Meet Elly from Eleanor Conduit Photography
One of my earliest and most vivid memories of my childhood was spending time with Dad as he attempted to teach me how to use his Pentax SLR camera. I don’t think either of us knew then, how those moments would shape my career and how strongly it would forge a love of photography, cameras and technology. As a teen, I taught myself how to use Photoshop, and started playing with photography while using disposable cameras, film SLR cameras and point-and-shoot digital cameras. I took photography classes during High School and this further cemented my love of photography as I spent my free time in the darkroom developing black and white film. I can still smell the Developing chemicals in that tiny dark room in the back of the Art building.
When my firstborn was about eighteen months old, my husband was made redundant and so I accepted an offer by a local Photographer, to work as the Photographic Retoucher in his Ballarat studio. It was while working at GMK that I was trained in the professional use of a digital SLR camera and learned much about the Photography Industry. Photography has shaped much of how I look at things. While training at the Creative Institute of Australia to complete my formal Photographic education I learned how to appreciate the technology and the science behind good photography, and how to allow these elements of the Art come through without taking away from the creativity and emotion of the photograph. This taught me that despite the technology and the science; essentially Photography is a creative and expressive component of the Art industry.
In 2011 I co-founded a small Photography business, Yuelle Studios. This experience taught me to trust myself as an artist and as a businesswoman. To trust my creativity and my passion and not to allow others to dilute my art. In 2014 I branched out and rebranded myself under my own name. I launched. I had spent years building the platform and this time I wasn’t going to share it. I now had the confidence in myself to do things the way I saw them and I didn’t need to ask permission.
Standing beside me, this whole time, was my Husband. He knew it all along, he had been telling me for years that I could do it and I finally had the guts to believe him. I’ve now been a Photographer, professionally, for almost ten years. I have photographed Birthdays, Christenings, Weddings, Portraits, Head-Shots, Real Estate and Stock. I love what each job brings to the table; the challenges and the emotions are always different and they are always personal. That is what I love about my job.
Tell us about your business
I am a Photographer, with a particular love for shooting Weddings and Families. My target audience is Engaged Couples, and Families (young and old).
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became one in the first place?
For me, being a business owner means flexibility. It means I can work “with” and “where” I choose, and my only limitations are those I allow – and not those imposed on me. Having the control to choose the days and times when I work is vital as my Husband is studying as well as runs Conduit Hapkido Centre (a Martial Arts School in Wyndham) and we have three children all in School. I want to be the Mum who picks her kids up from School each day, and who can also juggle a career that I’m passionate about.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
I am inspired predominantly by other women photographers. Historically, photography was a boys club, however, as more and more women break into the industry and succeed I am inspired and thrive on hearing about the success of other women. My greatest influences are Jasmine Star and Sue Bryce.
Outside of Photography, the person who has been behind me the whole time and who pushes me drives me and encourages me to be courageous and trust my inner muse has been my Husband. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for his constant encouragement. He’s my rock.
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Having the courage to break away from a negative business environment and establish my own brand, shoot through my own eyes and develop my own style. Having the courage to be true to myself, allow my muse to speak and my own creativity flourish. Since doing that, my success as tripled [Symbol]
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Trust yourself and your abilities. Charge what you’re worth and don’t undervalue yourself!! Don’t listen to “haters” who try and change you to suit themselves.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Social media. Word of mouth. Producing a quality product and it will speak volumes.
What is one thing you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Stay on top of your book work! And Don’t Procrastinate!
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? If yes, please describe (and include links if available).
I use the ATO app to record receipts and expenses
The Women’s Business Society has been a great platform, and I’ve received loads of leads from this website!
Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project ~ reached a milestone, etc.)? If so, please tell us about it.
For me, my biggest project is personal – to increase my wedding bookings and work alongside other brilliant wedding photographers. I’m also on the lookout for a good second shooter for my weddings [Symbol]
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I read 🙂
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Courage (to be gutsy enough to try).
Creativity (to think of something new)
Patience (to work at it as slowly or quickly as it takes to succeed)
What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Losing my passion. I manage it by challenging myself, I’m quite the gypsy and if I get stuck doing the same thing all of the time I get bored and then my creativity doesn’t flow. Working with different people, in different locations means I get to challenge myself with every new shoot.
What makes you happy?
Firstly, my husband and children. Secondly, my friends. Thirdly, my photography. But overall, seeing that other people are happy.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
Weekends. As a wedding photographer, I willingly give away my weekends to shoot. Most weddings are held on a Saturday and as I give my whole body and mind to the wedding I am exhausted on Sunday and spend much of the day on the couch snuggling with my kids and watching movies.
Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
I admire Jasmine Star. She is an exceptional photographer but also gives her time in educating young up-and-coming photographers on how to run a successful photography business.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
Travelling more to shoot Weddings. I’d love to think I’d be travelling overseas to shoot destination weddings.
What book has inspired you the most?
My favourite book is Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
How do you measure your success in business?
The things people say, the bookings I get and my own (personal and creative) growth.
Do you have kiddies if so how many? And what is their favourite activity to do with you.
I have three kids, Gabriel (age 10), Sasha (age 7) and Lucia (age 6)
We love walking our dogs, going to the beach, scouring rock pools, watching movies, visiting the Museum and reading together.
WBS Event Photographer
WBS Business Woman of the Month Feb ’16
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