A Day in the Life with Jo Eardley
We caught up with Jo Eardley to find out exactly what it’s like to work as a photographer!
Here’s what Jo had to say.
What would be your typical morning routine?
I have two labradors and five pygmy goats. My first job is making sure they are all fed and watered before I have my breakfast. Each morning is different, depending on if I have any photoshoots booked in that day. If
I don’t, I check my computer for enquires, emails or print orders before planning the rest of the day to do blog posts, social media posts, contracts or my accounts. I usually have a gap in the morning for exercise; walking the dogs or playing tennis.
Most of my editing gets done in the afternoon or evening as I find I am more productive later on.
If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Creative, reliable, attentive.
What is the first thing you look at in the morning on your phone?
I check the sky sports news app to see what has been happening in the world of sport. After that, I check my emails and social media for any enquires or orders.
What made you want to become a photographer?
Photography started as a hobby rather than a career path. I have always been creative and a technology geek. My Grandad loved his cameras so I get that from him. I bought an SLR camera and taught myself how to use it. From then, people started asking me to take pictures at various events, this progressed to weddings. In 2011 I had the confidence to turn my hobby into a business. I have slowly built up a good portfolio and have learnt a lot from others in the industry.
Which clients do you most enjoy taking photos for?
Anyone who shares a passion for the countryside and the outdoors! My wedding, portrait and business clients are mostly rural-based. Building up a good client relationship and finding clients that have the same interest as myself definitely helps.
My family portrait sessions are generally done outside in the countryside, or at locations that are personal to the client; the family home or their favourite walking place. I love it when families bring their pets to the shoot, I encourage this.
I have recently partnered with Hillsgreen so a lot of my business clients are rural too. I was brought up on a dairy farm and I understand the rural industry.
Have you had any business challenges working as a sole trader? If so, how did you overcome them?
Yes, quite a few. The current COVID-19 outbreak has given me my biggest challenge but, it makes you think outside the box. I am not able to do any photoshoots or weddings currently but, it has made me utilise my time well and develop new editing skills and camera techniques that I wouldn’t normally have the time to do.
The photography industry is very competitive. When I first started I tried to take on too much and wanted to please everyone. Over the years I have learnt that marketing your target audience well and attracting like-minded clients are key.
Working on my own is also a challenge for me. Ninety percent of running a photography business is office-based so I have to make sure I have good time management skills and that I don’t get distracted.
I find daily business decisions challenging as I do not have anyone to discuss them with. I have found networking with other small business owners sharing ideas and advice helpful. I have joined some photography groups on social media, this has helped me overcome problems I might have.
Why do you feel photography is so important within Agri marketing?
Photographs are a quick and easy method to grab your audience’s attention. They increase customer interaction and make you stand out. A good set of professional photographs will help to give your audience that visual trust when selling a product or service. There has been a lot of negativity within the agricultural sector I feel my job is important to highlight the many positives the industry has to offer.
Favourite thing to do when not working?
I’m a massive sports fan so when I’m not working I am either; playing tennis at my local club or watching Manchester City with my dad at the Etihad Stadium (although, anyone who follows city will know this can be more stressful rather than relaxing at times!).
I also spend a lot of time gundog training with my two working labrador retrievers.
Best business book?
I’m not really into reading books, however, I am currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. This was a recommendation from my sister. I am finding it really interesting, especially from a business and personal perspective.
What An Insight!
Firstly, we’d like to thank Jo for taking the time to talk with the Hillsgreen team! We at Hillsgreen truly believe that good photography can truly improve all aspects of marketing, and that’s why we partner with Jo to provide our clients with excellent photography.