We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Carey Sheffield. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Carey below.
Carey , looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Do you think folks should manage their own social media or hire a professional? What do you do?
Social media is absolutely my friend when it comes to my business. I utilize on the most part Facebook & Instagram, I really must start being active on Twitter as I love making reels on Instagram, I suppose I am showing my age! That’s definitely what my kids would say.
Using social media is all I have needed (along with some hard work) to grow my business. Facebook is where I reach families, women & business professionals (I have a large group for women here) & Instagram is where I reach young artists, actors, talent & performers. This genre is my speciality.
I love that it is ever changing and pushing you to grow, staying current is what is needed as a creative, the challenge is what we thrive on.
Carey , love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I have been a photographer for about 18 years, I have grown immensely in that time and continue to learn. I have settled into a genre I really enjoy. I’m a story teller and my stories are about people.
I think now that I have become comfortable in what I am, albeit cognizant of what is happening in terms of the media and trends around me, my skill set that sets me apart from others is that when you look at my images of people you really feel something, about them. Technical prowess is wonderful, a pretty face, cool outfit, fancy lighting.. but if you don’t evoke an emotional reaction the image will have no lasting memory. My clients and viewers tell me that they always feel that they can see into the soul of my subject. I don’t know if I intended to go down that road but I am so glad that is where I ended up.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
In 2016 I moved from the UK to USA. A Brit living in Florida! Now I am a Greencard Holder, a permanent resident and have been here for almost 7 years. The time went fast. My business in the UK was consistent and successful, I was a preferred supplier for many Five Star hotel brands as a Wedding Photographer, Worked with celerities like Ed Sheeran, Jake Gosling (producer) members of the British Royal family and many international sports personalities. Had big brand clients and worked with a growing team.
I moved here and for the first 3 years was not allowed to work, at all, in the USA. So, I travelled all over the world working, mostly in the charitable & social impact fields. Telling the stories of people affected by poverty, genocide, poor working environments. I sought out opportunities and past work in the UK secured me amazing paid positions I could have only dreamed of. I also went back to the UK for work, weddings, portraits, France, Spain & beautiful places like Prague.
I got my Greencard, bought a house big enough to host a boutique studio and set about launching my ‘brand’ here. By doing documentary projects, I quickly became known for my work and it wasn’t long before I got busy. Social media is definitely the main tool for me sharing my brand and images so that I could be seen and sought after.
Then COVID happened, of course all went quiet. Spending a year not doing very much had me itching to get out of the house and challenge myself even more. So in 2021 I took on a lease for a Downtown studio.
I had no capital investment, ever, in my business. Every job I ever had has paid for the next thing I needed, constantly plugging my earnings back into my business.
Does your business have multiple or supplementary revenue streams (like a ATM machine at a barbershop, etc)?
I have recently turned one corner of my studio into a boutique gift store. For a couple of reasons. My studio has a shop front so it keeps peoples attention and has them ‘looking’ in and coming in to buy. Once in there is an opportunity to build a relationship, so when they need a photographer it’s me they will call.
My assistant enjoys the process of having the shop, managing the stock and dealing with customers. I think providing projects to staff so that they feel valued, trusted and inspired is great for morale and retention. I also have a very female audience and ‘all the pretty’ is very much a magnet to my clientele. We will grow this side of the business and bring products online. All of our stock is produced by individual small business creators, which I love, small business supporting one another, I want to foster that mentality and use it as a selling point for our brand. Ultimately though, as time passes I think the ability to create a passive income as an entrepreneur is gold. I am always looking for ways for extend our offering.
- Website: https://careysheffield.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/careysheffieldphotography/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/careysheffieldphotography/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carey-sheffield-25473719/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/careysheffield2
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqFWt-wUIaL2HZFYHNsaUIQ
- Other: https://www.tiktok.com/@careysheffield?lang=en