Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spotlight: Magdalena M

1st You made a transition from working in the fashion industry to starting your photography business. What was the motivating factor to make the change?

My decision to go into fashion was made early in life. After graduating from Ryerson University, I worked as an in-house designer and pattern maker for a manufacturer in Toronto, in addition to creating a women’s wear line. I spent tremendous hours working both jobs. Burned myself out, physically and financially, just to make things happen. A few years into what sometimes felt like struggle, the fashion career was not working out the way I hoped. After barely breaking even producing a collection for four years, I clued in that perhaps it wasn’t for me. On the manufacturing side – things shifted, and I ended up “product developing” more so than the hands-on design I really enjoyed. I craved change.

Before working in the industry, I held a job at a camera store. Having met several fashion photographers, lead me to working as a part time fashion stylist and makeup artist. The hours spent on set enabled me learn studio photography and lighting, it was a natural transition to another creative genre. I’ve been a hobbyist photographer for years, it was something I loved and experimented with, but didn’t think I could make a career out of. 

In 2005 I made a career jump, and joined a shared photography studio. The first years of building my business were tough. I was lucky to have a few helping hands, people who were instrumental to my growth. Although having some trying times, I knew photography was my calling because there would  always be something amazing and unexpected around the corner. 

I’m glad I woke up one day and decided to listen to my inner voice. Freelancing is a lifestyle that is both rewarding and challenging. The trade off of never knowing what to expect, is getting to do what I love for a living. 

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” (Confucius)

2nd Having ongoing business is key in creating success in any industry. Can you share few strategies that have let to referral success in your business?

A quality product or service is essential to growing a client base. Selling a service is more difficult, and quality can definitely add value to what you offer.  Some things that go beyond quality are consistency and overall experience. 
Being easy to work with, polite and attentive goes a long way. My clients can depend on me in case they lose images or need something completed in a shorter time frame. I provide the best possible experience, by being reliable, consistent, and deliver a quality product.

 Because every client is different, their needs and expectations will vary; the key is being a good listener. The easier I make it for my client, the higher the chances of them giving me referrals or hiring me again. Being likable and understanding your client’s needs are just a few key components to gaining new and repeat business. 

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