Meet the Experts: Claire Richardson, Photographer | All By Mama
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Meet the Experts: Claire Richardson, Photographer

Meet Claire, ALL by MAMA's go to photographer for personal branding, events and product photography. You'll get the chance to learn from Claire as a VIP of our membership community via our Facebook Group and at our events.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself

    • Soooo hello, I’m Claire. I’m mum to two feisty little girls 4 and 7. I am a total home bod. I love my little nest and everyone and everything that’s in it. I’m an only child and a Leo. That said, I’m actually very good at sharing, and ‘relatively’ mild mannered…I’m addicted to Tea and definitely don’t think I could go 24hrs without any…I mean this very seriously.

      My happy place is by the sea. I love watching waves roll in, and dream to have a studio overlooking the beach down in Cornwall where I could sit and paint, only slight sticking point is that I can’t paint. . . I set up Claire Richardson Photography because  firstly, I absolutely love photography, and secondly, I love hanging out and chatting with people. I specialise in both Family and Personal Branding photography, and love my job. 

 

 

What inspired you to start your business

    • Two and a half years ago, I was working in the fragrance industry doing a job I had done for the past 10 years. In lots of ways I loved that job, I got to be creative every day, was learning an awful lot, and had a fabulous mentor. It really shaped me. But once my babies came along, I had a constant conflict I was battling with. I still had the ambition that I had before and wanted to do a good job, but in all honesty, I couldn’t do that whilst also being there for everything that my two babies needed. My eldest had started school and I felt I was on a hamster wheel of breakfast club drop offs, rushing to catch trains, preparing for meetings and joining conference calls with vomiting babies on my knee. I knew at that point I couldn’t be everything to everyone, and that something had to change. I had always loved photography. I studied it before kids and had often said I would love to do it for a living, but really did just think that it was a pipe dream.

      But then one day I had a defining moment.  I suddenly realised ‘what the hell am I doing to myself!’ I was super stressed and felt like I was doing a crappy job of everything. It was at that point that my husband said to me it’s now or never, and maybe I should seriously consider setting up the photography business. 

      I was at the best time of my life to do it. I could be there for the kids more, and it would allow me time to work on setting up a business I would love.  The next day I handed in my notice. Looking back, I miss my wonderful work colleagues, but aside from that I know I’m where I’m meant to be. I love every single photography session I do. I love meeting people and hearing their stories, spending a morning chatting, and being allowed to see a precious snapshot of their personal and professional lives. I’m really in my happy place. 

 

 

Describe your typical day

    • Typical days are definitely a thing of the past! That’s why I enjoy what I do now. Sometimes (very rarely!) I miss the routine of a 9-5, but 99.9% of the time, I love the fact that each day is different. Up to now, I still had my youngest around a lot of the time so every day was a juggle. I would schedule photography sessions either on her mornings at nursery, or at the weekend, and then editing would be done in the evenings. But now she is starting school, I have grand plans to organise myself! All my activity has been ad hoc to date.

      I did instagram posts when I found a spare two seconds, and same for advertising. Moving forward i’m going to be strict with myself, and make sure I plan my business activities into my weeks properly. I’ll also make sure I schedule in time for exercise, as know if that doesn’t make an appearance I’ll go crazy. Plus I’ve joined the gym right next door to school so I really have no excuses! 

 

 

Name three words that describes success for you

    • Happy
    • Fulfilled
    • Flexible!!! (work that is, not me!….I am not!) 

 

 

 

Name three business tips that you would give to yourself, if you were first starting out

    • Patience, patience, patience! Once you have that idea, and make that decision to take the leap of faith and run with it, you’re so fired up that sometimes you expect everything to happen immediately… you’re ready for the world, so the world should be ready and waiting for you right? But patience is definitely key. It takes time to get yourself out there and an awful lot of persistence. I don’t think any small business owners would say it’s easy, but it’s definitely worth it! 

 

    • Differentiate yourself. It feels like the market is saturated in lots of ways and finding a way to differentiate yourself from others is huge when you first start out. When I first launched my business, I really struggled to work out what differentiated me from all the other photographers out there (and there are a lot!) but all it took was a little time to work out what I wanted that to be. Obviously, I want my photographs to differentiate me and have a ‘feel’ that is recognisable as my style, but aside from that it’s the service that I offer that I want to set me apart. I know a lot of people that I’ve gone to photograph have really been nervous about it, but I hope I put people at ease so it’s a pleasant and dare I say it a fun experience for them. 

 

 

    • Believe in yourself. I can’t tell you how much I did, and still do struggle with this. But even if it feels a bit cringe, try to be confident and proud about what you do. Often people can belittle small businesses as being almost like a hobby, or not a proper job, but believe and have confidence in what you’re trying to achieve both professionally and for your family life! 

 

 

How do you juggle work and play

    • I always make sure I don’t spread myself too thin. I will only book the number of sessions I know I can manage around my life and the kids. I tend not to book sessions over the school holidays. Sometimes I’ll do the odd one here and there which I know I can manage the editing easily, but as a rule I wouldn’t book myself up. Moving forward I’ll have more time in the day to do the things I need to for my business, so that when school finishes I’m free to do the run arounds to the various after school clubs and playdates, and also have time in the evenings to switch off! 

 

 

What would be your plan B

    • That’s a really good question and you know what I don’t have one. All or nothing hey!? Let’s hope the photography works out! 

 

Instagram - @clairerichardsonphotography

Facebook - Claire Richardson Photography

www.clairerichardsonphotography.co.uk

 

 

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