A day in the life of a photographer is not as exciting as it looks, people often only see the glamorous side of photography – the photo shoots, capturing that magical shot and attending events. They forget all the admin, the marketing and business skills that are also required. Fortunately for Jo-Anne Stokes she has managed to balance both sides to develop and build a successful photography business – where producing the best wedding photos are her specialty!
What inspired you to become a Photographer?
My uncle who is a wedding photographer in Ireland encouraged me to take up photography. He told me I had a good eye after seeing some of my snapshots!
Tell us about a day in the life of a Photographer.
A day in the life of a photographer ....is admin, admin, editing, editing, blogging, blogging, responding to emails, book layouts, printing, bookkeeping.....and if we are lucky a little bit of photographing :)
What are the disadvantages of working for yourself?
The disadvantage of working for yourself ...is that it can get a bit lonely being stuck behind a pc for the majority of the day! The advantages are that I get to share in my clients’ very special occasions ...and luckily most of them are very happy moments! There is nothing more satisfying that giving clients photos that they love and will treasure all their lives!
What has been your greatest challenge so far?
My greatest challenge so far has been setting up this business and trying to stand out from a very over saturated market and to develop your own style.
What are your greatest achievements?
Well.....I am a Mom ....so I have to say ....my three sons are my greatest achievements! Photography wise...there have been so many ...winning competitions ...being in the finals for worldwide comp ...have all had a place ...having people from around the world contact me regarding my photography is also really humbling!
How do you ensure a worklife balance?
I am not sure I do ensure work life balance! When you do something that you love ....you don’t mind doing it 24/7! But being a wife and a mother ....the men in my life definitely make sure that there is a balance!
Who are your customers?
My customers are from all specters of life and at different stages of their lives ....Senior/Matric dances ....young engaged couples, brides & grooms ....couples becoming families.....older families!
What would be your advice to anyone setting up a business?
Set yourself goals and work towards them. Know where you are aiming for and enjoy the bumpy ride! But also don’t be frightened to re-asses your goals and change your course if you have to. Know that in the beginning that the money you make needs to be ploughed back into your business. Realise your strengths but at the same time realise your weaknesses and rather outsource the things you are weak at.
Name one thing that you could not live without in your business.
The one thing I couldn’t live without in my business is ....my camera! But there is something else that is just as important ....and that is back-up!
What would be your 3 best business tips for the year ahead?
3 tips for business this year ....is find your style, be confident and believe in your product and provide a great service!
What is your favourite Service/Product?
My favourite service ...is weddings! I think they touch the romantic in me!
What is your ultimate goal and has this changed since you started?
My goal has changed numerous times since starting ...and continuously evolves ...just as I as person evolve! My ultimate goal is to photograph amazing photographs ...that touch souls and speak to people!
Does the Internet help with your business?
The internet helps me 100% ....I have yet to advertise anywhere else!
How big a role does Social Media play in your business?
Social media is as great as word of mouth ....it has allowed me to have a more visible profile!
If you want the best wedding photos you could ever imagine, that you will treasure forever, just contact Photography by Jo-Anne Stokes. Jo-Anne will work with you to help capture your wedding day, making magical memories forever!