What is your name
Natasha Jay Baggs
What is the name of your business?
Natasha Jay Photography
What town are you based in?
What is your speciality, service type?
Did you have a previous career before you started your business?
Yes. I was a building services mechanical engineer for a consultancy, started out as a CAD tech / technician then moved into design. It was a good job on a great team, just was never my passion.
What year did you start your business?
2013 – I left college and hit the ground running!
What motivated and inspired you to start your business?
I always loved photography and people. Capturing someone wedding day and being able to tell a little part of their story just seemed like a natural direction for me.
What do you think were the 3 key steps you took to get everything going in the beginning?
Working for a studio gave me some experience and the opportunity to learn on the job whilst at uni. Having the determination not to fail, and making sure i learnt from my mistakes, really pushing through the first 2 years without loosing enthusiasm or confidence. Customer experience was always a priority, as I knew early on referrals were the best form of making new connections.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business, attracting new customers?
Customer experience, having previous clients talking about their experience and being excited to share my details with their social group and family has had a huge impact on my business, 60% of all my bookings are via referrals.
What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
Finding my own feet both professionally and personally. I spent many years not really knowing what I wanted and who I was as a person and figuring that out and working on being ok with who I am has helped to grow as a person, business owner and a photographer.
If you could positively affect/change the wedding industry in one way what would it be?
More openness and education for brides and grooms. The whole wedding planning process is so overwhelming. Helpful and honest, non sales orientated advice that can aid couples in making the planning less intimidating.
What do you think is the key to your credibility in the wedding industry?
My strength in the wedding industry is caring, I care about my couple having a perfect day and I think I am willing to go the extra mile to make sure that.
What do you wish you had known before you started this business?
That running a photography business is 20% photography 80% running a business! I love it now but getting here I felt very under prepared!
Can you tell us about any habits you have/things you do, which set up success every day?
ha, its super geeky but i have a best self journal it keeps my organised, plans my day, helps me evaluate my work and personal progress, it also encourages me to look for the positives even in the mistakes I make. I love it, but I am a journal addict, I currently have 3 on the go !
The most courageous thing i’ve ever done as an entrepreneur is…
Oh Crikey, I have no idea!!
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I know its Cliche but a photographer or writer., I’ve been obsessed with stories both written and visual for as long as I remember!! I loved the idea.
My favourite business tool/resource/book/podcast is…
Creative Live. I have it running in the back ground whilst in the office, it s free education, and also helps me think in different ways.
My favourite quote is…
You are as capable as you choose to be – Uncle Gary Boxing day 2014. This is now my mantra, every time I fell myself wavering I repeat this to myself!
If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
A cabin on a lake or by the sea, some where quiet on the water, with beautiful views!
If you could pick anyone, who would you most like to have dinner with?
Either Jasmin Star or Susan Stirpling, both have shaped the way I have run my business and photography, it would be so interesting to pick their brains one to one!
Although if Gaspard Ulliel asked me to dinner I wouldn’t say no!!
What are your non-work habits that help you with your work-life balance?
Running (begrudgingly), and hot chocolate dates with my husband. I also read every night, mostly Robin Hobbs and the realm of the Elderlings it’s pure escapism. I’m a massive fantasy geek!
What were you doing the last time you looked at a clock and realised you had lost all track of time?
Ha!! Editing!! Always editing, I get into the zone and before I know it, it’s dark and my husband has attempted to make dinner (ATTEMPTED)
Describe yourself in one word
What movie, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, do you have to watch when it’s on?
So it’s a close tie. Any thing Middle Earth, I make my husband watch all of the extended DVDs every Christmas break. But I have to admit I am a complete sucker for “you’ve Got Mail” Kathleen Kelly is my spirit animal, awkward, romantic and a little bit quirky!
How to prioritise and also how to start writing a blog, I find it impossible to start!
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Only compare your self to your own progress, don’t look at what others are doing as it will only distract you from your own goal. It’s so important to focus on your growth and improve on your business and not worry. Also don’t become too competitive, it’s ok to build relationships with people in the same field as you, they will understand your journey far better than most and be able to relate to the ups and downs. I found being a part of a creative community has helped both my business and frame of mind.
What single piece of advice would you give a newly engaged couple?
Make your wedding day about the two of you, don’t try to please anyone else and enjoy the process as it will all happen too quickly!
The best piece of advice i’ve ever been given is…
A good work ethic and positive attitude will take you far – my Dad.
How to contact Natasha Jay Photography