Just over a week ago I did something I’ve been scared to do for years. Stand up in front of a group of (utterly wonderful) people & give a workshop on Photography 🤓 Imagery is such a vital part of creating engagement with your audience, an invaluable marketing tool that every business, no matter the size, needs.
Bournemouth-based photography business, Studio Shotz is celebrating its 10th year in business.
In March 2009, Zelda de Hollander started business straight from university, trading as Studio Shotz, a high street based photographic studio in Southbourne.
Zelda de Hollander gained her degree in Commercial Photography at The Arts University in Bournemouth after attending Twynham High School in Christchurch.
The first half of Studio Shotz’s successful trading life was in Southbourne Grove, specialising in studio portraiture and family photo shoots. Zelda de Hollander, owner of Studio Shotz Photography, says: “I set up the high street photography studio at just 21 years old, straight after I’d graduated, and was lucky enough to stay trading on the high street for 5 years.” Research from Bloomberg, has shown that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months and a full 80% of businesses fail in less than two years. These are staggering statistics.
In 2014 Studio Shotz moved to become home-based so that the focus of the business could shift more towards commercial work and this enabled the business to become much more flexible. Zelda says: “Being based at home, I can work the hours that people need me and am not being restricted to the usual 9 – 5 shop hours. I loved my time trading from the high street, but working from home makes more sense for progressing my business.”
“I’ve have had the privilege of working with some amazing local businesses and people over the last decade, including JP Morgan, Barclays Bank, The Telegraph, Dorset Chamber and Enterprise Nation. I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved in the past 10 years, and can’t wait to see what the next 10 have in store!”
A Festival celebrating the benefits international culture has brought to Dorset has been hailed a big success. Organisers of the inaugural One World by the Sea Festival are planning a “bigger and better” version next year.
The community festival, organised by members of the International Education Forum of Bournemouth and Poole, attracted thousands of visitors to events taking place over four days and I was there to Photograph it!
Was absolutely delighted to be asked to photograph not only the cover image for the new Venus Magazine, but also 2 features. The cover girl is Emma-Jane Taylor an Entrepreneur, TV Presenter on The Well-Being Show aka The Inspirational Mentor and author. Emma graced the cover of the magazine photographed in the picturesque Chandelier Bar in Christchurch, followed by a studio photo shoot, along with a few outfit changes, back at Studio Shotz. Here are my favourite images from the shoot…
For the Thames Valley London edition on the Venus Magazine, I also went on a road trip to Reading to photograph Sir John Madejski at the Madejski stadium. Sir John welcomed us into his penthouse apartment for a feature interview and my photo shoot, EK! Lucky for me, his apartment has a gorgeous wrap around deck that showcased the entire city of Reading. He also had numerous paintings, photographs and memorabilia which made for great backgrounds and props (I love the gnome!).
In the middle of Sir John’s penthouse was a beautiful black grand piano, I asked if he wouldn’t mind posing for me while playing “Oh, I only play this thing when I’m drunk” I think I’m quite persuasive and he looked so happy tinkling the ivories…
This year I was in the finals for Networker of the Year, sponsored by PlayGolf Bournemouth, a category that I’ve become quite passionate about. It’s a key way of developing your professional & social contacts, not just for yourself but for your already established connections too. The past year I’ve really stepped out of my comfort zone, literally, walking into rooms of people where I have known no one…
The Venus journey concluded at a glamorous Black Tie Ceremony and Gala Dinner at Bournemouth International Centre on Thursday 20th October 2016 . Dubbed the “Working Women’s Oscars” by Channel 4 and now in its seventh year in Dorset, the Venus Awards goes from strength-to-strength in discovering and recognising the talents of enterprising women. Competition was fierce this year with 785 nominations and applications across the 15 Award categories in Dorset.
However, it’s not the first time I’ve been in the Venus Awards Finals, it’s the third! Previously for Online Marketing and Networking! (Not to mention I’ve been in the semi-finals/short listed for everything from PR, online business, customer service and professional of the year!)
I enjoyed the Venus Night with my table; consisting of good friends, my family and some awesome business people that wanted to support me. Thank you for joining me Nick from Foxes Estate Agents, Andy from Gervis Accountants & Christchurch Chamber and Dion from Pure Networking! You all made the night truly memorable, hilarious and fun.
Public speaking scares me. I’m just no good at it, my mind goes blank & I lose my words… Thankfully I remembered to thank my mum “MUM, I LOVE YOU!” and the Venus Awards, but the nerves did get the better of me & I forgot to thank some key players, MAJOR WHOOPS.
Firstly, I need to thank Pure Networking! That room I first walked into not knowing anybody, I can say that a year later they’re now clients, business contacts and friends. It is the most welcoming, friendliest & most FUN networking events I have ever attended. Why else would I sign up as their official photographer and attend every single event!?
I also need to thank CCTC (Christchurch Chamber of Trade & Commerce), I was delighted that Andy from Gervis, also CCTC’s Treasurer joined me at the Venus Gala, they’re one of the first local networking groups I really got associated with and have met some big influecnes in my business world there.
For obvious reasons I have to thank PlayGolf Bournemouth, especially Peter Gilbert (Thank you for the celebratory bubbles!) for choosing me as their winner. When waiting for our turn to be photographed and filmed as winner & category sponsor, I blurted out “But, why me!?”, “Your progression in the past year. You don’t have to introduce yourself any more, people already know Zelda the Photographer”. How awesome is that!
Lastly, however cheesy this may be, here it goes…. I need to thank my late Dad. He was the person that persuaded me at 21 years old, only 2 weeks after finishing my university degree, to set up my photography business with a high street shop! Talk about diving in at the deep end. There is no way I could have done what I’ve done without you.