Amanda Akokhia is a well-known photographer, who specializes in commercial advertising, beauty shoots and more and Exquisite magazine got the opportunity to have an interview with her, let’s read on her success story.
Tell us about Yourself
My name is Amanda Akokhia, and I’m an award-winning fashion and beauty photographer. I have over 15 years of expertise in the industry. My experience includes commercial advertising, beauty shoots, fashion editorials and charity work.
My work has appeared on ITV News, Channel 5 News, The Daily Mail, British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Forbes, Tatler Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Grazia, among other media outlets. In addition, I photographed a Breast Cancer Awareness campaign in October 2020 and hosted an NHS charity event to celebrate key workers.
What does your business do and how it started?
I run a photography service specialising in various types of shoots. Specifically, I provide fashion and beauty photography services for commercial brands and magazines, which are utilized for impactful advertising on billboards, in shops, and on social media platforms.
Alongside this, I cater to personal clients seeking professional photography services for their individual needs, such as personal branding shoots, birthday shoots, and maternity shoots.
How do you solve your customers’ challenges?
I solve my customers’ challenges by offering a wide range of photography services tailored to their specific needs, whether it’s promoting commercial brands or capturing personal milestones.
For commercial brands and magazines, I provide fashion shoots that capture the essence of their products and effectively promote their brand image. By delivering high-quality images, I help them stand out in the competitive market.
Similarly, for beauty shoots, I create visually stunning photographs that are suitable for advertising on billboards, shops, and social media platforms, helping brands maximize their reach and impact.
For personal clients, I address their unique requirements, such as personal branding shoots, birthday shoots, and maternity shoots. I work closely with them to understand their vision and translate it into memorable photographs that reflect their style and purpose. By providing a personalized and professional experience, I assist my clients in creating lasting memories and capturing significant moments in their lives.
Who are your ideal customers?
My ideal customers are those who value the artistry and professionalism I bring to photography and seek visually compelling images to meet their specific needs.
Can you describe/outline your typical day?
A typical day in my photography business involves a variety of tasks and activities. Here is an outline of what my day may look like:
● Planning and Preparation: I start my day by reviewing my schedule and preparing for any upcoming shoots. This includes organizing equipment, charging batteries, and ensuring all necessary props and accessories are ready.
● Shooting Assignments: Depending on the day, I may have scheduled fashion shoots for commercial brands and magazines or beauty shoots for advertising purposes. I dedicate a significant portion of my day to capturing high-quality photographs that meet the client’s requirements. This involves setting up the studio or location, coordinating with models and stylists, and utilizing my creative skills to capture compelling images.
● Editing and Post-Production: After the shoots, I spend time editing and enhancing the photographs to meet the desired aesthetic and style. This involves retouching, colour grading, and ensuring the images align with the client’s expectations. I use professional software and tools to refine the photographs and bring out their full potential.
● Client Communication: Throughout the day, I maintain regular communication with my clients. This includes discussing shoot details, sharing progress updates, and addressing any questions or concerns they may have. Clear and prompt communication is essential to ensure a smooth workflow and client satisfaction.
● Business Administration: Running a photography business also involves administrative tasks. I allocate time to handle emails, inquiries, and bookings. Additionally, I manage my finances, update my portfolio, and engage in marketing activities to attract new clients and promote my services.
● Personal Projects and Professional Development: To continually enhance my skills and creativity, I dedicate time to personal photography projects. These projects allow me to explore new techniques, experiment with different styles, and keep my portfolio fresh. I also invest time in professional development by attending workshops, staying updated with industry trends, and seeking inspiration from other photographers.
● Reflection and Evaluation: Towards the end of the day, I reflect on the day’s work, review the progress made, and evaluate the results. This helps me identify areas of improvement and ensures that I consistently deliver high-quality work to my clients.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Being an entrepreneur has brought both opportunities and challenges to my family life. On one hand, it has allowed me to pursue my passion, take control of my professional journey, and create a path of success. On the other hand, it has also meant sacrificing some precious family time.
What motivates you?
Several things motivate me. I usually try to find inspiration everywhere. In nature, films, art galleries and exhibitions.
What is your greatest fear?
My deepest fear lies in the possibility of not fulfilling my utmost potential in life.
How do you define success?
Success to me is being healthy and happy at what you do.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
One of the most rewarding aspects of being an entrepreneur is the freedom it gives me. As an entrepreneur, I have the opportunity to chart my own course, make decisions independently, and shape the direction of my business according to my vision which I find empowering.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I would prioritize a work-life balance, focusing on self-care, setting boundaries, and allocating time for personal well-being, family, and relationships.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
1. Effective Communication and Relationship Building
3. Creativity and innovation.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is Mario Trestino. I love his work, his story and his impact on the industry. His ability to capture the essence of his subjects and convey their unique personalities through his photographs is truly amazing
What advice would you give to people who want to become entrepreneurs?
Start with Passion and Purpose, Embrace Risk and Learn from Failure: and continuously learn and evolve.
What business-related book has inspired you the most? (or, What is your favourite book?) My favourite book is by Brian Tracey: Create your own future.
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it? From Dreams to Reality: My Journey of Purpose and Perseverance.
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