Laura Jayne is a professional Photographer based in Cardiff, South Wales.
Having always had a keen interest in photography, 2016 is the year I decided to start my own company, Laura Jayne Photography. My clients include a variety of businesses, universities and as I do a lot of food photography I work with lots of restaurants and bakeries.
I cover events, work with businesses to create corporate headshots, website & marketing photography and I also do family photoshoots.
I started my career studying for a degree in Journalism at Cardiff University, which I really enjoyed. After graduating I went on to work in marketing for two different beauty brands in London, I spent a year living and working in London and learnt a lot! Returning to Wales, I moved back to Cardiff where I have worked for digital web/branding agencies and in the PR & Marketing office at Cardiff University.
I completed a photography course whilst working here, and I really enjoyed it! I’d always been creative and had a passion for photography but I built up my knowledge and expertise with lots of practice and learning from others. I started to take photos professionally alongside my full time job and my interest in photography only grew.
I then found myself in a fortunate position where I was able to start my own company, so I took the jump from secure full time employment to becoming a freelance photographer. No regret though!
When I get a brief from a client I think about how I can use my creativity to fulfil the brief, giving the client what they are looking for as well as adding my own style and ideas. I create a Pinterest board for each job to compile all my ideas, and take inspiration from the great work out there and having a space to bring all my thoughts together.
I will often throw ideas around with my partner, as he is a videographer so can offer great advice and often gets me thinking about things differently. I like to create a storyboard for each photoshoot, with the shots I hope to get on the day. This is helpful as I can refer back to these ideas and make sure I have everything covered. Of course I also let my creativity run wild and take the spontaneous in the moment photos!
I work from a home office and I hire a studio based in Cardiff when I need to use one. Most of my photography work is done at various different locations or outdoors – I love to photograph with nature and natural light too. I also have space at home to set up a mini studio which I can use for food & product photography, it’s come in very handy! My first camera was a Canon, as this is what I learnt to use professionally this is what I have stuck with and it’s always served me well. I now use a Canon 100D/Rebel SL1 and a Canon 550D, as well as an external Canon flash. When editing photos in my office at home I use a MacBook Air and a variety of Adobe software.
I’m constantly learning, not only how to run a business but also new photography skills. I’d say to anyone looking at a career in photography to make sure it’s your passion, it’s definitely not all glamourous photoshoots and it can be a hard slog at times! Surround yourself with other creatives when you can, it’s great to immerse yourself into a creative environment and you will find you learn a lot from others.
You need more than a good eye and photography skills to run a business, so if you’re not sure on things don’t be afraid to ask for some advice. Make sure you have some good marketing in place, I built my own website to get me started and had some business cards printed to get my name out there. I also make great use of social media, don’t overlook it – it’s the best free marketing tool you will come across!
It’s a big risk deciding to do something full time that does not give you a reliable income, I am really lucky I have had the support I’ve needed to follow my passion. For the future I hope to continue to grow my company and work with more great clients, building my portfolio and skillset alike! Photography is an exciting and enjoyable career, and I look forward to seeing where it takes me.
Learn more about Laura on her website.