What is your DWF Username? Gloria B
What is your Full Name? Gloria Bell
What is your business Location? Nanaimo, BC on the beautiful Vancouver Island
What is your website URL? www.islandexpressionsphoto.com
How many years have you been in business? 9
Was there life before photography or has this been a lifelong passion for you? There was life before my photography career! I also have a Bsc. In Biology with emphasis on cell bio and genetics. Long story short – it was med school or photography and well I didn’t want to become a workaholic so I chose photography for a soothing, soul healing route while I recovered from losing my Mother to Cancer.
I can now say – if it’s in you to become a work workaholic – um – ain’t going to matter what you do! If you are passionate about what you do, you have to train yourself to step back, enjoy life, outsource and do whatever to keep yourself balanced and healthy.
What’s been your biggest business challenge? How have you faced that challenge?
Keeping up with the changes of everything become e-this and e-that. While I’m not behind the times, I’m defeinatiley not on the forefront of where businesses are going online, but I am working on it. Remember, I started shooting in the films days where websites were but a dream, and bridal fairs and print ads were how you purchased advertising and got yourself out there.
What’s the most effective way you’ve found to market your studio?
I still believe that word of mouth is the strongest form of marketing and a good personal recommendation to a business or service is GOLDEN. I book most of my local weddings from word of mouth and most of my destination weddings through the web or through vendors relationships.
If we needed a photographer today why would we book you? What makes you unique?:I’m different than the norm and I’m proud of it. Taking good care of my clients and ensuring that my couples are well taken care of, well informed, and a little pampered too. I often find it’s the little things that really stand out and are remembered. My bridal fair booth are fabulous and stand out showcasing more than just imagery but a style and I want that to carry through all my marketing pieces and my website. Defined style throughout is important. People will either love it or feel nothing about it…..and I’m ok with that!Inspiration is a powerful thing and without it, I’d be lost, for all things in life. Good thing it’s everywhere and that alone can help shape you and your photographic style.
What is the one item used in your shooting or editing workflow you can’t live without? What makes it indispensable?
Love lightroom!! Also an avid user of Photo Mechanic and CS5 with Portraiture as my main go to plug in. Total time savers all around. Occationally I dip my fingers in developing chemicals which is kinda of wonderful too! Love my 4×5 and my Hassleblad!
What advice would you give to an aspiring photographer?
Running a photography business is 90% business and 10% photography (thank you Francis Litman!!). Very true and even more so for a successful venture. This is far more difficult than any job I have done in my life, yes even university and working in the biology field, but as exhausting and stressful as it is, I do love it. You have to be strong willed and want it bad to make it happen.
What has the DWF done for your business?
Opened up doors to the industry – where it’s going, what’s going on, highlighting business issues and finding resources that I would have never been able to find locally. Most of all, it’s really a community and I like that feeling. DWF is the only forum I routinely check. I’m a member of a couple other but honestly – it’s been years since I have logged in. DWF is the single best $100 odd dollars I spend every year. Hands down.