Melanie East | In conversation with…. Georgia Lemon
I had the pure delight to interview Georgia. She is a talented photographer based in Aberdeen and has trained with me three times. In this interview you can clearly see the importance of updating your newborn training. She is relatively new to the world of photography having started her business only three years ago. Read how Georgia discusses her background, why she chose newborn photography, and what keeping her newborn photography training updated has done for her business. This talented photographer is proof that implementation works. She has seen a definite increase in wall art sales and profit. The changes she has made following my tuition means that Georgia is now working smarter, not harder. She is earning more money for less work. The result is a more confident, creative and profitable photographer.
Thanks so much for joining me Georgia. Tell our readers – how long have you been in business?
I have been a photographer now for just over 3 years and it’s been a wonderful journey!
What was your previous career before you became a photographer?
I loved my job as a tax advisor (as dull as it may sound) but my role in the business could not be sustained when I became a mother. Having a fulfilling career that would enable me to be the mum I wanted to be is important to me. My move to photography has done exactly that. I can be at home with my children when they need me the most (and this is something that was of utmost importance to me). It means that I can run my studio around their school hours. I was offered a training opportunity with a wonderful local photographer in Aberdeen and I trained with him in portrait photography. I gained my licentiate that year for child portraiture. It was then awarded the best licentiateship panel of 2017 – something I am very proud of.
That’s fantastic! Tell me – what made you branch into newborn photography?
I decided to expand my skills into newborn photography. With my love of child photography, this move seemed an obvious choice for my business allowing me to build client relationships from this early stage.
Why did you choose Melanie to train you in the art and business of newborn photography?
I researched a number of newborn photographers before booking. Throughout Melanie’s website and also her book, the emphasis was on safety and this appealed to me most. There are many newborn photographers out there looking to increase profits with training but with little or no emphasis on safety. I want to provide the best service for my clients in the safest manner possible – this is why I trained with Melanie. She also runs a successful newborn photography business so I knew that she would be speaking from experience – and this was important to me. I think it’s important that you train with somebody who runs a successful business in terms of profit and is proof of what can be achieved.
Why and what did you book?
I booked the following:
1-2-1 at Melanie’s – I was new to newborn photography. I wanted to ensure that before I provided this service to clients, I was equipped with the skills and safety advice necessary. This is absolutely vital to operate as a professional photographer with a newborn focus.
Italian Retreat 2018 with Melanie – Having learned the fundamentals from Melanie I wanted to push my work to the next level both technically and creatively. The Italian retreat was also very reasonably priced and made it an easy decision to attend.
1-2-1 at my studio – I then wanted to be able to take my work to the next level up again. I felt the only way to proceed was to learn in my own studio with my own props, equipment and lighting. Again this was hugely beneficial and the cost was surprisingly low given the huge benefit.
Tell our readers – what have you learned from Melanie in terms of each training session with her?
I have learnt the safe posing of newborns, how to light an image beautifully without the loss of detail in the shadows. I am now working more creatively. Most recently Melanie helped me understand that I need to produce work that I love and be able to sell this to clients. Melanie has given me the confidence to push forward my own ideas and styles. This has greatly improved my business and average sales. Since training with Melanie I have seen a significant upturn in my average sale value from each newborn shoot.
I’ve also implemented many of Melanie’s strategies across my portrait business and had similar success with our average sales here too.
“1-2-1 at Melanie’s – I saw an immediate difference with Melanie’s training. Before coming to Melanie I was a relatively new photographer (albeit qualified in portraiture). I was therefore completely new to newborns. Attending my initial one to one with Melanie gave me the confidence and skills to go away and build a portfolio of work and create saleable images.
Italian Retreat 2018 – the difference in my pre Italy shoots and post Italy shoots after Melanie’s tuition was unbelievable. So much so that an image shot in a session in the weeks after Italy scored an Award of Excellence in the Scottish MPA awards. Something I could never have dreamt of, just 2 years into my photography career.
1-2-1 My studio – after Melanie’s visit I took a while to sit back and reflect on the advice given and particularly in relation to sales, marketing and ordering sessions. On the advice of Melanie I revised my collections. I reduced my Wall Art offerings (to become more streamlined and creative). I also made significant changes to my digital image pricing. This was something we covered in detail together. As a mum to two young children and expecting my third, I wanted to work smarter and reduce the hours I was working. It was important that this did not have a detrimental effect to profit. I worried that making these changes would impact on the volume of customers. However, Melanie taught me that the gaining the “right” clients for me is more important than just “any” client and she taught me how to do that.
Melanie’s advice and tuition worked – I do have less clients but the clients I now have are spending much more than I could have imagined so I am now working less hours for more money – something as a mum of two young children I am very grateful for!
My average sales figures since implementing Melanie’s advice have at least doubled and in many cases tripled. Wall art sales have increased.
In what way was it helpful for Melanie to visit you in your own studio?
From the moment Melanie entered the studio she was able to identify that my beanbag was too soft…..which was affecting the posing. This is something that I would not have picked up at a visit to Melanie’s studio – because you can’t always remember on leaving how firm or soft her beanbag is! Melanie was able to guide me on light positioning using my own lights and space available. She was able to help me with using particular stuffers with my prop work to enable me to get baby in the right position. We worked on angles and using my lighting and my props in my own space.
Melanie was also able to guide me on my ordering room layout and sample displays. This was invaluable as she was able to look at this from a client perspective. She was able to give a large amount of advice concerning my set up. I wouldn’t have had this insight from a 1-2-1 at Melanie’s studio.
How do you feel you have grown in terms of photography and business since training with Melanie?
Since training with Melanie, my confidence has greatly improved. My posing, creativity and lighting have all improved, I have noticed a significant improvement each time I have trained with Melanie. Melanie reveals all during her training sessions and each time I train with her I leave enthused and ready to take my work to the next level.
Why did you train multiple times with Melanie?
I’m a firm believer in training and development. Updating your newborn photography training is important. Many view it as a failing admitting that they have been for training more than once. I don’t see it like this. It’s impossible to learn absolutely everything in a day. That is one of the benefits of learning with Melanie. Each day is tailor made to your requirements at that time. As we develop in our careers, so do our training requirements. It’s obvious to me that you would want to refresh your skills, refine a technique, or keep up to date with safety practices. That is exactly what i have done with Melanie the last three years. I will continue to do so as my needs develop.
I’m very proud that I’ve trained with Melanie on more than one occasion. It lets my customers know that I am constantly striving to develop my skill base and that I’m not standing still. It gives clients great comfort to know you’ve invested in training by a leading newborn photographer who has a focus on safety.
Would you recommend Melanie’s training to other newborn photographers?
Absolutely. There are very few trainers who are prepared to give you all of the information. Melanie does! This coupled with her focus on newborn safety is the reason why I would not hesitate to recommend her. Melanie’s strategies work.
What would you say to others about Melanie?
Melanie East is an extremely talented newborn photographer and trainer. She has been at the forefront of newborn imagery for many, many years. She is an advocate for safe practices in newborn photography. Melanie is hugely supportive of all delegates who train with her. She and invests a significant amount of time in mentoring. I am extremely grateful to have met Melanie and had the opportunity to train with her on more than one occasion. I will continue to do so.
**Very well done to Georgia** If you need help with your photography art or business (or both), then please get in touch. It is important to keep updating your newborn photography training. 1:1 days are tailor made to your complete requirements. Please click here to take a look.