Nic Avery is a Yoga Teacher in Ballarat, just outside of Melbourne. She was keen to share her photography experience with you, so you can get in-depth insights from someone who’s been in your shoes. I asked her a few questions around what it was like working with me, in hopes that this first hand experience, especially from a business perspective, will be helpful for you.
Let’s get into it.
When did the thought of working with a photographer first cross your mind?
The first time I had the thought was when I met with my mentor and we were talking about developing our business as yoga teachers, the type of clientele that we want to have, and marketing ourselves in the community. She suggested creating my own website, and that got the ball rolling.
I started asking myself questions, such as “if I get a website, what’s the type of content I want to have on there?”. The first thing I thought of was having photos. I didn’t want them to be just iPhone photos or something that I did myself. I wanted it to look really nice and professional. I wanted to have a clean theme on my website, which was easy to look at. I wanted photos that would fit in with the style that I was going for.
What was your situation like before working with me and having professional photos? Did you have any problems getting clients, etc.?
It was difficult to feel like I was offering something different or that I stood out from other teachers in the same area. Once I had the photos done that were such a good representation of me, I could display those on the website along with my background and the training that I’ve done. Now it makes me look a lot more professional, and it makes me come across as very approachable. People can get to know me through my photos. I think that’s a really key thing for me to have as a yoga teacher. I want people to be able to find out more about me as the teacher. Having the photos also helped me feel more professional and more confident in myself.
Did you feel less confident in putting yourself out there before we worked together, did you feel it was harder to stand out from everyone else?
Both. I was feeling less confident, and I was also feeling like “how do I stand out, how do I get my name out there?”. It was a pretty difficult thing to do without having a website and without getting the photos done.
What other things were going through your mind before having the photos taken?
It is a big leap because it is an investment with your money and you don’t know the product you’re going to get before you make the purchase. You’re taking a leap of faith that it is going to turn out how you want it and that you’re going to be happy with the results. That was probably my biggest concern.
“Gosh, how are these photos going to turn out, am I going to like them, is she going to capture what I’m envisioning in my head?”,
“How am I going to look? Am I going to look unattractive? Will she catch my bad angles,…?”.
Those were the sorts of concerns and hesitations I had, as I hadn’t done anything like it before, particularly not for my business.
Were you unsure about what photos you were going to get because you had never been in front of the camera? Or was it because you weren’t 100% confident with the work you had seen from me and felt unsure about whether I could capture what you envisioned?
I knew for sure that you would be able to do it. But when you’ve never had photos taken before, you always have that little doubt in the back of your head, hoping that it is going to turn out ok. I’m also someone who’s not completely comfortable having my photo taken, so there’s a bit of hesitation around that.
What was the complete photography experience like for you, from the first time we talked on the phone through to seeing the photos in the end?
It was all really great. After I’d had that first conversation with you, it didn’t take long for me to commit to having the photos done. I felt really comfortable, I really liked your personality over the phone. So that was good, if we could really have good rapport, that was going to make me feel more comfortable when getting the photos done.
Also the fact that you were so super speedy with getting everything organised, and sending the paperwork and contract through. That was fantastic, that’s how I am and work as well, I like to get things done and be really organised. I feel like you’re the same way, so that was great, and it was very professional too. You were very organised and sent it all through in a very timely manner, the invoicing and everything else was really professional, which made me feel more comfortable. I felt like “it’s not just a random person that I’m giving my money to, it’s a professional business person”.
Did the chat we had on the phone help as a first step towards making you feel more comfortable and help with some of those initial concerns?
Yes definitely, and I really appreciated the questions that you asked. It helped me to really figure out the style that I wanted, and the type of look I was going for. It helped me solidify it in my own mind, be more confident about what I’m getting done and the types of photos I wanted to get. The fact that you were asking all of those questions made me feel really good and confident, because it got me thinking about what exactly I wanted. And there’s no confusion because we’re both on the same page about what we’re trying to achieve. The questionnaire you sent afterwards helped as well, and solidified it all.
What did you think and feel right after the shoot?
It was really good. I felt like I had no idea what just happened. It was such a fun experience and I felt super super comfortable. I felt very confident after the session that the photos were going to turn out how I wanted them to turn out. It was a fun experience, I really enjoyed it.
And did the photos turn out the way you wanted them to turn out?
They turned out absolutely perfect. I already knew that it was going to be a really high quality of work, and it was better than what I had even imagined. You captured who I am as a person and my personality through the photos, through the style of them. When I look at the photos they make me feel really proud of myself and of being a yoga teacher. They make me feel proud of my body, which has always been a bit of a thing for me. Looking at them I feel really proud of everything, they just make me feel happy.
They make me feel confident as a yoga teacher, in that I come across as someone who’s professional. The photos really capture who I am as a teacher and as a person. They bring me a lot of joy to look at, they capture the essence of me really really well.
Have you seen any specific results come from it, e.g. more enquiries, people reaching out to you, feedback about the photos, …?
I posted on my social media when I first got the website up and running, and I had the photos on there. All of the feedback I’ve had has been “omg, they look amazing, they’re so unreal, they look fantastic”. Everyone's been super stoked with them. It’s really great because I do meet so many people who I can now direct to my website. It’s a really good reference tool. I feel really proud of it, it looks fantastic and I love it, and I want to share it with people.
Do you have any advice, key tips for someone who might be thinking about hiring a professional photographer, especially if they’re not quite convinced yet?
Either having a conversation with you, if you’re the photographer, or meeting with you in person, I think that’s a really great tip. I felt super comfortable with you when we had the chance to speak over the phone and then when we actually met in person. I wasn’t anxious or nervous at all, and you really made me feel so comfortable and relaxed. I think it’s important for the person to at the very least have a conversation and talk to the photographer, see if you get along and if you’re on the same level with what you’re trying to get done with the photos.
That’s my biggest tip. Also, to research the photographer's portfolio of course, and make sure it’s a similar style and vibe that you’re looking for.
What would you say to someone who’s like “I’m not sure if it’s worth the investment”, or “I can get someone to take photos of me on their phone”?
If you’re wanting photos in a professional setting, you can’t rely on second rate quality. Especially if it’s for something that’s professional, like for your business. I wanted it to be very high quality and very professional. It’s not something that I would have been able to get if someone was just taking the photos on their phone or something like that. I wanted the photos to be professionally edited. There were even a couple of photos that needed specific small touch-ups, and I sent a request through to you. You were really accommodating with that. Those things make a really big difference in having something of high quality.
It is important that you feel comfortable and open with the photographer. As you said, you have these things in your head like “this is my bad side” or “I don’t like this thing”. As the photographer, you look absolutely perfect to me, but I know that it doesn’t always feel the same way to you.
You were great with that. I had a great time, and I am so excited with how the photos turned out. It’s awesome. I was really happy that I ended up going through with it and getting the photos done.
Thanks so much Nic, you’re the best!
There you have it - a full story of someone who’s been in your position and who gets it.
I hope this case study helped ease your nerves about having your photos done, answered some questions that have been floating through your mind, and got you really excited about working with a professional photographer. I hope that’s me of course ;)
If you’re ready for your photos and are taking Nic’s advice to heart, schedule a call with me here now.