I WON the Venus Award for Networker of the Year!

Holy Cow Batman, I only went and won an award!

This year I was in the finals for Networker of the Year, sponsored by PlayGolf Bournemouth, a category that I’ve become quite passionate about. It’s a key way of developing your professional & social contacts, not just for yourself but for your already established connections too. The past year I’ve really stepped out of my comfort zone, literally, walking into rooms of people where I have known no one…

The Venus journey concluded at a glamorous Black Tie Ceremony and Gala Dinner at Bournemouth International Centre on Thursday 20th October 2016 . Dubbed the “Working Women’s Oscars” by Channel 4 and now in its seventh year in Dorset, the Venus Awards goes from strength-to-strength in discovering and recognising the talents of enterprising women. Competition was fierce this year with 785 nominations and applications across the 15 Award categories in Dorset.

However, it’s not the first time I’ve been in the Venus Awards Finals, it’s the third! Previously for Online Marketing and Networking! (Not to mention I’ve been in the semi-finals/short listed for everything from PR, online business, customer service and professional of the year!)

I enjoyed the Venus Night with my table; consisting of good friends, my family and some awesome business people that wanted to support me. Thank you for joining me Nick from Foxes Estate Agents, Andy from Gervis Accountants & Christchurch Chamber and Dion from Pure Networking! You all made the night truly memorable, hilarious and fun.

Public speaking scares me. I’m just no good at it, my mind goes blank & I lose my words… Thankfully I remembered to thank my mum “MUM, I LOVE YOU!” and the Venus Awards, but the nerves did get the better of me & I forgot to thank some key players, MAJOR WHOOPS.

Firstly, I need to thank Pure Networking! That room I first walked into not knowing anybody, I can say that a year later they’re now clients, business contacts and friends. It is the most welcoming, friendliest & most FUN networking events I have ever attended. Why else would I sign up as their official photographer and attend every single event!?

I also need to thank CCTC (Christchurch Chamber of Trade & Commerce), I was delighted that Andy from Gervis, also CCTC’s Treasurer joined me at the Venus Gala, they’re one of the first local networking groups I really got associated with and have met some big influecnes in my business world there.

For obvious reasons I have to thank PlayGolf Bournemouth, especially Peter Gilbert (Thank you for the celebratory bubbles!) for choosing me as their winner. When waiting for our turn to be photographed and filmed as winner & category sponsor, I blurted out “But, why me!?”, “Your progression in the past year. You don’t have to introduce yourself any more, people already know Zelda the Photographer”. How awesome is that!

Lastly, however cheesy this may be, here it goes…. I need to thank my late Dad. He was the person that persuaded me at 21 years old, only 2 weeks after finishing my university degree, to set up my photography business with a high street shop! Talk about diving in at the deep end. There is no way I could have done what I’ve done without you.

Thanks for Venus Awards for the above photographs

Bournemouth Echo Article – Here’s who one at this years Dorset Venus Awards

 

 

 

New Year – New Business Photography?

Do your promotional images properly reflect the quality of the items or service you have to offer?

Whether its an event, product, service, experience, people ……

High Quality photography is now a vital selling tool for any business; from PR, advertisement and business showcases such as your website, you need to show you are an expert at what you do.

If you want to sell to the largest market (both web and print) then you will need good quality, well-lit, sharp, high-resolution images. High Quality and Modern Photography should be used as a marketing tool, to enhance appearance and drive sales.

Photography for your business, ideal for your website, promotional materials and social media is vital in this day and age. Studio Shotz Photography can create beautiful images to showcase your products and services, or just plain and simple white background images to show your products quality.

Studio Shotz has the ability to produce a wide range of stock images, including total cut outs ready for you to place into brochures and websites. We are more than happy to produce JPEG or PNGs of images. We have produced stock images for nearly everything from shoes, jewelry and toiletries to pieces of artwork and even people!

We undertake studio and location photography, dependant on the style you wish to show for your business. From pack shot photo shoots, lifestyle photo shoots as well as general business showcase photography.

 

 

 

Why are Digital Files so Important to Photographers?

“Oh, that’s expensive! All you’re doing is burning the pictures to a CD”

You’d be surprised how often I hear this. Clients nowadays seem to assume that digital files are included in all photo shoot packages. I believe this is solely the fault of amateur and hobbyist photographers, I do not know ANY PROFESSIONAL photographer that give digital files away included with packages, or very very cheaply.

It has become the norm to see £40 shoot and burn, but this is because amateurs do not have to make a living from what they’re doing. They have a day job. They believe they are beating the professionals at their own game, being cheap & getting the clients. Probably not realising that what they’re doing is not only losing them money, but irreparably damaging the industry they love so.

Would you be happy if someone with basic knowledge of your industry came into your place of work and offered to do your job for a fraction of the cost?. . . you’d be out of a job. By giving your money to an amateur you are taking my business away from me, the experienced professional & my contemporaries.

Ok, so almost everyone that has a computer will have some form of photo editing software on it, most popular being Adobe Photoshop. This is one of the major reasons why I am so against giving digital files to clients, they will ‘tinker’ with (Photoshop) my images. Especially with the popularity of such phone apps as Instagram, editing photos in just 1 click. That client will then turn the image I have worked hours on into something that I did not intend it to be; possibly losing my photographic style, even the original quality. When you upload that edited image to Facebook & tell all your friends where you got it done – how do you know you’re not now damaging my business? As what your friends are seeing is not what I gave you.  A Photographer’s learned skill, individual style, knowledge and time spent on your set of images should also be considered.

To combat this, I offer both colour and black&white versions of all purchased digital images for my clients, as well as any specific amendments that they wish.

You may see an hour spent taking the photos – but in actual fact that photographer will probably spend on average 8 – 16 hours just on your set of images. This is mainly due to editing of your images; this is not just ‘Photoshopping’ them, it includes uploading, backing up, sifting through & picking out the best images, individually colour correcting, cropping, airbrushing, re-naming and backing up the edited images, this all before I’ve even uploaded them for you to view. So that 30 minute or hour long photo shoot has turned into 2 full day’s work. This time scale comes from preparation time, including checking equipment of setting up the studio, time spent photographing the client, uploading time, backing up original files, editing, uploading to online album, sorting through and checking orders and print quality, as well as any additional time required for ordering, client liaisons and shipment.

“But photography’s free! Taking digital photos doesn’t cost anything!”

Oh boy, how wrong you are! Let’s just do a little maths – That 30 minute shoot, £40 shoot and burn yes? If I worked 6 days a week, 3 shoots a week, every week – I’d be making a grand total of £6240…… Hmm, that’s not quite right now is it? What do you make a year? Let’s say £20,000? That’s already £130 for your shoot – Oh, but wait. I haven’t included my overheads! I have a studio with rent and rates, and a website and a phone, insurance, those cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, sample products and background papers didn’t just buy themselves. . . . . . And, don’t I deserve a week off, maybe even two? (Well…That’s now working out as a minimum of £350 for just your small 30 minute shoot)

Giving away digital files also brings up the question; who owns the image!? The photographer took it, so initially full copyright is with them (or that studio). But giving you the high resolution file, does the customer now own that file, enabling them to do whatever they wish with it. Even sell it for profit? Let’s go back to basics, you browse photographers by their previous portfolio work, check out their photographic style, how they work. Well….if they’re giving away all the digital files, legally they can’t advertise with those images because you now own them. So what are they expected to advertise with?

I do sell my digital files, as there is a strong trend at the moment for this & I’m not prepared to completely deny my customers, but I feel I do price my images accordingly.  I offer Full Usage Rights with my high resolution images which, long story short, means that I still own the copyright to the image so you cannot sell it on, however you do get a high resolution file which you can then print, store,  reproduce, upload to Facebook but I still have the rights to advertise with it – everyone gets what they want!

For any beginner photographers out there, my advice is Do Not Shoot and Burn….or if you do, make sure you price it correctly.

The Importance of a Professional Business Head Shot

The importance of good head shots should not be underestimated; people nowadays would prefer to connect with a business that has a face. Take Apple and Steve Jobs as well as Virgin with Richard Branson. With the ever growing online presence surrounding even the smallest of companies, it’s now imperative to always be seen in the best possible light (excuse the pun!)

Head Shots should be seen as a vehicle to help show your brand, your personality & your professionalism within your company.  Having a professional head shot taken shows you care about the details of your business, it will look professional but friendly and creates a good first impression. Connections these days are rarely verbal, most people these days ‘meet’ your photo online before ever making contact with you . Let’s not forget sites such as LinkedIn where you as an individual are constantly representing your business.

Studio Shotz offers a variety of different head shots, ranging from actors head shots through to personal head shots for social media websites as well as business portraiture to show your employees and your business in its best light.

Head Shots are ideal for actors, performers, the self-employed and all business people that need a great looking photograph. Ideal for your own business website and advertisement, as well as sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Studio Shotz provides Head shots for just £25, which includes up to 30 minutes in our studio and a high resolution digital image that is fully edited and airbrushed, in colour and black&white.

We also shoot ‘group’ headshots, and are more than happy to work on a bespoke basis. Why don’t you email us at info@studioshotz.co.uk to get your quote?