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How I started my photography Business

What motivated and inspired you to start your business?

Being a full time photographer was always a dream of mine. I studied photography at degree level, and almost immediately after graduating I worked for a number of other photographers and photo agencies, but later pursued a career in teaching and educational project management. I had ampules experience of photographing people and weddings, and I was an assistant for a professional wedding photographer all throughout my studies. But it took a long time to accept that I was good enough to actually be a photographer and get paid for doing so. In 2011 I was made redundant due to the educational cuts. I searched for job after job but nothing. We were in a recession and all I remember thinking was “it was now or never.”

 

Tell us about your business

I have a successful wedding and portrait business, which is now in it’s 5th year (officially started in 2012). I am a very observant photographer who embraces natural light, and my work is very ethereal and natural. I also use and adore film photography. My clients range from; couples getting married to families, models, babies and newborns, lingerie shoots, corporate, food, other photographers, artistic commissions, and mostly anything that involves taking pictures.

 

What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?

I knew the craft, but very little about what being a business woman actually meant. I attended free courses on social media, book keeping and time management (and most were rubbish, but I was flat broke). So I arranged to meet other successful business woman and chat with them about their businesses over coffee, and I got a lot more from this than any of the courses I attended. I then slowly started to build up my network and collaborate with as many local businesses as I could. I would  always offer my services for free, and with no income (not even job-seekers), with the very minimal and basic equipment, and a very heavy credit card debt,  I can’t pretend this was an easy time.

 

How have you raised awareness?

It was at least a year of constantly researching, networking and building up my portfolio before I was ready to say I was now “a photographer” and start accepting work from strangers (many who later became consistent clients and friends) . I discovered a great number of like-minded creative wedding suppliers in my area and together we created a great network where we all helped to promote one-another. I managed to get some of my work featured on local blogs and magazines, and before I knew it I was finally getting booked for work. And it felt really really good.

 

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

There are always challenges in business, and going into business is not to be taken lightly. I face different types of challenges throughout the different growing stages of my business, the best thing is to not avoid challenges but rather welcome them as they come. I have found no matter what the challenges have been (even the particularly hard ones) they have always taught me a valid lesson and helped me to grow and shape my business model to become better each time.

 

How do you overcome challenges? Welcome them and face them, know that they are they to help you grow and overcome something that you need to (whatever that maybe), it could be that something needs to change to make you and your business stronger, and the only way to get there is to go through some growing pains.

 

What do you love about running your own business?

I love waking up every day knowing that I am doing what I love for a living. I have a studio in the centre of Sheffield and I love spending time there, it’s flooded with beautiful natural light and gives me so much inspiration. When I am not there I am either shooting a wedding or out on location shooting a portrait session/commercial/creative shoot. I have also got to see so many different parts of the country (and abroad) through my work, that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen, it’s just my absolute dream and I feel so very lucky to be living it.

 

How do you stay motivated through difficult times?

It’s important to take some time out to gain perspective, recharge your own batteries and accept these times are a part of life. I like to be around nature and go for a long walks in the Peak District (where I live), go hiking, or for a ride out on my motorbike. I also feel it’s really important to remind myself how far I have come, and reflect on all what I have achieved. Tough times pass, and it’s important to remember that in order to appreciate the greater times we do have to go through some tougher ones too.

 

Do you have a business philosophy?

Be true to yourself, and try not to compare yourself to others who are doing a similar thing as you. And remember that success has different meanings to different people. I believe that if you are doing what you love and are making a good living doing it, and you are happy, then you are already successful.

 

What advice would you give to other budding entrepreneurs?

Know what you want to achieve, and go for it regardless of what anyone else says. Keep only positive and influential people in your company, and you can never dream too big or aim too high. More importantly know and practice what the meaning of success means to you daily. And do not be misguided by what the definitions of success means to other people, you are not on their journey, you are on yours, and it’s not going to the same destination.

 

When I face a big challenge I… grab it by the horns and work through it the best way I possibly can, but I am conscious of being kind to myself and allowing myself time to work through things.

 

My greatest fear is… not enjoying my life and enjoying the journey of business. Regardless of income, if there is no enjoyment, self-reward and happiness, then how can you define such a way of life as successful?

 

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is…

Going for my dream of being a full time photographer, regardless that I was in debt, and that I knew nothing about business and had no income what-so-ever.

 

If I could go back in time to when I was 20 I would tell myself… Do more of what makes you happy, not what makes others happy. You don’t need anyone’s approval to follow your dreams and no dream is too big.

 

I believe… You are the only one that is in charge of your own destiny, and only you alone can and will make it happen.

 

The biggest lesson I have ever learned is… To stay away from negativity, especially negative people.

 

My favourite business tool or resource is…

My kindle; I download book after book, mostly books about other people’s business journeys, challenges and successes (currently reading ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert).

 

My favourite quote is… Thoughts become things… choose the good ones!

 

Thank you to the Female entrepreneurs association for the interview.

 

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I’m a professional and creative boudoir photographer with a Boudoir Photography Studio in Sheffield, and I have been telling stories through photography for many years.  I love photographing the female form together with beautiful ambient light and with a subtle approach, it is what helps to create a sensual photograph.

I was recently interviewed by the Boudoir Collective about this shoot (below) and my approach to boudoir photography and how I work with my clients in achieving their goals of the shoot.  The full interview is below, accompanied by the boudoir styled shoot shot on 35mm film with the beautiful Alison Jenner, enjoy…

What inspired this boudoir session? 






I’ve been photographing boudoir for a number of years, for wonderful clients, and never actually styled a boudoir shoot before, so I had the idea of working on a boudoir shoot just for the inspiration and creative aspect for a long while now (as it’s great to show prospective clients what can be achieved) and just to experiment and play around with different compositions and ideas. When speaking with Alison Jenner (my MUAH friend) about it we began hatching a plan and later I happened to see some saucy images of her appear on my FB feed (from a boudoir-type shoot she had a while back) and from then everything just clicked.

Sheffield boudoir photography studio

Now that your vision has come to life can you describe the final result in one word? 


Ethereal

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What was the most memorable moment from your shoot?

When we were having a really good chat and I took photos of Alison in moments when she was laughing and smiling (whilst speaking of things that she loved). I remember thinking to myself that she just looked so relaxed and radiant, and the photos show this so perfectly, like they almost tell a story, a beautiful story. These are the shots I call ‘moments,’ moments that are real and that ‘just happen’ in-between poses. You cannot recreate or stage these types of shots.

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Tell us why the shoot took place in this location?

I’ve worked at East Bridgford Hill in Nottingham before, Emma the owner of the house is really lovely and was very accommodating of the shoot. The house itself is a very popular intimate wedding venue and the room we used was the bridal suite, I remember photographing a bride in there on the morning of her wedding and just loving the amount of natural light that came flooding into the room, to the decor and king-sized bed. Since then I had always planned on shooting boudoir in that room. Conveniently Alison lives very close to the venue so it worked out great.
Sheffield boudoir photography studio Sheffield boudoir photography studio

What is your approach to boudoir photography? 






My approach to boudoir photography is that of an artist. I studied fine art paining and drawing back when I was at art college, and regularly attended life-drawing classes. I learnt how to see the human body as an art-form; how the light falls onto the body and how shapes are formed by the light and the shade. I now use the same principles in my boudoir work, but this time using my camera. My clients actually tell me that they feel more comfortable and confident about me taking their pictures knowing I have been drawing and painting naked strangers for over 17 years. As a woman I can recognise the vulnerability in my subjects and I approach these types of shoots with great understanding, respect and sensitivity. Vulnerability is real and it’s authentic, it helps to tell a story, a story of intimacy, longing and desire – each session is a beautiful untold love story. Each of my boudoir sessions are completely different to the next, all are individually tailored and bespoke to each client, it’s what makes each shoot special and unique, and it’s very important. I work in depth with each of my clients; getting to know them and what they are wanting to achieve, this all comes into practice on the shoot, it’s what knits everything together, it’s what helps to create trust.

Sheffield boudoir photography studio

What challenges, if any, have you faced as an artist?

I have faced lots, and still do. And I don’t think I will ever stop because as an artist I am constantly growing and developing, learning and changing.

Not all challenges are bad and most are there to push you to the next level and get you out of your comfort zone. I do like a good challenge every now and then.

Sheffield boudoir photography studio

What advice would you give someone considering a boudoir session?

If you are waiting to lose those few pounds don’t, don’t put it off as the opportunity may not always be there. A professional photographer will know how to pose you to flatter your individual body type and make you feel comfortable. Celebrate who you are through beautiful imagery, now is as good of a time than any. I always work closely with my clients before their session, we create a mood board together and make their shoot personal to them, I encourage them to treat themselves to beautiful delicate lingerie, carefully choosing neutral but complimenting colours and pretty fabrics, fresh flowers always work well too. I ask them to think about how they want to look in their boudoir photos and what do they visualize in the picture, I always encourage my clients to have a strong input in their shoot, after all it’s about them, and it’s fun; making them part of the planning and process is important as it encourages them, gets them prepared and raring to go. It also makes it specific to them, this way they are not trying to imitate or be somebody else, it’s really self-empowering and quite special.

Sheffield boudoir photography studio

What do you consider the difference between boudoir and fine art boudoir? 


I feel that fine art boudoir is very much like a fine art painting; delicate, romantic, using muted tones and colours, with images that have emotion and feeling to them. A fine art boudoir session is more about the woman feeling empowered and beautiful, where as ‘general’ boudoir can offer the use of harsh artificial light, bold bright colour schemes and quite a play-boyish theme, and more often than not the image is tailed more for the person who is looking at it than the woman who is in the photograph.

Sheffield boudoir photography studio


Outside of photography, what other sources do you draw inspiration from?

I draw my inspiration from so many sources; to music, musician, paintings, painters, designers, poets, writers, nature and travel. I like to read a lot and spend my time with other creative individuals (women in business). I’m always learning and looking out for new fresh ideas.

Sheffield boudoir photography studio

Lingerie from Cicly Bridal and Pompadour Lingerie

Bridal Suite at East Bridgford Hill in Nottingham

We love this shoot, and it was the first time that we got to meet Tara and Chris in person since them booking us for their wedding almost two years ago!  A lot had happened in that two years and when Tara emailed us to tell us of their baby news we were overjoyed, and it was quite a special opportunity to be able to combine their pre-wedding shoot with their baby-bump, and have maternity pre-wedding portraits in the snow! What an amazing time in their lives to be able to record through photography.  It was as though everything was perfectly timed – we had the most beautiful layering of snow over the Peak District the night before, and it made it extra special on their photo-shoot, it was quite magical in-fact.

It was great to hang out with Tara and Chris and learn more about them both and hear about their wedding plans in more detail, as well as take in the beautiful landscape of the Peak District in all it’s winter glory.  We are really looking forward to documenting their wedding day and meeting their new baby girl, who we heard has just arrived into the world, congratulations to the both of you xoxo
Maternity pre-wedding portraits in the snow snow in the Peak District Maternity pre-wedding portraits in the snow couple portraits in the snowy Peak District engagement photography in the snow Sheffield Photographer Sheffield portrait photography Maternity Portraits Sheffield pre-wedding shoot in the Peak District Kiss Maternity outdoor photoshoot Pre-wedding in the Peak Distrcit Sheffield maternity photos Maternity photographer Sheffield Baby 3D scan Getting married couple in love portraits in Winter Flower engagement ring maternity shoot in the snow portraits in the snow portrait shoot Sheffield Snow-Portraits-Peak-District Hunter wellies Landcape photography Peak District

If you would like to inquire about having your portraits taken by us please feel to get in-touch at: info at jesspetrie dot com. Or if you are getting married and would like to know more about our wedding photography services please fill in our contact form.

Sheffield Photographer

It’s been a busy couple of months at our City Centre Photography Studio that we have in the heart Sheffield.  We have been working on a series of portrait genres with a variety of clients, such as photographing new fashion lines with known labels, working with dancers who want beautiful imagery for their websites and promotional material, with both professional and amateur models who are wanting to build up/add to their portfolio, and with people who just want their portraits taking in our unique way.  Being a Sheffield Photographer is pretty awesome, and we are very luck that we get to call it a job.

We have a variety of spaces and backdrops available at our City Centre Studio, and we also go out on location if that is what you prefer, or we can mix it up and do a bit of both.

Below is a series of portraits taken at our City Studio of the lovely and multi-talented model and MUAH Chloe Gray.

Check out our Studio Portrait Portfolio and get in-touch to find out more and/or to book.

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Girl in the wind

On a day when the wind is perfect,
The sail just needs to open
and the world is full of beauty.

– Rumi

Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Photography Sheffield fashion portraits Girl in the wind Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Peak District Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Double exposure Duck Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Heather Girl with silver hair Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer lifestyle portraits Peak District Photographer Blue hair and black hat Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Sheffield Photography Double Exposure Pretty blue eyes Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Digital double exposure Girl in the wind Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Derbyshire Photographer Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Sheffield Photographer Blue hair Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer

Creative Sheffield Portrait Photographer

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Beautiful Maternity Photography Sheffield

I love photographing the expectant mother, there is just something so beautiful and joyous about these types of shoots, it’s like everything around them knows of this little miracle soon to enter the world.  Everything about the shoot is magical and the photos demonstrate this.  To capture yourself in photographs are as your little miracle is growing is really special, and I feel it’s such a beautiful and important time that must be caught on camera, to look back upon and cherish forever.  No matter how a pregnant woman feels I believe that every expectant mother looks radiant, blooming, gorgeous and very special.  And if you choose to document this magical time in your life you will see what I and everyone else sees when you look back upon your photographs, I can guarantee it.

The photographs below just supports the above in every way.  When Ruth booked me for her maternity shoot it really was a wonderful moment.  Ruth is a fellow photographer and I felt completely honoured that she had asked me to be the one to document her Mothering glow.  Ruth told me of the ideas she had planned for the shoot; the henna design on her bump, her hand-made flower-crown, her hand-made bouquet, and that she wanted her husband Dave to join her up on Surprise View in the Peak District. Yes. Yes. Yes!

With Ruth and Dave’s ideas and plans, together with our vision, we created some pretty magical visual records for them to cherish, just take a look…

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I offer Maternity photography as a popular service of mine, along with Newborn photography too.  If you are interested in both together I have a package that combines the two.  Please get in-touch to discuss things further.

Family Portraits at Bolton Abbey.

Clare and Dan came up from London for their pre-wedding shoot.  As they are soon to be married at Bolton Abbey Priory they decided they would like their shoot in the grounds of the Yorkshire Estate, how exciting!  Bolton Abbey is incredibly beautiful and does hold a lot of found childhood memories for me, so we all shared great things in it’s majesty.

Naturally Clare and Dan they brought their two gorgeous children, and Grandma, and it was just really nice to hang out and chat about their wedding plans, meet the children and Dan’s Mum, and get some pretty cool photographs!

We can’t wait to see you all in only a couple of weeks! xoxofamily portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey Bolton Abbey Photographer family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey family portraits at Bolton Abbey Bolton Abbey Child portrait photographer family portraits at Bolton Abbey