A while back I had the opportunity to have an interview about me and my business with Christie from Elexu in London which I thought I would share.
They wanted to interview me as I am a young person who has started up in business and they wanted to hear more about “how” I have got where I am today to aspire and show young people how you can follow your dream and be what you aspire to be. I was thrilled to be on board and have a chat with Christie about what I love doing.
I’ll add some images in between all the chatter
Here’s what they had to say at the beginning of their post:
Jade Langton-Evans specializes in bespoke natural and beautiful photography for weddings, maternity, babies, children and family, as written in her biography. She is not only a very talented photographer but she has also started up her own successful business at a very young age. Turning her hobby into her dream job. She is a great example of how following your dreams can pay off and keep the inspiration flowing.
1-Tell me a bit about your business and what introduced you to photography?
I have always been in love with beautiful artwork and enjoyed being expressive through this medium for as long as I can remember.I was fascinated by my grandads old twin lens reflex camera which I played with when I was a child but leading on from this I initially was introduced to photography when I was working on a project and my teacher gave me a digital camera and encouraged me to bring photography into the project which I was working on which included lots of colour, pretty skies and clouds.
I began to enjoy capturing images through the lens which in turn inspired me within my project. This then led me to learn more about photography from which I went to college and studied the more traditional photography with film. My parents saw my love for photography grow and they bought me an slr Nikon film camera one Christmas.
I became in love with black and white photography and the kinds of quality of images that were produced. I spent hours in the dark room developing new reels
of film and feeling excited at what I had captured on my negatives.
below my cat on film x
I decided that what I loved photographing the most were people. Every single person is different and fascinating in their own way and I loved to be able to capture stories and expressions as well as emotions. There are so many inspirational photographers and artists out there and I embraced visually others work.
I took my camera along with me pretty much every where I went and really enjoyed capturing natural moments of laughter , this led to me photographing several friends weddings alongside children’s portraits. When I was in college working on projects they just didn’t really seem to be working out for me. All I thought about was how much I loved capturing real love, emotion, happiness and expressions and I longed to be doing this. One of my teachers saw my flare and was convinced that I should pursue what I loved to do.
It took me a few years to get me to the point where I am today, I worked and learnt some things from professionals and also became a manager at a big photography company from which I felt in my heart it was time for me to flee and start out for myself. I must add this is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life!
I had been taking on weddings and portraits when I could fit them in alongside my fulltime job, but I wanted to be able to give my clients an experience that
included my whole heart and soul. It takes a long time to develop a style that peeople understand you. So I set off to set up full time and follow my dreams…
I now specialise in maternity, newborn, child and family, and take on a limited amount of weddings a year for those unique couples who do things differently.
2- The steps I took into starting the business were firstly: the biggest step taking the lunge into actually working and being self reliant for myself.
I had to set up my business,I had a business advisor who helped me to take the intial steps into making a business plan etc I had to look into all sort of insurances, buy more equiptment and over time build up spares of everything. Have a professional website built. Setting up paying for advertising, wedding fayres etc which I might add cost a lot, I don’t think I really realised how much money I would have to spend, and for photography it can get very expensive. Also props and blankets etc for babies and kids too.
What a huge learning curve it is and I still have so much more to learn which is all part of the fun!
What advice do you have for others?
The biggest piece of advice I could possibly give is:
Don’t ever think it’s easy! Photography is one of the biggest competitive markets that is out there. Be ready for hard work, hard work and more hard work!
You will see people undercutting prices to get clientelle, bad mouthing other people, and people willing to give everything for nothing just to get a job, I’m lucky to say
that most professionals I have come into contact with have been genuinely lovely and are just trying to do their best too, not only enjoy their job but also make a living
of it too, but unfortunately there are always those who spoil it for others just like with everything else.
When starting any new business you have to be aware of what is around you and be able to offer something unique to stand out from the crowd.
If I can take some quiet time regularly to think in peace it floods my mind with new inspirations to enable to keep creating new ideas. I also think it’s
important to keep being inspired because it’s the key to your creativity.
If I wasn’t inspired I genuinley would not be able to capture emotion and love which I do in my images.
What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
I have been very lucky in my first year of business to have some wonderful accomplishments.
such as mY work being featured on some of the top wedding and baby blogs on the UK
I had an email from a magazine hoping to feature my maternity and newborn work with them, which is pretty big so I’m really excited about that!
I have also taken bookings not just locally but from all over the Uk and booked my first family session over seas and are coming all the way from Russia!
I have also been priviledged enough to have two professional photographers book me too which is a huge thing for me and I am extremely humbled that they chose me over the many amazing photographers out there to capture their precious moments.
What inspires you?
Oh wow, where do I start!
All my clients are in awe of some of the ideas I come up with always ask, How did you think of that?
What can start my ideas off can be something very simple such as beautiful scenery, pretty things, books,good use of light,photographs, people, window displays, seasons and
life in general and a big one is my clients! my work really is so focused on them that I bring a piece of them into each individial session.
I regularly take time out to chill such as walking in the countryside when I’m busy because your brain can get so bogged down with editing, replying to emails,
sorting out samples, and albums etc etc that you have to remind yourself daily why you love what you do.
What is the most difficult thing about running your own business?
I think the most difficult thing about running a business is being able to stand out from the crowd constantly against the competition. I think especially when there are so many
people trying to be different and inspiring and it takes a long time to become established and known for a particular area you have to be on your toes all the
time and sometimes it feels like I’m sleeping, eating and breatheing photography and hoping that people can find me inbetween the sea of other artists.
It goes to say though that I’m very blessed in the respect that most of my clientelle have found and booked me because of images they have seen of their own
friends and family and it soon becomes a huge link.
how hard is it to work with children?
Every child is different. Sometimes I photograph children that I don’t have to do anything at all to make them laugh to get the shots I want, other times I have
to be more creative and pretend that I am a child and do silly things like be an animal or play a game with them for them to relax before I start photographing
Kids normally just want to have fun, so if they feel like they can’t do this then I would never be able to capture natural moments.I hate stuffy pictures, so I regularly
get the children to take breaks and have treat or jump up and down and run about to get them to use up some of that energy!
My approach is let them play, be a child and have fun and I pretty much always join in!
I can create a true children lifestyle portrait through this method and it has so far worked 100% for me.
Thank you Christie for asking me to interview and I hope this may help others who plan to follow their own personal dreams whatever they wish to aspire to!