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When I first took the leap of faith to start running my own photography business I did so without any real funds behind me or knowledge as to how I was going to make it work. I just knew that I had to. I was a single mum with a four-year-old daughter and she was the reason WHY I had to make a success of everything.
When I look back now, I wish I’d had someone who had previously been in the same position. Someone who could have guided me, and helped me focus on my business and where I was going.
I know that it definitely would have helped me build a road map for my business and accelerated my success.
As I’ve always been goal focused, I understood from the beginning the importance of sticking to my objectives. But having some support and being held accountable for not sticking to my plan along the way, would have been really handy.
Thankfully as my WHY was strong, so too was my determination to succeed and I dug my heels in to get things ticked off my extensive to do list.
If the above sounds familiar to you and you’re starting out on your own business journey then having a coach could be the answer that you have been looking for.
So what other benefits do you get from having a business coach?
- It definitely saves you time. You can learn from the past mistakes of your coach, which not only saves you time but also money.
- It will increase your confidence and will help you see yourself and your successes in a new light.
- Having someone who is rooting for you will help you change your mindset into a positive one. They will champion you, help you overcome self-doubt and work through any issues that could be holding you back.
- Another thing that coaches can help with is to identify what’s missing for you to be the successful business owner that you dreamt that you could be.
- It will also help you improve your leadership skills and help you build the right team for your business. Not only that, but a coach will guide you when it comes to managing and keeping them.
- Having your own personal cheerleader can make a big difference to all areas of your life and as your overall happiness improves, so does your mindset and also your health.
Hopefully the above gives you more of an idea as to why having a coach can make a huge difference to your future success.
All of the female business owners that I’ve met have said the same thing; everything took off for them as soon as they invested in themselves and started working with a coach.
This week has been exceptionally busy and equally as rewarding. On Thursday, Plymouth College of Art helped me host the latest Women in Photography Conference. And I’m delighted to say that the event and the resulting exhibition were featured on BBC Radio Devon in the morning and BBC South West’s Spotlight news programme in the evening.
The conference has very quickly become recognised as the platform to showcase female creative talent in Devon and Cornwall, where passionate like-minded women come together to support each other to celebrate each other’s successes, learn from each other’s challenges and to empower each other to focus on solutions.
I have been organising these events every three months since 2016 and as a result hundreds of women have been inspired and encouraged by industry respected speakers.
An added bonus to everything that we do is that the proceeds go to local charities which benefit women.
SEE SOME THE AMAZING IMAGES FROM THE EXHIBITION ON THE EVENING HERALD WEBSITE.
I’m delighted that a big focus of the BBC South West Spotlight News piece was about the exhibition itself as when I launched it last year, the response was literally overwhelming. We received no fewer than 400 entries from local female photographers. It has been such a wonderful way to be able to showcase the extraordinary talent that we have across the South West. Shortlisting the images which would be on display, and then be sold in our Etsy store was no mean feat. It took a panel of xxxx and xxxx to whittle down those 400 entries to just xxx.
WATCH THE VIDEO FROM THE BBC SPOTLIGHT TV APPEARANCE HERE.
I’m a firm believer in focusing on community above competition and collaborating as much as possible with other local companies and entrepreneurs wherever possible. There are too many people to thank for all their help in making the Women in Photography events, a success.
But I would like to give a special mention to Jane Prior from Plymouth College of Art and the Women in Photography Community for their input, guidance and encouragement to help make these events what they are.
I hope that you enjoy the interviews…
LISTEN TO OUR BBC RADIO DEVON INTERVIEW ON SOUNDCLOUD.
Here are some Photos By Margo R Goska from the Women in Photography Conference.
WE ALSO HAD A FEATURE IN THE RECENT ISSUE OF DEVON’S WEST MAGAZINE.
OUR NEXT EVENT IS ON THURSDAY 24TH MAY IN PLYMOUTH AND YOU CAN BUY TICKETS VIA OUR EVENT BRITE PAGE.
Read more about our conference series here.
Join our Women in Photography Facebook group here.
I AM A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER BUT ALSO A COMMERCIAL PORTRAIT AND BUSINESS PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN PLYMOUTH DEVON, AND I TRAVEL ALL OVER THE UK CAPTURING BUSINESS PORTRAITS, TEAM PHOTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL BRAND STORIES, AND COMMERCIAL IMAGERY.
Photography is more crucial to the promotion of business than it has ever been… the power of visual communication has increased with the rise of digital and social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc. It is proven that personal brand photography is far more likely to engage your potential customers than text alone. Making it necessary to include imagery on your website and printed marketing materials to help get your message across. Therefore making it crucial to use good quality and engaging images that are right for your brand.
HERE ARE 5 WAYS THAT PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY CAN BENEFIT YOUR WEDDING BUSINESS
1.INCREASED ENQUIRIES FROM YOUR HIGH QUALITY COMMERCIAL IMAGERY
There is a direct link between using high-quality imagery and an increase in enquiries. Professionally shot images can show your work in its very best light, generate more interest in your business, increase enquiries, and in turn, revenue.
2. STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD WITH YOUR PERSONAL BRAND PHOTOGRAPHY
To stand out in the wedding industry you need to find ways to set yourself apart from the competition. Investing in your own professional photography will really help to strengthen your brand and help you to stand out from the crowd.
3. COST BENEFITS FROM YOUR PROFESSIONAL YET NATURAL HEADSHOTS
Professional photography can deliver a high return on investment. Excellent imagery that truly represents your business can increase enquiries and result in better turnover. Whilst it’s true that professional photographers can charge high fees for their work, these fees are often justified depending on the client’s requirements; number of photographers, use of finished images, shoot crew etc. But, think of all places you can use the photos you’ve invested in — social media, websites, blog posts, brochures, ads, webinars, presentations, newsletters and more. When photography is done well, it should be something that you use many times over. More often than
not, professional photography is more affordable than you think, and any experienced professional can scale a project to fit within reasonable budget constraints.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT FROM YOUR PERSONAL BRAND PHOTO SHOOT
Today, social media is the foremost marketing channel for most industries, but it is particularly important to the wedding industry. From Facebook to Instagram, and many others in between, social media has managed to bring customers and brands closer than ever before through vibrant
and creative visual branding. Your social media presence could benefit hugely from having professional images of your business, venue or products, raising you above the white noise of the competition.
5. SELL A STORY WITH YOUR PROFESSIONAL PORTRAITS – PEOPLE WANT TO GET TO KNOW YOU!
Weddings are all about emotion. You can use photography to tell a visual story about your wedding business or show off your new product in it’s best light. People are by nature visual and curious. Psychology and marketing go hand in hand, especially in the wedding industry. If you can evoke an emotional connection or response with your marketing message, there is a better chance it will resonate with your customers.
6. KEEPING IT REAL – THE PERSONAL TOUCH
Your imagery can reassure customers that you are a business with real people and real products or services. Competition in the wedding industry is strong and when people consider your company, they will want to see the faces of the people they’ll be doing business with and feel reassured. This is something that stock or bought photos just can not do. If you’re a wedding venue there’s no substitute for shots of happy couples enjoying the best day of their lives with your venue as a stunning backdrop. If you’re a wedding supplier, people want to see beautiful images of your past projects and commissions. If you’re a wedding planner, show yourself in action setting up a wedding or meeting with clients. This type of visual branding will also help people instantly understand what you do and what your values are.
THESE ARE JUST FIVE WAYS PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY CAN BENEFIT YOUR WEDDING BUSINESS, BUT HERE AT LIBERTY PEARL WE BELIEVE THERE ARE MANY MORE.
If you’d like to learn more about how excellent photography can increase your enquiries or sales sign up now for your free personalised visual branding consultation.
As another year comes into sharp focus, it’s easy to set yourself resolutions.
Resolutions that you will no longer eat chocolate, that you will go to the gym more or that you will steer clear of alcohol for the first three months of the year.
And then somehow within a couple of weeks, when the resolve has started to wear off and an invite to a must attend party arrives, you waiver and give in. Just one glass of wine won’t hurt will it? Just one week off exercising will be fine.
But what if rather than just plucking random resolutions out of thin air, you purposefully sit down and think about what you want to achieve in 2018?
What if you pull together some goals and then look more closely at how you will be able to achieve them?
What will you have done by March? What will have been ticked off by June? Where will you be by September? And then as the end of the year comes around again what can you say you have achieved?
I started out as a single mum with a very strong reason to make my business dreams a reality. I needed to provide for and support my 4 year-old daughter to ensure we maintained the quality of life that we had. I had six weeks money in the bank, and as I was by myself, I had no one to fall back on or borrow money from. I just knew that I had to make it work.
Four years later, and after a lot of hard work, networking and giving back, I now run a successful six-figure photography and film collective. I also inspire other female entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams, through coaching, mentoring and workshops.
Having a clear focus at the outset is always important. Have in mind where you want to be. What is your end goal?
Set yourself stretch targets but also think about what is possible to achieve if you set your mind to it.
At the start of my journey I only had a handful of weddings booked. But to match my corporate salary I knew I had to have at least 30 secured by the start of the year. It was daunting at first, but I networked, and took any and all work that came my way. By the time I finished my accounts for the year – I had a turnover that matched my previous salary.
I had also achieved everything that I set out to do.
And now I realise the importance of setting myself goals at the start of every year and I do this not only for my business but also for my life.
Where do I want us to go on holiday? What experiences would I like my daughter to have this year? What else can I make happen so that as well as the hard work, we also have fun with a capital F?
So yes, it’s easy to dismiss New Year’s Resolutions if you set them in a half-hearted way. Of course, it means you’re more likely to break them.
But if you intentionally focus on where you want to be – anything is possible.
And only you know what your hopes and dreams are.
So why not take the first steps to making them a reality? What’s holding you back?
Amber Leach is the founder of The Liberty Pearl Photo & Film Collective and works alongside four other Associate Photographers across the UK and internationally. She also provides mentoring and coaching for female entrepreneurs. In January she is launching her new Be Audacious programme for Professional Photographers looking to build their six-figure wedding business in 2018.
For more details visit: https://libertypearlphotography.com/be-audacious/
Images on this page: Laura Rimmer Health Coach
WOMEN WHO SUPPORT WOMEN
Founded by Amber Leach of Liberty Pearl Photography, the Women in Photography conference brings female photographers & videographers in Devon and Cornwall together to learn and support each other in a growing community setting.
Recognising underrepresentation in the local community, Amber organised the first event in August 2016 in Plymouth, booking speakers who could tell important stories, showcase their talents, who travelled and inspired with their work. Amber has since held 3 successful events with 100 attendees so far and a growing fanbase.
OUR FIRST ANNIVERSARY
Now becoming recognised as the platform to showcase female creative talent in Devon & Cornwall, passionate like-minded women come together to support each other to celebrate each other’s successes, learn from each other’s challenges and to empower each other to focus on solutions.
2017 notes the first anniversary event so we want it to be bigger and better, so it will be hosted at the Duke of Cornwall Hotel in Plymouth. Not only will we host a conference, but we’ll also be organising an exhibition to showcase talent within the community.
We believe in community over competition, so we asked our members to nominate the speakers for this event, asking who they admired and were inspired by, whether personally or professionally.
With Women in Photography you’ll find women who:
- provide mutual motivation and encouragement
- provide unique opportunities to collaborate
- believe in community over competition
- look for friendship and support
- are active in a private Facebook group to chat, share and collaborate in a safe and supportive space
It’s very exciting to meet and collaborate with established and new faces alike!
Buy your tickets for the event here!
I am Amber Leach. I am an award-winning photographer and the founder of my photography business Liberty Pearl Photography & Associates.
I am passionate about learning and inspiring people and want people to achieve the very best they can. I also want people to feel supported and connect with each other. I know how difficult working on your own can be. I want women to connect and support each other in a friendly environment and share their experiences.
SUPPORTING IMPORTANT CAUSES
At each event we charge an entrance fee. The monies raised go to carefully selected charities based in the UK and internationally.
The charities are:
Locally supported Young Mother and Baby Housing unit in the Plymouth area.
Girl Rising: Educating girls can break cycles of poverty in just one generation, yet millions of girls aren’t in school. Girl Rising uses storytelling to inspire action that gets girls into classrooms worldwide.
Girl Impact: The Girl Impact is a collaborative project based in South Africa. Their goal is to support and educate young girls to help them make more informed decisions as they move towards womanhood.
Restore: a local project that exists to help survivors of human trafficking by guiding them through a process of rehabilitation to a normal, steady life.
Mission Possible: Christian Missions and Aid organisation that has been operating in Eastern Europe for 40 years.
For this reason, we are seeking sponsorship to cover costs of holding the event. Specifically, we need sponsorship for:
- Printing and framing costs for exhibition
- Catering & drinks for the exhibition
- Marketing & PR for the conference & exhibition
KIND WORDS FROM OUR COMMUNITY
“Great conference, totally inspirational speakers!” – Hannah
“Wow wasn’t sure what to expect as first one I have been too, but I found it incredibly interesting. Really enjoyed listening to you all & have left feeling very inspired. Thank you for sharing your life stories, amazing tips and knowledge. I look forward to the next one!” – Lucy
“Thank you Amber for organising a wonderful evening. Louise, Phil and Emma. You were all amazing and your talks were so inspirational and so lovely to hear your history of how far you’ve all come. Very talented ladies and a room full of wonderfully supportive ladies too”. Michelle
“Glad I was finally in Plymouth to make it along, enjoyed all four speakers – fascinating and differing stories, thanks all xx”- Amy
“Thank you so much for organising this event. It was so inspiring (I’m so ordering film tomorrow and getting my twin lens out!!)” – Claire
“Found this really useful and inspiring, thank you Amber, it was really great to meet you and others x” – Rachel
I am looking for a number of sponsors for the event, you can be a sponsor for as little as £200, so if you would like to be a corporate sponsor for the conference please get in touch by filling out an enquiry form here.
For more information, please contact Amber at Liberty Pearl Photography 07863889677 or email via our contact page.
With the latest Women in Photography Conference just around the corner, I’m often asked how I manage to organise events that resonate so well with those who attend.
When I first launched Liberty Pearl Photography & Film Collective four years ago, I started out with zero budget, but a real desire to be able to share my marketing knowledge and photography skills with others; particularly women.
My starting point for organising any event is thinking about what I wanted to know when I first launched my business. Being able to put myself in the shoes of an attendee really helps me to look at things from a different perspective.
It means I’m able to provide more impactful and useful content that genuinely benefits those who attend.
If you’re thinking about signing up for a photography conference, here are my top five tips to ensure you make the most of your investment:
- Make sure you have a notebook (preferably hard-back) and at least two pens with you – there will be lots of things you will want to write down
- Attend with a positive frame of mind and be open to listen to other people’s point of view. Not everything will resonate with you but something may well prove to be both business and life-changing
- Ensure you have lots of business cards with you – conferences are a great place to network both with fellow creatives and photographers
- Make sure that you have done your homework beforehand. Think about what you would like to get out of the event and come armed with questions
- If you’re sent any materials beforehand, make sure you have read them thoroughly before the day too
Although this doesn’t make it into my top five it’s still really important – drink plenty of water! It might sound strange to suggest this, but staying hydrated throughout the day will help improve your concentration levels.
On the day of any event it’s also worth pre-planning your route beforehand and allowing extra time. Think of it like a photography assignment that you just can’t miss. It’s better to be early and prepared, than late and flustered.
Of course deciding which workshops and conferences you should attend can be difficult too. There are so many photography courses on offer, but I think the best way to assess if an event is right for you should include:
- How qualified is the person taking the course – what have they achieved
- What subjects will the event cover
- How well does the content align with both your business objectives and values
Before booking, it’s worth having a look for further information on the organiser’s Eventbrite page.
What does it say to you? How easy do you find the booking process, what is the process both before and after the event? Do you feel as if you have been looked after and your experience has been worthwhile?
I really enjoy using Eventbrite to help make my conferences and workshops really stand out. I have to say the top reasons why I use them include:
- It’s super easy to create an event page and update it when you need to
- There are 50 million active ticket buyers on the site so your event is more likely to get noticed by your target audience. Plus there is also built in promotion including social sharing
- I find it’s a great way for managing attendees – I can track sales in real time from any device (super handy for me when I’m out and about on photo shoots)
- I love how easily I can contact anyone attending both before and afterwards with information / thank you notes
- But above all else, it strikes the professional chord with me that I think is invaluable, especially when your brand is at the heart of everything that you do.
I hope that you have found this blog useful. Remember, the more you educate and invest in yourself through learning and training, the more you will be able to inject back into your business, helping you to attract your ideal clients.
Our next Women in Photography Conference is on 27th September at The Duke of Cornwall Hotel in Plymouth. If you would like to find out more about the event and buy tickets please visit the Eventbrite page here.
Here’s to your success!
The Women in Photography conference started in August 2016 at the Plymouth School of Creative Arts. It was initially a one off event to bring together like minded female photographers and film makers, who are passionate about photography, to listen to talks and raise money for charity at the same time, a networking event with a purpose. I arranged 4 female photographers from Devon and Cornwall to talk about their fascinating journeys in photography and to showcase their beautiful work, and it was a huge success. Over 30 women came along, we raised over £200 for 2 women’s charities and after the last talk everyone asked me “when’s the next conference?” so the Women in Photography Conference series started from there!
I love being inspired, especially by everyday women, there are so many amazing role models in the celebrity world, but really it’s the people who are around us everyday that have the most impact in our lives.
We are all photographers and work in the same industry which is extremely saturated, but I believe in community over competition, and by connecting female photographers together in this way, it inspires and empowers women to reach their full potential.
February saw the 3rd Women in Photography Conference hosted by Plymouth College of Art with over 50 attendees listening to some truly inspirational women.
Clare Kinchin – Claire Kinchin Photography
Louise – Taylor and Porter Photographs
Jane Prior – Lecturer at Plymouth College of Art
Magdalena Hendey – Photo Studio 7
You can read further details of the speakers are on our conference website.
What people say about the conference:
“What wonderful speakers and an awesome event!!! Many thanks ladies xxx”
“Glad I was finally in Plymouth to make it along, enjoyed all four speakers – fascinating and differing stories, thanks all xx”
“Thank you so much for organising this event. It was so inspiring (I’m so ordering film tomorrow and getting my twin lens out!!) Cannot wait for the next one ”
“Lovely evening and amazing speakers! Thank you again Amber for your hard work organising another successful event xx”
“Wow wasn’t sure what to expect as first one I have been too, but I found it incredibly interesting. Really enjoyed listening to you all & have left feeling very inspired. Thank you for sharing your life stories, amazing tips and knowledge. I look forward to the next one!”
“Thank you Amber for organising a wonderful evening. Louise, Phil and Emma. You were all amazing and your talks were so inspirational and so lovely to hear your history of how far you’ve all come. Very talented ladies and a room full of wonderfully supportive ladies too. Thank you all for listening to my first ever talk! Xx”
“Wow ladies what an amazing audience you were! Thank you Amber Leach for asking me to be a part of this evening!! X it was an incredible way to spend an evening! Looking forward to meeting more of you in the future! Jane Prior is was so lovely to see you again! Thank you for the hugs! “
We raised over £250 for the fabulous educational charity Girl Rising.
We have a Women in Photography and Film private members Facebook community which is an amazing source of encouragement, inspiration, friendship and opportunity.
The conference run every 3 months and the next Women in Photography Conference is on Wednesday 10th May 2017 at Plymouth College of Art. Tickets cost £5, all money from tickets sales goes to charity. You can buy tickets via our Event Bright page.
We are also planning something very special to celebrate the 1st birthday of the women in photography conference so follow our conference website to find out about it!
Extra info about the conference
The Women in Photography Conference is organised by Amber Leach, founder of Liberty Pearl Photography & Associates, an award winning wedding photography business based in Plymouth, Devon.
Amber started her wedding photography business in November 2013. She progressed from working in large structured organisations to being self employed and working from home. Whilst she enjoyed the independence of being self employed and her new found freedom from the chains of a 9-5 office job, she also missed having people around to run ideas past, share triumphs with, or receive encouragement from.
Amber has now established Women in Photography – Devon and Cornwall so she could meet other like minded creative photographers and film makers to share her passion with and to find people that understand her life as a self employed freelance photographer.
It is proven that friends ‘at work’ form a strong social support network for each other, both personally and professionally. Whether cheering for each other on big wins, consoling each other about mistakes, giving advice, or providing support for personal situations, comradeship at work can boost an employee’s spirit and provide needed assistance.
Amber is excited to meet and collaborate with amazing photographers for an afternoon of inspiration and fellowship with like minded creatives!