Nyla took a leap from her PR and Marketing job to go it alone with her camera after discovering her love and passion for photography. She's now an established photographer having worked with numerous brands and individuals including Lurpak, Soap and Glory and Sunglass Hut to name a few. We chatted to Nyla to get to know more about how she's finding life as an Entrepreneur and what advice she can offer others embarking on the journey.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I’m a portrait photographer, based in London, I love photographing people from all walks of life, from a model for a brand campaign to a tough individual who has broken a world record.
How did you find this path?
I worked in PR and marketing for about five years and knew I didn’t want to climb the ladder to become a marketing director, and my lack of love for marketing led me to photography.
What made you decide to become a freelancer? What prompted you to act?
I was working as a marketing Co-Ordinator and would regularly go to our retail stores to take photos of the events we were organising. The more events I photographed the more I realised I enjoyed taking photos and that I had a good eye for composing good shots. I soon realised I enjoyed taking photos more than planning retail campaigns and creating newsletters. I then did the brave thing of quitting my full-time job and enrolled in a short course to learn how to take better photos.
How do you find new work? Is it word of mouth, through recommendation or do you have any top tips?
A lot of my work has come through word of mouth, however, I do send emails to brands that I would like to work with from time to time. Some months can be really busy and others can be quiet. When its quiet it pushes me to approach new brands.
What does success mean to you and what is it that motivates you?
Success to me is doing what I love, photographing clients I enjoy working with and having a work-life balance. Inspiration motivates me and also being able to live the life I desire.
How do you stay productive and motivated?
I read a lot and look for inspiration in different ways, which range from reading magazines and books to visiting photography exhibitions. Being in new places will always get my creative juices flowing. Every time I go on holiday I always come up with new photoshoot ideas.
Being a freelancer has so many challenges. Have you had any career-defining moments, or hurdles that shaped who you are and where you are right now? How did you overcome these?
Hmmm, I’m not sure I can say I’ve had a career-defining moment yet, I’m still waiting for that to happen… What I can say, when I have quiet weeks or months, I do tend to focus on planing personal photoshoots, which I enjoy a lot, as I photograph to meet my vision, not a client's.
If you had one piece of advice for someone who is just starting out, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid of mistakes, take risks, you will either learn from your mistakes of they will pay off. As long as you still have that fire in your belly you will get to where you need to be.
What are your goals for the future?
To get an agent, so I can be put forward to work with big brands on advertising campaigns. Ooooo and get more travel photography jobs!
Do you have a particular life motto that you live by?
Get up and do (it's that easy really) We all have to work hard to get what we want!
And finally (if we may!) - for our readers who are yet to become Merit Club members, how would you describe our community and how have you found your experience with the Merit Club?
Its women getting together to work, network, support and have fun, whats not to like?
Oh, and the founder is absolutely adorable.
If you liked reading this interview as much as we loved writing it, you can read more from our Community of amazing women below.