Young Entrepreur – Vicki Tertiens

Published on August 8th, 2011
Young Entrepreur - Vicki Tertiens

We found out how photographer Vicki Tertiens turned her passion into a profitable business…

Profession and name of business:
Freelance Photographer and owner of Vicki Tertiens Photography

Tell us a little more about your business: 

I absolutely LOVE people, and so most of my work involves people. Taking pretty pictures of flowers and the mountains, that’s nice, but I can’t ask a flower how its day has been (well, I could if I really wanted to, but I doubt I’d get any response?). A business is hard work, but when you are doing what you love, it hardly feels like work… I’m getting paid to have fun!

What inspired you to start the business?
I realised that there was a big demand in the local market for photography. All of a sudden people where having their photographs taken professionally and loading it up onto the social networks, and there was just this craze about professionally taken photographs. Also, I’m in that age group where people start making commitments to each other so the market for wedding photography increased in my social circle, and after the weddings came the children, (and everyone wants beautiful photographs of their babies and families) so that created even more business for me. The beautiful thing about it all is that if you please ONE client… people start talking about you to others and that is how most of my business comes in.

What interested you most about photography?
Natural Photography never lies. A photograph speaks volumes and it tells a different story to each individual. I love that you can have your OWN opinion of a photograph, and no one can tell you that your opinion is wrong. That’s the beauty of art. On the filp side, you can create something that never even existed with photography… “Photography” means: Writing (graphy) with light (photo). It’s amazing what can be created with the proper lighting, whether it’s artificial or natural light, and THAT’S the art of photography and what intrigues me most.

What was the most challenging part of the start-up process? 

I think the most challenging part of starting ANY business is getting the clientele… this factor makes or breaks your business.

What are some of the daily challenges you come face in running your own business? 

Always worrying if the business is going to be enough for the month to sustain your basic needs, wondering where the business is going to come from next, and just the point of getting your “name” out there so that people will start associating you with the type of business that you run. It’s important how people perceive you, this is another factor that can make or break your business.

What are some of the subjects you need to pursue a career in photography?
Mathematics is always a good option
Any Business subject can take you a long way
Science (if you enjoy film photography, lots of chemical mixing involved… and patience)
Computer skills are also quite important with everything being digital these days.

Where do you see the company in the next five years? 

My desire and ultimate goal is that “Vicki Tertiens” will become a brand (like Virgin for example). I am looking at adding branding to my business, this section of the business will be called “Vicki Tertiens Branding” as well as advertising, which will be called “Vicki Tertiens Advertising” and so on and so on. Shhhh… don’t tell anyone, but my first “branding” job is in the pipelines!

What’s the best part of running your own business? 

The fact that I don’t have to answer to anyone… except my clients that is. Come to think of it, my clients are actually my bosses! I can also decide what my working hours are everyday, as long as I get the work done, also, I can put in leave whenever I want.

Any tips on how to take the perfect picture, even if it’s with a cellphone camera?
- Avoid direct sunlight, shadey areas are the BEST places to take photographs of people. Reason: Direct sunlight causes harsh shadows to fall on the face or whatever the subject of the photograph is.
- Cloudy days are THE BEST days to photograph.
Reason: The clouds act as a soft reflector on the subject of the photograph.
- DON’T BE LAZY! Walk to the subject instead of zooming in on the subject.
Reason: The quality of the photograph decreases the more you zoom in.
- The ultimate tip is… if YOU think it’s perfect, then it’s PERFECT!
 Reason: That’s just the way it is!

Do you have any words of advice for budding entrepreneurs?

When the going gets tough, keep on going! They say a business takes about 5 to 7 years to start generating profit, so hang in there! Hard work, determination and wisdom will give you your desired results!