This weeks spotlight is on photographer Martin Kemp:
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Martin and I’m originally from Norfolk, UK however I’ve been living in Suffolk for the last 4 years with my partner, Sam. We’ve got a dog called Alfie who is a helpful stand in model!
How did you get into photography?
I’ve always liked making art and found my calling with photography in the mid 00s, having bought my first Fuji bridge camera, I found a love of macro and bokeh in my photos and looked to see what else I could create. I would post my photos on social media and got some great feedback!
What made you want to start a business?
I’m quite an outdoors kind of person, enjoying long walks through the countryside and sitting in an office for 40 hours a week no longer appeals to me. Looking for options to change things up, I’d been told by friends many times that my photos were good and that I should give it a go and set myself up as a professional photographer. Since then I’ve been booking profile shots, family shots, weddings and everything in between!
What challenges do you face when running a business?
Competition is fierce, everyone with a modern mobile phone has a decent enough camera to take photos for the web, they may lack the clarity needed to print but it does make it a very accessible industry. Making money isn’t actually a problem, it’s getting a client in the first place that’s the hardest.
What’s your biggest success or achievement so far?
Booking my first paying wedding, having shot a few for free to help boost the portfolio, we finally were able to book paying customers for next year. I was also very lucky to have received a press pass for MCM ComicCon twice in 2019!
What do you do when you’re not working?
At the moment I also have a full time office job, working in telecoms. Otherwise you’ll see me wandering with my camera around looking for something interesting to snap.
What can you not live without?
Coffee and my camera! It’s glued to me night and day. I have two bags for it too, one large one to carry all the spares and a smaller one to keep it discrete.
What’s next for you/your business?
I’m hoping 2020 allows for more paying opportunities and I can then finally step away from the office and go full time. It’s a big wish but with 4 years of professional experience now, who knows!
What’s the hardest part of your job?
Not hearing back from prospective clients. You spend a lot of time talking to them, getting to know what kind of image they want then they ghost you. It can be really demotivating and I’ve often thought about giving it up entirely.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
The ideas part, sitting down with Pinterest and scouring ebay for props. There are so many great creative people out there to draw inspiration from!
What advice would you give to people starting out?
Take all advice with a pinch of salt including this! Like home remedies, what works for one person may not work for you. Don’t waste money on advertising, just take photos for the love of it and people will start to contact you to utilise your skills and your style. Use everyone around you that you can, take photos for free or for a nominal fee. Go for TFP (Trade for Print) shoots and look for people who need a second shooter at weddings.
You can see all of Martin’s work here.