20 Questions with Dorset Business News: Photographer Zelda de Hollander of Studio Shotz Photography takes the hotseat

By Andrew Diprose, Editor 

Each week we shine the spotlight on a member of Dorset’s business community and ask him, or her, for answers to our part fun/part serious questionnaire. This time…

She loves the smell of fresh flowers – and sizzling bacon – has been enjoying spaghetti bolognese since the age of five, enjoys meeting new people in her job and gets very frustrated at headshots which have been overly airbrushed.

Photographer Zelda de Hollander, of Studio Shotz Photography, takes the 20 Questions’ hotseat.

Question: What is your favourite TV show?

Answer: Recently I’ve been absolutely loving the writing of Phoebe Waller-Bridge so I binge-watched Fleabag and Killing Eve in a matter of days. Already tempted to re-watch them both!

Q: Who would you like to share a car with?

A: Annie Leibovitz. Would love to have a conversation with her about portraiture.

Q: The best bit of my job is…?

A: Meeting new people. Before every photo shoot I try and sit down with people, for even five minutes and just have a chat. Find out more about them. Also, it might sound a bit cheesy but I absolutely love showing people how good you can look without filters and Photoshop…

Q: And the worst…?

A: People that assume this isn’t my job and ask if this is my ‘weekend’ job/side hustle and what do I actually do?

Q: Who was your childhood hero?

A: My dad. I lost him a few years ago but he was the one that convinced me to become self-employed and go after my dream job of being a photographer.

Q: What’s your favourite smell?

A: Fresh flowers – or sizzling bacon.

Q: Where’s your favourite place in Dorset?

A: Bournemouth beach. Any weather. It’s just a beautiful place. You can’t beat a good storm and cloud formation though.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out on a career?

A: Being passionate about your job is so important, but my advice is to actually get as much education as you can. I have a degree in commercial photography. It not only taught me photography but how to be in business, how to market myself and the behind the scenes nuts and bolts of running a creative business.

Q: What was your first record/CD?

A: I don’t actually remember exactly but it’s got to be something terribly embarrassing like Backstreet Boys or N Sync.

Q: What gets you angry?

A: A lack of manners. They’re free. Just be treated the way you’d want to be treated.

Q: Do you have a favourite piece of music?

A: My favourite band is Stereophonics, so anything by them. But recently my Alexa has got bored of me playing Twin Atlantic – Novocaine on repeat.

Q: What are the qualities you look for in a new employee?

A: I’m a bit of a lone wolf when it comes to business, but the amazing contractors I work with such as event organisers, make-up artists, stylists etc need to be organised, friendly, helpful. Being a real people person in this line of work helps immensely.

Q: What’s your favourite food or dish?

A: I’ve had the same favourite meal since I was five – Spaghetti Bolognese. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of it.

Q: Steamed sponge pudding and custard or a plate of melon?

A: Well I can’t eat dairy so not the custard! Reluctantly, then, the melon.

Q: Name the best thing about living/working in Dorset?

A: The amount of diversity we have in such a small area; from the scenery of the beach to the countryside to the massive range of industries we have. There’s everything and more in Dorset!

Q: If you were Prime Minister for the day what would be the first thing you do?

A: Give more money and resources to the NHS. That’s the only correct answer, right?

Q: What’s your biggest frustration?

A: Terrible filters and heavy use of Facetune. You’re already beautiful; don’t mess with your face so it doesn’t even look like you anymore!

Q:  Where’s your favourite holiday location?

A: It may have been a ‘working’ holiday but I LOVED New York when I went with my university class. It was January or February and  -7ºc out but there was so much to see, to do and the people were so kind. They just loved our ‘posh’ accents! We spent the entire time taking photos. Absolute perfection.

Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

A: Hopefully still taking photos! As long as I’m doing that I’ll be happy.

Q: What would you like to be remembered for?

A: Being the friendly expert behind the camera, helping to make people feel comfortable in front of the camera and looking great too!

View the full article on the Dorset Business News website here

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