Welcome to the first in the series of "7 Questions with…" — a short interview feature where I put the spotlight on a client or fellow business owner. Hopefully we'll learn a bit about them, their services, and some business & marketing advice along the way. Kicking us off is Stuart Little.
7 Questions with Stuart Little
1) Who are you, and what do you do?
I am Stuart Little and I am Commercial, Events and Lifestyle Photographer based out of Prestwick in South Ayrshire.
2) When did you start the business?
I officially launched That Image Rokz Photography on September 6th 2012 but the business plan was written over a year before, when I took a year out to shoot a new portfolio and do some re-training of my skill set as well as market research and complete test shoots.
3) What prompted you to start up this type of business?
I had spent the best part of 10 years teaching both professional and amateur photographers how to use software like Photoshop and Lightroom. In 2010 my wife gave birth to our 2nd Son Casey and it was at that point I decided I no longer wanted to be travelling to events and doing demo's away from home. I closely looked at my own strengths as well as what would work within the local photography marketplace and have been fine tuning the business to suit since 2012.
4) What do you think sets you apart?
I have shot many different types of photography from sports through to hard news and everything you can imagine in between. I bring 22 years of hard earned experience to the table. I don't use my camera gear as a crutch and I fully research, experiment and practise my craft every working day. I also choose to have an assistant photographer with me on all shoots where possible as this allows me the luxury of taking a step back from the technicalities of the shoot and lets me think everything through clearly whilst collaborating with my clients on each image made. I am not afraid to make mistakes and when I do, I learn from them and move forward.
5) How do you market yourself?
I try to create new networks of potential clients and ask for referrals from existing clients as well as building a good word of mouth reputation within the local community. We also provide a free "ProBono" Shoot for new clients and I am pretty active in all areas of social media but find Facebook to be the most effective avenue for showcasing our work to potential clients.
6) Do you have any advice for other businesses?
Don't be afraid to say NO. It sounds easy, but sometimes its the hardest thing to do. Also, invest wisely in other businesses to help your own business grow and give back to the community that helps to support you! It's important to be a leader and not a follower, be mindful of your competitors but do not fixate on what they are doing to much and surround yourself with positive people.
7) What has your experience been working with Dark Flare Design?
Iain and I have been building a business to business relationship since mid 2013 when found that we both had the same clients. We have since started to collaborate on new projects so that our client(s) benefit from both our knowledge. I actively recommend Iain to new clients as I feel he strikes the best balance of skills, and experience whilst still being competitive on price. His work can easily stand shoulder to shoulder with the best web design agencies in Scotland. The most important thing for me, is that Iain and I get on very well and we enjoy each other's banter.
I'm a big fan of Stuart's work, and it's been a pleasure working with him over the last couple of years. The quality of images he provides are top notch, and I find that helps me improve the standard of the designs I supply.
Do you have advice you'd like to add?
Have you said "No" in business and felt the benefit? Maybe you have invested in another business's service that's been invaluable to you?
If you'd like to share your thoughts, please leave a comment below, or contact me.
Thanks for reading!