Candles, Fingerprints, and Houses | Bowral
So by now you all know that we transformed our lives a year and a half ago, and moved our family out of the Sydney rat race and escaped to the country (ok ok, it's very civilised country, but I have no street lights on my street, and that makes me feel sooo remote!)
My corporate life was also a million miles away from my current vocation. A lifetime ago, my day job was a Retail Planner. It was one of those jobs no one ever knows exists. Somehow stuff magically appears in stores. At best, people know all about 'Buyers' ... they have the glamorous job of traveling around the world, picking out the latest and greatest trends, negotiating killer deals, getting the timing just right so that these products are all over your social media feeds, and fly out the door. But Planners? no one knows about the Planners! It was my job to manage the money side of all these amazing items hitting our shelves ... Years of data would be analysed so we could work out where we should spend our dollars in the year to come, budgets and key indicators would be set, quantities of purchases determined, orders placed, shipments tracked, correct quantities allocated out to various stores ... then (real story) ... fingers crossed. On the other end, we managed seasonal transitions, markdowns, and the whole process would start all over again. When your favourite store is out of stock of your favourite item, or all the size 12 tops are out of stock (and there are heaps of 6's and 14's) there's a Planner (or Planning Software) for you to blame :)
Most normal people think this is one hellava boring job - it's analytics on steroids! But it's also super creative! You need to be able to put a value on an emotive purchase, get behind the psychology of pricing, be resilient to events outside of your control, learn how to control an over-enthusiastic buyer who is hell bent on ordering millions of that obscure item, or know when to trust their gut instinct and let them run with it. It's about timing, negotiating, understanding, and trust. It's also about coming up with creative solutions to large, million dollar problems. A good planner is both analytical and creative!
I have always loved my photography, and well before I made it my full time career, it was my weekend creative release. I was desperate to get out of the office and fluorescent lights, and photograph on location, and in constantly changing lighting situations. I love the thrill of adapting to an ever changing work environment.
But, product ... a love of product has never really left me.
Everyone who runs a business of any type, uses images to sell their product or service. A strong, consistent set of images tells customers a number of things ...
- You are successful
- You are serious about your business
- Your product/service is high quality
- You are better than your competition
It wasn't long after we arrived in gorgeous Bowral, that I was approached to photograph some beautiful candles for a local small business. I loved it!! I have since done work for local architects, not for profits, realestate agencies, shop owners, fitness instructors, footwear, and artists. It's the perfect mix of control and creativity. Product, unlike people, leaves little room for artistic expression. The item HAS to look like the item! But, although it looks simple, lighting and staging each shot takes time, precision, and creativity. It's satisfying knowing that my work helps small businesses build on their investment, and gives them the confidence in approaching new markets and customers. Strong images consolidate a brand message and gives instant credibility to a website, social media account, and print marketing. Even better, is that I get to network with some inspiring small business owners, share ideas and experiences, and make lovely new friends along the way.