Real Estate Photographer - Mike Little
Your Business Name:
Tell us a bit about your business:
Sitting in a real estate agency I saw a real need for far better quality photographs, and a much better display of them, too. Logically, online is the way folk are heading, and so my part was to take amazing shots. I started off by shooting four houses for free, in exchange for the license to use them as my portfolio. Nowadays, I am tempted to turn away any work that isn't a grade-A property as I have the luxury of plenty of quality work.
How long have you worked as a photographer?
3.5 years for myself in this business, and about a year as a product photographer, a few years before.
Do you feel it was an instant success or did it take a while to find its feet?
The first year was slow and tough but I used the time to work on my website, and grow another venture or two - it forced me to be a lean entrepreneur and take a side job or two. I strongly suggest every human has a hard time in their life to truly appreciate it - and this lesson is most easily learned in business (rather than your health, etc).
If any, what kind of jobs did you have before your career took off?
Worked in online retail, marketing, and teaching English overseas.
Do you feel that you chose your "passion," or did it choose you?
I actually just wanted to start a business and saw the gap. My main, long-term dream is to start multiple sustainable small businesses and bring our country out of the depths of dire unemployment. So, no, it's not a true day in day out passion but I really enjoy it because I try only shoot one or two days a week - anything more and I lose my love of the lens.
What made you decide to follow a creative career choice (though possibly risky) rather than something more stable?
A few things. It's frustrating to work so hard to make someone else's company successful; after a while you wonder why you've made all those sacrifices for their benefit. It's hard to get a job here. It's more rewarding and wise (long-term) to grow your own business. And well, is it stable to work for someone who can fire you? I can control my company and its future!
Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?
Talent is a little subjective I guess. At times I felt if I worked hard for five years I can be the best in my industry niche (property photos) but I realised I don't really want that. I do want to give the best service in my niche though - delivering great service gives me incredible job satisfaction. But yes, there are days when I think my photos are a little crêpe.... It's hard to look at them and not take it personally but one day in a township, or one tragic story and I realise it's really not such a big deal in light of the world's real problems.
What is your favourite accomplishment?
Wow, hard to say this about myself. I'd guess that I have maintained close, quality friendships with a great bunch of people. That, and I can recall all 196 countries in the world if given 15-20 minutes..
Tell us about any workshops you may offer:
I've had a few people approach me to either work for me, or get trained in the property photography niche. I've taken in three folk so far and I find this more rewarding than taking photos, in fact! I love teaching and have absolutely no jealously or worry of people taking work from me. I guess I'd offer people a 3-4 four hour workshop which is split between a shoot and the editing afterwards.
Where should Working Creatives get more info on workshops / your offerings?
They could mail me. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What is your favourite lens and why?
I like the 24-70mm Canon - probably as its range is so nice and the photos come out nicely. A more honest answer is likely: give me a random camera and/or lens and I will see what I can do with it - that's something exciting and those feelings make me love photography.
Are you working on any out of the ordinary projects at the moment?
Not per se, but my business has some exciting milestones coming up which should hopefully all be rolled out by winter 2019. As for exciting: I have some creative ideas for shooting things/themes that I will do once I have a gap and can take 2-3 days off to do it.
JUST FOR FUN
What is playing in your CD player/iPod right now?
Nothing, I am working too hard! haha
What’s your favourite ’90s song?
Sheesh, my brain can't work out what song is when. Likely a Springsteen song - discovered him in the late 90's
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
Everything, my mind has no boundaries.
What were you like in high school?
70% introverted, 30% sporty, 0% tolerant of boarding school hierarchical nonsense.
Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your high school self?
High school is largely unimportant, just read books and do what you feel like. And buy bitcoin the moment you hear about it!
YOUR CONTACT INFO
Your website: https://baithe.co.za
Instagram handle: https://www.instagram.com/baithe