Professional photography is highly competitive. However, it seems that Ally Whitlock has discovered the secrets that can make an aspiring photographer stand out in the crowded market.
Stonelock Photography is Ally & AJ, a wife and husband photography team specialising in creative and natural wedding photography as well as photography for businesses to use in their marketing and advertising. The launch of their company was a dream that Ally had been working towards for a number of years! “Passionate about photography. We don’t believe any other form of communication can capture a moment or tell a story quite so powerfully.”
Having worked in the world of photography for about eight years since she graduated from the London University of Arts, Ally has extensive experience collaborating with and working for other, established, photographers. One important lesson she learned during this time is that being a good photographer isn’t just about taking a good photo! In a fiercely competitive market, in which anyone can buy a camera and call themselves a professional photographer, your experience, credibility and business acumen will be stretched and challenged in the early days. After eight years, Ally knew she had the necessary skills and experience so she jumped right in launching Stonelock in April 2014!
But the launch was just the beginning of the steep learning curve that followed. Ally shares that the biggest challenge in running her own business, is that she is responsible for everything! She says: “For aspects that are not a part of my natural skill set, places like MyOutspace have been brilliant! Coming along to their monthly networking events and advise sessions, I have been able to chat to and get great advise from their team of advisors on funding that is available to me, accounting queries and legal issues. I really valued being able to talk with people who are experts in these fields in a welcoming environment!”
Now a successful entrepreneur, Ally has some invaluable advice for people wondering whether starting up is the right idea for them: “To other women who are trying to set up or grow their businesses I would really recommend networking and tapping into all the fantastic business resources that are available to us.” Since over 90% of her work during her first year of business came from word-of-mouth referrals, from meeting people, talking to people and getting to know people, she believes that personal recommendation is the best form of advertising …that and a professional photo that represents you, your brand and your business of course!
To learn more about Ally and Stonelock Photography please visit: www.stonelockphotography.co.uk or follow @StonelockPhoto
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