It dawned on my the majority of suppliers I have most engaged with over the past three months in business are young, female entrepreneurs. It wasn’t a deliberate move, but perhaps subliminally I have found comfort and reassurance from building a network around me of talented individuals who have already ventured out solo to seek creative fulfillment and combat the challenges of somebody else’s workplace. So kicking of a series of blog posts, I interview Georgia de Lotz who has just styled, photographed and edited a beautiful series of images for my wedding bouquet illustration service. Here’s why Georgia is in my squad:

How do you answer the question “What do you do?” 

I am a ‘Lifestyle Product Photographer and Social Media Manager’ but I find that people normally need a little bit more of an explanation when I say that. I love to work with small and medium sized businesses who are looking to up level their online presence through beautiful imagery and carefully curated social media content. I have a studio in Bristol where I have a huge range of props for styling shoots but I also regularly work on location too. I also love to get out and about in pretty Bristol cafes and do 1-2-1 social media workshops for small businesses who want to take their social media to the next step.

What do you contribute to Charlotte Argyrou Illustration? 

Charlotte asked me to style and capture her beautiful Wedding Bouquet Illustration voucher. Together we planned five different themed set ups that corresponded with popular bridal trends. Using beautiful fresh flowers and foliage along with lots of small details definitely made this one of my favourite ever shoots.

Why do you work for yourself, instead of taking a salary from an employer? 

Since completing my photography degree back in 2012, I have always dabbled in freelance work around my full time employment. At the beginning of 2017, I realised that this was getting too much to juggle around my employment and I wasn’t getting the  work/life/satisfaction balance that I needed. At this point I wasn’t 100{fc4ffa2697ca570e43b5816fe716a05c0e7f059c4d464a857cd73bdc5a1ff7f7} sure that I was ready for the step of fully working for myself but I knew something needed to change so I took the jump. The jump turned out to be exactly what I needed and I’m finally getting to do what I love as a career.

Has the entrepreneurial life met your expectations? 

It’s gone above and beyond! Initially I wondered how I was going to handle working weird hours, some freakishly long days or the stress of not knowing where your next booking is going to come from – but it’s all worth it. Most of the time I can work the business around me which has meant when my husband travels abroad to do triathlon races, I can go with him and work from anywhere as long as there is internet. It’s also been bloody tough – it’s not easy to work on your own most of the week and not have anyone to bounce ideas off or to pick you up if you’re having a bad day but there is a very lovely online presence of other entrepreneurs who all stick up for each other. It’s a world I hadn’t realised existed until I went solo and just being part of that is rewarding in itself.

What are your non-negotiables when it comes to your working life? 

Tea, lots and lots of cups of tea (probably enough to class as an addiction haha!) I also think I’d go mad if I didn’t have my rescue dog Spoke, she gets me out the house when I’d otherwise probably stayed glued to the camera or screen all day. She adds a bit of structure to my day and makes me smile when I pop downstairs to make ANOTHER cup of tea.

What’s been your biggest success?

I think just the fact I can make money out of what I love is pretty exciting. Back at university I wouldn’t believe you if you told me where I would be now, so the fact I’m doing it and making enough from it is successful, right?!

Do you proactively plan out goals and objectives, or does your business take more organic route? 

People always find this weird but I absolutely love maths! I am very mathematically minded and love spreadsheets, lists and plans. Ironically, I am currently seeing where my business is taking me in my first year, rather than having a structure. I think there’s a need to have some fun in your own business; see what happens and where opportunities take you to help pinpoint a long term plan. By the end of my first year of being fully freelance I plan to have a business plan and cash flow in place so I can have a bigger and better second year.

Has there ever been a failure that nearly broke you? How did you turn it around? 

Of course, there’s always ups and downs, but these are things you look back on and realise were all just a learning curve rather than a setback. Being completely truthful, I’ve had a tear or two over a lost booking. I was so desperate to book the client that I jumped through a thousand hurdles for them and spent hours in prep work, only for them to say no. After consuming a tonne of chocolate and cups of tea to aid recovery, I realised that this happened for a reason! It wasn’t meant to be because it wasn’t a dream client, yet I was already bending over backwards for them; how would the professional relationship work in the long term? I’d done everything I could have to try and secure the work, but the stress meant I didn’t enjoy it, so why was I trying to get more? I quickly learnt that I needed to remember that this was my own choice and that business relationships need to work both ways to make it a success.

What’s your favourite way to work with a client? How do you interpret my brand to convert my briefs into a finished product? 

I always ask my clients to fill in a little questionnaire to get a better understanding of the business, but my favourite way to see a business’ brand or vision is through Pinterest. I’m a very visual person, which makes sense as I’m a photographer, so I love seeing how others curate a board of inspiration whether that be art, photography or just simply colours. From this I can get a real feel for the brand image and use to it to plan the style of a shoot or curate a social media feed.

What’s next for you? 

In 2018, I’m planning collaboration on-location photo shoots, combining products from multiple small businesses to make up stunning interior spaces that can be captured to use in marketing. I’m also looking at doing a series of videos to help people tackle social media themselves.

Tell us something surprising about you… 

I used to be operations manager for a party shop (fancy dress, party decorations, balloons etc) and am trained in balloon décor such as bouquets, columns, and arches!

For more information on all Georgia’s service, visit www.georgiadelotz.com

For a pretty palette, with plenty of greenery and the occasional photo of Spoke the rescue dog, follow Georgia on Insta @georgiadelotz

 

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