What it’s really like hustling for the pretty things – Personal Branding Photographer London

Well hello there !.

I’ve been terrible an neglected this blog for a while ! Life kind of took over last year, but I’m back and ready to smash 2019 and starting with this very honest post.  I’ll be sharing more on my life as a fempreneur with a dream, with tips and personal experiences thrown in.

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When it comes to the world of  being a fempreneur, and the daily grind of running / starting a business, My gorgeous employed friends are, somewhat clueless. This post is really for them, kind of an open letter to explain what I do. And will hopefully explain for the millionth time why i’m too busy for x,y and z.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect them to understand what it entails to run a business, after all they don’t need to. They work for someone else, go to work receive a pay cheque at the end of the month, and somewhere in there they hopefully love what they do and are living the life they adore.

But, here’s the thing, I need them to comprehend a little about what I do, and what working from my home office, and running a business in my pjs is really like. Starting with, it doesn’t mean I am available to drop everything during working hours, I wish I could, I love a ladies lunch.

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The perception is that I have an abundance of free time and I’m just sitting around drinking coffee, binge watching TV and planning my next vacation, or in the famous word of Daniel Cleaver “ fannying around with press releases”, ok not quite, but you get my drift.

On some level,  if only that were true, the reality, as most of you will know is somewhat different. To enlighten those that don’t get it, this post is for you and a average peak into a day in my life.

Let’s start with the basics. I’m running a business, it needs to make a certain amount of money every month so that I can pay my bills just like the rest of you. Yes, I’m doing something I love which makes the pain points easier, because it’s not all hearts and flowers and pretty stock images. ( I think my desk is clear one day a week !)

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I am my own boss, that gives me leeway in how I work and that’s a huge plus. It needs to be because I am responsible for everything, everything that needs to get done, goes right and goes wrong.

There is no IT department to call, I have to google that shit ! No assistant to make coffee, no researcher, social media planner, marketing guru, designer, copywriter, sales person, accounts department, receptionist etc etc. That’s moi, and that’s just the jobs on the side.

The creative ideas have to spark from somewhere, which means research, letting the creative process take it’s course. I love that part but it is time consuming.

Writing copy for instagram, marketing, blog posts takes time and planning. I can’t tell you how many times I get writers block! And lets not forget, small businesses and solepreuners are putting themselves out there, no corporate buffer to hide behind.

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The creative process, I’ll just mention design and photography. My darling friends just think I rock up with my camera take a few snaps, go home quick edit and I’m done.

But what about attracting those clients in the first place, what about gaining my clients confidence, what about the work that has gone into building a website, sourcing print suppliers, designing albums etc.

In the land unicorns Cameras, Mac’s, insurance, software and storage ( to name just a few things) might be free, but I don’t live there and that stuff costs money, all elements that have to be taken into account in my costings to ensure I make a profit to pay those business running costs, which for most that aren’t self employed get mysteriously forgotten. As much as I love what I do, I don’t work for free and last time I checked British Gas don’t take “ a good word” or a “ recommendation” as payment.

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The nine to five just doesn’t exist, anyone thinking it’s an easy ride working for yourself will be very disappointed, I can honestly say I never worked harder or longer hours in my life, but the rewards are all mine and that’s what makes it worthwhile.

My daily routine looks something like this (if i’m not meeting clients or leaving the house / office). Morning self care, emails, cuppa tea, the to do list, orders, wrapping, posting, instagram, all whilst in my active wear/ pjs, I figure no one is going to see me right, my poor postman must think I always look like that:).

 

My afternoons, evenings and most nights ( I’m a bit of a night owl ) are spent with the do not disturb sign on as I create, design, edit and research, Admittedly research is usually working from bed (another perk of being self employed) on the laptop until the small hours.

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I have to loose myself in the process and interruptions do not create results, so that means no stopping for a quick coffee ( because it’s not quick), I have  had to learn to be selfish to get the results. That dose not always go down well, be warned 😉 .

In-between all that I have to find the time to run a home, I’ll be honest enough to say I’m organised on occasion in that department as there are only so many hours in a day.  I do forget to eat because I get so immersed  in work and before I know it 4 hours have passed by, I didn’t even realise it had snowed last week, yet I sit next to a window ! Thankfully my darling daughter can cook, she’s probably responsible for keeping me alive as she’ll shove a plate of food under my nose if she’s home.

 

Then there’s this crap to deal with, I like to file it under, “I’ll show you” and “If you don’t have anything nice to say ” !  As it’s been suggested to me to “get a proper job”.  I’ve lost friends because  they don’t get it, and it’s even been suggested that I have no life because I work so hard. But here’s the thing, I love what I do. I have a huge amount of satisfaction from the small wins and every small step is another in the right direction. I get up in the morning and can’t wait to get going !

Some days it’s like swimming up stream and others it’s basking in the sun, ask any entrepreneur and they’ll tell you the same.

No one is going to hand me the life I want, it’s up to me to make it happen. So I won’t excuse myself for being unsociable, I wont apologise for not being able to drop everything. I will post fabulous images of traveling the world, eventually,  but until then, I, like many others will continue to  hustling for the pretty things.

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I’m Alexandra – a natural light branding photographer based in Surrey. I specialise in lifestyle personal branding and product photography. I work all over London, Surrey and the South East,  including Cobham, Esher, Thames Ditton, Richmond upon Thames, St Margarets, Twickenham, Teddington, Hampton, Kingston upon Thames, Surbiton, Kew, Chiswick, Putney, Fulham, Chelsea, Knightsbridge  Notting Hill, Clapham, Wimbledon, Holland Park, Kensington, St John’s Wood, Hampstead and further a field. Available for photography shoots through the UK and Europe.

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