Meet Guildstreet’s feature small business: Svetlana Yanova Photography.
Entrepreneurs have that ‘do-it-yourself’ mindset. Often, they take on Finance, IT, Marketing, Operations — and everything in between — to get their business off the ground and save some dollars. But let’s be honest. Photography might be the one task they shouldn’t do themselves.
Every business or brand needs photography. Whether it’s for your website, billboards, printed materials or social media, appealing and professional photography will make you or your business appear more polished and experienced. It will create cohesion for your brand. It will help draw attention and elevate your profile. In the end, it will help bring customers in and your business grow.
Guildstreet recently sat down with Svetlana Yanova of Svetlana Yanova Photography to discuss the benefits of photography for businesses. She shared some insider tips and a bit about her own journey into entrepreneurship.
Why did you start your business?
There’s a lot more to a good photo than meets the eye. In fact, as we learned when chatting with Svetlana, most of the magic — especially the passion and inspiration — is years in the making.
“My love for the camera and for photos was instilled as a child. My father was a professional photographer and I was often following him around, wanting to be part of the action. He taught me about light, timing, composition… all the fundamentals needed to capture a great photo,” she recalls. “Eventually, he got me my own camera and I instantly fell in love.”
For many years, her passion was a side project — a wedding here, a headshot there —until her corporate career took an unexpected turn and Svetlana was laid off. “Obviously, no one wants to lose their job, but it was a pivotal moment for me.” She took the experience as an opportunity to seize her passion and take a risk: she started her own photography business.
What happens behind the lens?
“It all starts with a good atmosphere. My mission is to create the most amazing and relaxed photography experience the client has ever had,” Svetlana explains. “I want them to enjoy themselves, get amazing photos and cherish them for years to come.”
And for nearly 15 years, she’s been behind the lens. She’s constantly mastering her craft and learning new techniques to stay on top of her game. With a keen eye, a passion for her craft and years of experience, there is magic and beauty in each shot.
Initially, her business focused around wedding photography. Overtime, she evolved into editorial style shoots to help real people bring out their real selves. Today, her focus is on portraits, personal and corporate branding and headshots. She finds it amazing and exciting to be part of the journey for local businesses — from realtors to medical clinics and every business in between— and to help them express themselves through photography.
In the end, she knows it will help them build their business by growing their online presence and engaging their audience.
What value do good photos bring to a business?
Svetlana shared her thoughts around the top benefits of branded photographs.
- Makes a great first impression. Consider branded, professional photos as an opportunity to demonstrate your credibility. It helps increase your customers’ trust in your brand as an authentic one, and one they want to support.
- Multiple uses makes them cost effective. Websites, social media, marketing materials, presentations, brochures… the list goes on! Having a cache of professional photos saves time and makes it easier to build effective brand recognition.
- They help tell the story. We’ve all heard the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” One of the most important aspects of establishing an attractive brand is the ability to clearly convey who and what your business is while offering your customers something that’s immediately recognizable as desirable. Professional photography empowers you to tell this story without actually saying a word.
Svetlana’s advice for aspiring photographers?
- Keep a low overhead. Why lease a studio space when you can rent one when needed?
- Be financially prepared. Summers are busy and winters are slow… and then something like COVID happens… Be ready for all the possibilities.
- Be patient! Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is a successful business.
- Stay connected with your clients. Write a newsletter, connect on social, grab a coffee. They are your best supporters, so it’s vitally important to keep those relationships strong.
- Be consistent. Figure out who you are and stick to it. Allow for the evolution to happen organically.
- Have fun! The best part of being a photographer is capturing clients as they really are: fun, serious, goofy, romantic, loving, laughing… and everything in between. Be grateful to capture that special moment and have a good time doing it.