If You Have A Talent, You Have A Business
Rebecca Picard loves playing "Eye Spy With My Little Eye" with her 6-year old son. But when she aims her Nikon D2X at a subject from her Brattleboro, Vermont, home and photography studio, it's more than just child's play.
Like so many Indies, Rebecca always felt that working for someone else was perfectly safe and sensible. Then along came motherhood and everything changed. Here is some of Rebecca's story, complemented by some of her striking work.
dM: Tell me a bit about your decision to go Indie.
Like many women, when my son was born, I had to decide whether to leave my job in order to take care of him full-time. However, I couldn't ignore my need to be independent and creative. I dabbled in different arts and crafts when he was younger, painting, jewelry making, soapmaking, and for a while, I hung up my camera all together.
dM: How did you come to pick up your camera again?
A few years ago, I bought my first digital camera, and my passion for photography was reborn. I had many contacts in the Indie bath and body community, and soon found myself fielding requests for product photography. It had been a long-time dream of mine to own my own photography studio, and even though I originally envisioned it as being a portrait studio, I've built a wonderful niche doing commercial photography for many Indie designers and manufacturers.
dM: What do you love about being Indie?
Everything! I love every aspect of owning my own business. I can sleep in and work in my pajamas if I want to. I can work from home and be around my family every day. I love working with other small business owners (mostly other women) on a daily basis. And I love being paid to be creative and do something I love to do.
dM: What is your biggest Indie business challenge and how do you overcome it?
The biggest challenge is getting people to see a value in my service. I need to maintain a price point that allows me to thrive and grow as a business, yet be affordable to small businesses. In graphic design and photography, there is always someone who will do the same job for less, even though they don't have the skills. I overcome this challenge by consistently doing good work and providing my clients with an experience, not just a CD of photos. I want them to experience what hiring a professional brings to the table.
Rebecca's story shows us that:
- If you have a talent, you have a business. A New Testament proverb (Matthew 5:15) cautions against hiding your light under a bushel. Don't let motherhood, fatherhood, job loss, relationships, life disappointments or anything else get in the way of making the best possible use of your talent.
- Change is natural. Rebecca started out doing what she knew: portrait photography. But she quickly changed course when the opportunities presented themselves. She is successful today in part because she allowed her customers to tell her what they would pay for, and then she began providing it.
- Use your relationships. Rebecca's kinship with other Indies naturally connected her with people who needed her services. She saw those relationships as opportunities to generate income while also being around people she really liked. Rebecca's story shows that networking does not have to be formal or scary. It can be as simple as enhancing naturally shared interests with a win-win business opportunity.
In a previous post, I discussed the critical importance of quality product photos. That's why I've invited Rebecca, a member of the Indie Beauty Network, to be my guest on Indie Live! on October 15. She will share more insights into the benefits of professional product photos, as well as DIY tips. In the meantime, you can be enchanted and inspired by her work as displayed at her website.