1) Why did you start your business?
I started Karen Barrett Photography for a couple of reasons. Starting my own photography business had been a dream knocking around my head for many years. I’ve loved photography since I was a child, and studied it every chance I had in school and university. So when I was looking for something to challenge myself and to do for myself after having children (and moving to the UK), I thought it was finally time to enter the photography business market.
I studied and taught journalism and photography for over a decade. And I loved that job because I have a passion for researching and telling stories that help people understand the world around them. And that’s what I wanted to deliver through Karen Barrett Photography. I wanted to take photos that helped people tell the stories of their families.
2) What do you love about running your own independent business?
I love the ability to pursue the things I feel are most valuable to my clients without having to negotiate with other decision-makers. I also love the flexibility running my own business gives. As an independent, I’m flexible enough to change directions with the market and opportunities that arise. I’m also flexible when it comes to working around my family and their needs. It’s nice to be available for my boys when they have things on at school or just need a cuddle and family time at home.
3) What is your favourite product or service you provide and why?
I love the A Few Chapters Family Session package. This is 2 hour photo session that includes 10 prints and 20 digital images. 2 hours is a great time frame for a storytelling photo session as it gives everyone time to relax and forget about being photographed. It also allows for enough time to really get into an activity or two, whether it’s out playing in Richmond Park or doing things my clients love at home, like baking together or playing board games. The best photo sessions tell a story, and 2 hours allows for time for the story to develop and play out. But it’s also not so long that everyone gets too tired or worn-out from the activities or having a photographer around.
My favourite product is 9×6 photo book. I’m a firm believer that photos should be printed and enjoyed by everyone. And this photo book is a great solution to having images out and available for all to touch, view, and enjoy. The pages are sturdy and have a lovely finish that doesn’t get smudged with fingerprints. I also love that I can take the stress out of creating a photo book for my clients. People can spend hours trying to decide what photos to include and where to put them. I pre-design the books for my clients to tell the story of their session. Then they can go through it and decide what changes to make, which is much easier than trying to make every decision from the start.
4) Let’s spread the indie love, name some other independent businesses you support.
I’m so afraid of leaving someone out here because there are so many lovely independent businesses in our community. But here are a few that I have personally purchased from or used their services:
Chasing Tigers, by Sally Davies – she sews so many lovely products including a clutch/wallet I’m getting for Christmas
Design By Nadja, by Nadja Eberhardt – she designs custom websites, and she’s helped me get my WordPress site in order and getting it noticed by potential clients.
Thrive Beyond, by Rachel Russell – she’s a fantastic business coach who has been instrumental in making Karen Barrett Photography a success by keeping me focused on what’s important and asking the right questions to keep me growing.
Susannah Acland Interiors, by Susannah Acland – I attended her Room Remedy workshop and then she’s helped us design the living room we’ve always wanted.
The Plant Hotel, by Wendy Holmes and Kirsty Mitchell – I admire Wendy and Kirsty for their incredible enthusiasm for life in general and for the environment specifically. They’ve just started this lovely business that rescues and re-homes plants in need.
5) Which is your favourite social media platform and why?
It’s tough to choose. I love Instagram because I love photos and stories, and Insta is the perfect platform to find these two things together. But I also love Facebook because it’s been a great platform for keeping in touch with friends and family who live far away.
A big thank you to Karen for participating in the #incredibleindependents interview, it is great to hear more about her fantastic business! Please continue to support your local independents and use this hashtag to celebrate them