprised by the responses she received
“ […] I was happy they asked me, but didn’t think much of wedding photography. When photographing the wedding day I was able not only to use my style of photography but also made people very happy with my images.”
Photography isn’t just photography. The industry has many niche areas that include people, portrait, fashion, lifestyle, wedding, journalism, events, sports, action, as well as varying styles – black and white, high contrast, HDR and several more. The type of photography one needs will depend on what is being photographed as well the emotion the client wants to remember from the photograph. Bosman adds “I offer personlised bespoke packages to all my clients helping to work with just what they want and not just what I offer.”
The challenges photographers face
Competition, marketing and financial issues are the main challengers for (small) businesses but there often lurks a more subtle and sometimes destructive venom in their heads which can also effect the running and performing of the business, namely, Self-trust. The link between the feelings we have of ourselves and our business lie close to each other. The ability to ask for help when needed is essential if we are to transcend our insecurities. Kimberley adds
“Working on my own and trusting what I am doing has been my biggest challenge, however I am not scared of asking for help. It’s always good to reach out to people around you within the same industry and ask questions. I also ask my clients to fill in a feedback form knowing that they are happy or feel like they are getting a good service. This helps me to trust my feelings more and more”
Elm and Bloom Wedding Photography has ambitions for the future. The current set up is Kimberley as photographer and advisor but Kimberley wants more. Her plans include expansion through working with other photographers but she’s also planning on going online and developing workshops broadcast via YouTube. Kimberley –
“Having a successful company to me is when your dream becomes a reality, when you have a good hold of the rains and have control over your progress.”
Working for yourself and on your own isn’t easy. Having a sound board is great for discussing new ideas so where does Kimberley find her inspiration and mentors?
“I am always reading new material and looking at other entrepreneurs or photographers. People I am looking at, at the moment are Jasmine Star, Teal Swan, Marie Forleo and Alex Beadon. I watch Youtube and read books and blogs.”
Insecurities create mistakes
The mistakes we make aren’t always external. As small business owners we tend to look at mistakes as the things we do and decisions we make that have a messy ending, but according to Kimberley, self-doubt was the biggest mistake she’d made and one that stopped her from moving forward and taking the leaps to her next steps.
Her tip to readers is this:
“Recently I was told that stating a business is like a canyon, a big U shaped canyon, you start out your journey fully packed with all the essentials and a clear vision of your road ahead. But as you go into the canyon to the lowest point of the U, you start to run out of water lose your way and wonder, Why did I even start this journey in the first place? However eventually maybe after one, two or five years you will start to see the path clear again and you will find a water line and will start to slowly but surely come out of the canyon and you will remember why you started. If I had been told this 2 years ago I believe it would have been a little easier on me”
As mentioned in our article about business plans, Kimberley also created a business plan for company Elm and Bloom and gives a fresh perspective on it “Yes, I started writing one but this has changed over time and you don’t have to stick to your first plan you write. Things expand and grow. I decided to write a plan as this helped me carve out in my mind what I was aiming for.” Indeed, a business plan is a great way to give yourself a starting point. Business plans do change, as we do, as our businesses do, but being able to ‘carve out’ what is in our heads – our concepts, ideas, visions is place to start all businesses.
As a final question, we asked Kimberley to tell us the one thing she could benefit from in the form of help, advice or something else, to give her business a boost in the direction she’s heading in?
“It is always difficult coming to a country where you do not have friends, family or a network of people to help you with word of mouth referral or to find the right places to market your business. I would love to have a network of people to help me with this”