Name: Tiffany Bell
Business: Tiffany Bell Photography
“I always try to change my perspective on things. I try not to take the shot where everyone else takes the shot.”
That’s Tiffany Bell’s approach to standing out in a crowded freelance photographer market.
In 2013, Tiffany was working as a bartender full time. Her employer knew she was an avid photographer and asked if she was interested in shooting food for the restaurant.
That single gig led to multiple shoots for restaurants and hotels over the next few years. Then, in 2017, the restaurant closed and a nervous Tiffany was nudged to try photography as a full-time business.
“I was absolutely terrified. I wasn’t ready to leave. It was comfortable. It was steady. But I didn’t really have a choice. So, that is what kind of just pushed me forward to pursuing photography full time.”
There’s no shortage of freelance photographers on the market today. Tiffany’s unique perspective no doubt attracts customers. However, her dedication to customer satisfaction creates return customers, and referrals.
“It’s really important that every client I get is completely happy. Sometimes that means you do a bit more than what was discussed. I genuinely care about their experience and their satisfaction. It’s something that I take personally. I care just as much as they do. If they’re happy, I’m happy. As cheesy and cliche as that sounds, it’s the truth”
The customer experience is more than just a photo shoot. Tiffany gets to know her clients as much as possible. Each customer is different, and Tiffany appreciates that.
The more Tiffany understands about her customer, the better results she produces. Consider Tiffany’s different approaches to shooting food for a chef, as opposed to a camera-shy girl in a bathing suit.
“With chefs, I always like to interact with them before I shoot the food. One chef gave me really great advice: ‘I want to see the shot as if I was sitting down at the table and about to take a bite’. That changed my perspective right then and there.”
“A girl asked me to do a shoot for her in a bikini on the beach. She was really camera shy. I was like, ‘Alright, in order for this girl to actually be comfortable in front of the camera, I need to connect with her.’ I put my camera down and talked to her for fifteen minutes like she was my friend. That changed everything. She trusted me. She was comfortable doing poses, and she loved it.”
Tiffany is also open to trying new things. She won’t limit herself to a single type of photography, which means her potential client base is limitless.
“I think people tend to kind of fall into a category and kind of stay there. Some are only product photography. Some are only portrait. I have been trying to learn all elements.”
Although Tiffany has seen success from her initial launch, she continues to focus on the future.
“I want to get way bigger. It would be great to get big enough to have assistants and people to talk to the clients about pricing and stuff like that. As long as I’m the photographer. I always want to have the camera in my hand. I always want to have that creative say.”
Tiffany is still early in her photography career, and it’s a challenge. But, she’s embracing adversity and looking to it as an opportunity to grow.
“I think I have a long way to go, but I think it’s going to be a fun process. Success definitely doesn’t happen overnight. Successful people are relentless. There’s good days and bad days. But, you have to keep going, and not lose sight of what you want.”