Selina Hall – Selina’s Studios

After graduating with a BA Hons degree in Commercial Photography for Fashion, Advertising & Editorial, Selina Hall freelanced for a while before recently opening her own photographic studios in Mutley, Plymouth. …

She had already built up a number of bookings for wedding photography which she really enjoyed.

Selina had wanted to develop her photography business for a while and during the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to push forward with her plans. With help from her parents, Selina opened the studios, which provide her with plenty of space to offer a range of services to clients specialising in portraiture including families, maternity, celebration and professional headshots. 

It was her mum who heard about Outset Enterprise Coaching when they were searching online for information about grants and business support. Selina got in touch and was soon attending 1:1 sessions with an advisor to work on aspects of the business that she wanted to develop. 

“One of the key areas we worked on was pricing as initially I priced my services too low. The advisor helped me to realise that I needed to include the studio costs and other overheads which I had not considered previously,” Selina explained. 

By organising an open day at the studios, Selina was able to build her presence in the local area, as while there is a good footfall past the door, often people are a little nervous about coming in. “The open day helped to launch the business and show people the facilities available which includes three studio rooms, all fully equipped with the latest tech as well as a beauty table, baby changing and bathroom on top of the welcoming reception area designed to put clients at ease.”

Selina explained, “It was really helpful to have one of the Outset team to discuss the challenges of setting up the business and to guide me in the right direction.” She added that “I really benefitted from having someone to bounce ideas off especially as I lacked confidence in how to bring clients through the doors.”

Selina attended some of the workshops on offer through Outset and started to build her knowledge of social media. “I thought that I knew how to use it as I visited social channels personally, but it is a very different thing to use it for business purposes,” she stated. 

“The Outset team helped me to become more strategic, thinking more about the timing and targeting of my posts but I still have a lot to learn.” 

“Another benefit of the support from Outset has been the networking with other businesses at a similar stage of starting a business,” commented Selina. Her parents who are property developers and accountants still help her with advice on the financial side to the business, but she praises Outset for “their ability to bring out the creative side of me.”

Selina advises other start-ups to “make yourself uncomfortable as this is when you make the most progress and it soon becomes more comfortable.” She is looking forward to a busy build up to the festive season and would like eventually to open more studios and employ a team of people. “I’d like to get to the stage where I am not having to do everything myself so that I can develop the business further,” she explained. We’ll be keeping a watching brief! 

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