Terri Pashley, is 27 and lives in South London. Wanting to do something for herself, Terri started her wedding photography business three years ago. Here she tells us a little about why she chose photography, what she loves about running her own business and how working from home can have its ups and downs.
How do you balance work and life?
There isn’t a great deal of balance between work and life for me to be honest! I work all day as an Art Director managing shoots and then come home to my work space at home where I am either editing or marketing my company. However, I do have a husband and great friends who I make time to be with and I am good at fitting a lot of things into 24 hours. Also, the company is a growing business and so the excitement of developing it spurs me on to work hard. It doesn’t feel like I miss out on anything or that I need a break.
How do you turn off?
Being in front of a screen all day at work and then the same at home means turning off can be hard. Frankly, the only way to do it is to put down the mobile, close the lap top and head out of the house with my husband or friends. My family is very important to me too; they live in Doncaster whereas I am in London. So when I go to visit them that always feels like a proper break away from it all.
When you were thinking of starting a business what made you look to photography and why?
I had always had a huge interest in photography and it was a module I studied as part of my degree. Of course, it goes hand in hand with my day time job too – but I wanted to be behind the camera creating the images rather than behind the scenes creating the shoot. I felt I was at a point in my life when it was time to do my own thing and wedding photography offers me all the things I love. I guess it has all been a very natural step for me to take. Working with brides and grooms is really lovely. Capturing their day and creating memories that last forever.
What are the pros and cons of working from home for you?
It is so much easier to concentrate. No noise or distractions! I am an organised person so working alone allows me to set my own goals for my benefit, write lists and then have the pleasure of ticking things off as I do them. I would say the only ‘con’ I can think of is not having other people around you to get input from. If you have an idea there is no one to run it past and so you have to trust your own instincts a bit more.
How did you come up with the design for your work space?
I chose the room in our house that is my office because it has a lot of natural light – which is obviously important for photography and also for well-being! I believe you need a light and airy space whatever your business to be honest. When I set out to create my work space I did have a particular vision and it had to be ‘creative’ but ‘clean’. I really wanted it to be somewhere I loved to work both pretty and inspirational. I wanted to have interesting things I had collected through the years to be dotted around. Knowing how much time I was going to be in that space it was important that I would want to spend time there.
Was it a case of creating something to give you maximum efficiency or comfort?
A bit of both although it had to be beautiful. I am a very visual person. I wanted my space to be Pinterest worthy. I love it!
What advice would you give to other people designing their space?
Make sure your work space is uncluttered. Really take time to think about how you can make it work for you. Beautiful is fine but it has to be practical too. I have a really pretty set of drawers which look great but they are a great space saver too! Most importantly – make sure you love that space as you will spend a lot of time in it.
What is the length of your working day?
Pretty long due to my full time job. Most of my weekends during the summer are taken up with weddings and then the evenings I edit. During the winter, I spend a lot of time in the office working on marketing the business – so it never really stops. Even when I am not at my desk I have my iPhone glued to my hand! However, I do understand the importance of taking a break and getting some fresh air so I make time for me at lunchtimes.
Do you take holidays?
Yes! Love a good holiday! But I do tend to take them out of wedding season for obvious reasons!
Strangely though, even when I am away I need things to be fairly fast moving! I am not the type to escape to a desert island and lie in the sun for a fortnight. I guess because of my job I love to see things. I am stimulated by new sights and sounds and don’t like sitting still! My husband and I got married last year and went on an American Road Trip down the West Coast which was out of this world! So much so we are planning to go back to the US this year but this time Florida, Miami and the Keys.
For further information about Terri Pashley please visit: www.terripashleyphotography.co.uk