Hello everyone! I’ve got a really exciting guest to introduce to today; Nidia, photographer extraordinaire and owner of Style Undone Creative. She’s kindly agreed to pop over and talk to us today about photography for your business, balancing family/work life and about an exciting new project that she’s working on.
Needless to say all the images in today’s post are taken by Nidia herself, aren’t they pretty? Anyway, gushing over, let’s jump straight in.
Hi Nidia, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a style-obsessed visual storyteller (aka stylist + photographer!) for fierce, inspired and unapologetic dream chasers. I have a passion for showcasing the genius of stylish business women through stunning imagery.
Most days you can find me either entertaining my 4 year old daughter (usually with impersonations, kissing attacks and dance parties) or camera in hand, playing with beautiful things. I love almond milk lattes, beautiful books and flowers!
So, tell us more about your current project – The Style Gallery?
The Style Gallery is a truly unique stock photo library (which I’m calling a gallery because you’re not borrowing the photos, you get to keep them!). It’s unique in a few ways.
Firstly, it’s exclusive – there are only 25 memberships available, which means you are not going to be sharing your photos with hundreds of other members and seeing them everywhere.
Secondly, the images will be partly tailored to your brand. Every new member fills out a comprehensive branding questionnaire where I get an in-depth understanding of your brand, your style, your story and your image needs. I then take all this information into account when creating each new collection of stock photos.
Lastly, it will not be a gallery of just flat lays and desktops (although there will be plenty of those too!). I believe a well-rounded visual brand identity incorporates more of life. With this in mind, there will also be lifestyle images. Think scenery, food, flowers, etc. Basically, everyday moments in life, not just the perfectly styled ones. There will also be some fun and empowering quote graphics. Not to mention a couple of goodies delivered to your inbox every month!
The style of the images will, of course, depend on the unique business owners that join The Style Gallery, but the overall look will be polished, a bit badass, a bit pretty, and very light + bright.
Why did you decide to start The Style Gallery?
I absolutely love creating beautiful images for fellow business women to use in their digital spaces, but I was getting increasingly frustrated with the ‘sameness’ that’s been creeping into brand imagery due to the same stock photos being used by everyone (whether it’s the same actual photos or just the same style of photos). It’s difficult enough to stand out and authentically communicate your brand without looking the same as everyone else. But I understand that fully custom photography or creating your own brand images is not possible for everyone. Enter The Style Gallery! I don’t want to add to the stock photo ’noise’ that’s already out there. I want to create images that look and feel as much like you as possible. Your story is unique. Your images should be too.
How do you stay productive at home?
Mostly by having a routine and structure to my days. I find that getting ready for the day as if I’m going to a workplace really gets me into a productive mindset. I also stay productive by paying attention to my energy levels and my state of mind. For example, sometimes I’ve scheduled in some writing time, but I get a burst of energy and inspiration. Rather than forcing the writing, I look at my to-do list for the next few days and pick out something that needs creating, like a mood board or some graphics, and I do that. When I’m low in energy and the inspiration just isn’t coming, I settle down with some photo editing, instead. Also, I can’t say enough good things about batch-processing!
How do you balance work and home life whilst running a business?
As a mother to an active, vibrant four-year-old, I’m not really sure that I do! I think it’s more about creating a balance in my mind. There are days where I’m super productive in my business (things are getting done!), but we have sandwiches for dinner and the house is overrun with every single toy my daughter owns. Other days, the house is sparkling clean, I play with my daughter all day and I even make pesto from scratch! But my to-do list remains un-ticked. I have had to create a balance in my mind by taking a bit of time for myself everyday, no matter what kind of day I’m having, and also by accepting that I can’t do it all at once. Somedays I’m going to rock at my biz and some days I’m going to rock as a wife and mum, but probably not on the same day. And that’s okay.
What’s been your biggest struggle as a small business owner so far?
There are two big ones. The first has been accepting that I can’t move as fast as I would like to with my business because I have a little one at home with me most days and her well being has to come first.
The second has been the sheer amount of information for small business owners out there (also, a blessing though!). I have overdosed on information, gotten confused about what’s actually relevant to me and my business, felt like I have to fit into a certain mold, lost my way and been unable to do anything due to the overwhelm!
I had to take a giant step back and be honest with myself about who I am and what I wanted to achieve before I could move forward. This also requires a big dose of confidence and belief in oneself, which I think is essential to creating a business that serves you (as well as your audience), instead of you serving your business.
And what’s been your biggest success?
Seeing the stock photos I have created for my email list being used by some pretty amazing girl bosses to make their digital spaces beautiful and eye-catching. Also, I’m super excited about launching The Style Gallery and seeing what it turns into, because that will be entirely dependent on the unique mix of members that join!.
Why do you think it’s so important bloggers have professional photos?
So many reasons! Mostly it comes down to these two things:
1. The world currently has very low attention spans and the quickest way to catch that elusive attention is with stunning and unique visuals and
2. If your visuals are less than professional, your audience will think that your offering is less than professional, and nobody has time to waste on that!
If you’re handy with a camera and have the time to create professional-looking images, I say go for it and create your own! But, if this is not something you’re good at or have time for, you need professional photos to showcase your genius and ensure all your efforts are not wasted on an audience that’s not paying attention.
Being a professional photographer must be a huge advantage when it comes to Instagram! Do you have any tips for fellow business owners using the platform?
It does come in handy! I think my top Instagram tip when it comes to your visuals is to ensure that you use a variety of photos. Don’t just use flat lays and desktops simply because it’s a business account. Mix it up with some quotes, some scenery, different angles, maybe some food or interiors. You can make it relevant to your business by staying on-brand in terms of colours, mood and personality.
If you’re handy with your camera phone, think about capturing moments in your everyday life to really allow your audience to get to know you. If you struggle to take good photos, you can use stock photos that closely resemble your life (e.g. do you go for regular walks on the beach? Find some beach stock photos to post!) or even what you would really like your everyday moments to look like! Let’s face it, how many of us are really pumping out blog posts with a plate of macaroons and a bunch of flowers next to us?!
What’s your process for shooting photos for your list?
Usually, it starts with a single piece of inspiration, which could be anything from new flowers at my local florist to thinking about the different things we need to communicate to our audiences (e.g. ‘self care is important’, ‘how to achieve your goals’, etc.).
I then collect more inspiration, from my local shops, Pinterest, Instagram, magazines, etc. As the idea starts to develop, I gather all the props I’ll need and I put together a shot list of the images I want to capture. On photo shoot day I ensure I capture all the images on my shot list, but I also allow myself to just play around and see what else develops. Often, this results in my favourite shots!
I’m especially looking forward to shooting photos for The Style Gallery because my greatest inspiration comes from the amazing women who are making their dreams happen and knowing exactly what they need their images to communicate is what really gets my creative juices flowing!
Do you have a go-to shop for buying your props?
Yes, I love kikki. K and Typo for gorgeous stationery! They’re Australian brands, but I believe they ship worldwide. And I’m a sucker for using beautiful books, which I’m sure you can understand!
And finally, what do you think makes a truly amazing photo?
The unexpected. When you see a truly unique image, it captivates you. The element of unexpected-ness (not a word, I know!) in a photo could be anything, from a unique angle to a striking colour combination to an interesting subject or scene.
I’ve always liked a bit of rebellion and going against the norm!
What a fantastic note to end the interview with! I love that Nidia is a member of our wonderful Creative and Coffee community and took the time to swing by to give us all an insight into the world of professional photography.
If you’d like to support Nidia, or you just love her gorgeous photos, make sure to let her know over on the Instagram or if you’d like to be first on the waiting list for The Style Gallery you can join to get updates here.