At Ticket Tailor we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of workshops, courses and classes taking place on our platform. Some of these are in response to the recent lockdown, but some, like Nick Church Photography have been going for several years, but only recently found Ticket Tailor and made the move over. Who can blame him!
We hope you enjoy this interview, it’s a really interesting story of someone discovering a new passion and committing whole heartedly at turning it into an entirely new life….
Let’s start at the beginning - how did your passion for photography begin?
I took a rather unusual route into photography… in fact I was not even into photography in 2014. Late in the year I was travelling to the Far East with my job in the software industry, and so bought a camera to take some pictures. Quite a ‘turning point’ decision!
I suddenly and unexpectedly fell in love with the immediacy of photography and the challenge of creating art with the medium, using light to paint. “If you love it, just do it for a job”, Charlie, my youngest said. The problem he seemed to overlook was four kids, a mortgage and a career that I’d been building for 15 years. If I was going to do it, I needed to do it properly.
And so where did you hone your craft?
During the next couple of years, I photographed anything and everything. Bands, babies, jewellery and landscapes; all the time working out what worked and what didn’t. In particular I was finding that the shots of my hometown Bristol were particularly popular, and I started exhibiting and selling a few in local galleries.
It was during one exhibition that (unknown to me then) my first wedding client saw my landscape work and asked if I’d shoot their wedding the following year. I’m never one to turn down a challenge, so I offered my services and I was now a wedding photographer.
What type of photography do you specialise in now?
That year I spent time getting my skills to a point where I know I could deliver something unique to my clients and also used Facebook Adverts to gain more booking which I would need if I was going to break free from the ‘9-5’ or ‘9-9’ as it increasingly turned out to be.
Weddings are a vibrant, incredible and exhausting genre of photography and I knew that I could make a success in the industry. I needed however to strategically grow my business, establish my branding and get my marketing and sales consistent and strong. This was what I’d done my whole career, so applying it to photography came totally naturally. As a result I took just 2 years to grow the business to the point that I could afford to leave my corporate job and go full-time.
How did you end up running classes?
The strategies I used to grow my business so quickly are particularly useful to other photographers trying to do the same, and after appearing on professional photography podcasts, I received requests for my coaching and training services using my new brand Nick Church Photography Education.
I deliver workshops on building a wedding photography business, camera flash, studio, landscape and architecture photography and the feedback has just been amazing. To cope with the demand I decided to create a set of scheduled group sessions where more people could attend the same session and which I could run from my purpose-built studio. I now run these group sessions alongside one to one sessions.
Who usually attends the events?
My attendees range from professional photographers looking for business and industry coaching to allow them to take the leap into full time photography, through to photographers looking at taking their skills to the next level, all the way to beginners that have found a passion in the subject and need pointing in the right direction. Such a variety and I love it!
How have you coped with the lockdown?
With the Conornavirus outbreak, we are all facing uncertainty and restrictions around work, and on-site education courses cannot currently run as they used to. I have always had a portion of my workshops working as remotely accessible, and I am set up for online delivery. My workshops on Facebook Advertising and Ad-hoc business coaching in fact have to work this way as attendees are from the world-over.
With the outbreak of the Covid-19 restrictions, I realised that there are several other workshops that I could offer remotely. As well as the remote courses mentioned above, my Adobe Lightroom Master, Wedding Photography Master and Flash Master work really well in this remote format too.
I know that it is a worrying time for photographers and other small businesses, especially any linked to the events and wedding industry where reductions in larger groups mean potential for reduced income. But if we do not keep moving forward on all fronts of our businesses, then we risk not being in good shape when we are back to some level of normality. To allow clients to manage their continual improvement at this time I am running all my remote courses at 50% off the usual ticket price. I am also planning webinars at reduced price too and the way Ticket Tailor easily allows for coupons and discounts to be applied makes this really easy, while still giving the professional look and feel to the event.
What tips do you have for other people running classes like yours?
The key to successful classes is to establish before the session what the attendee will need to consider the session a success. I always want to over-deliver and this allows me to do this. All my sessions blend theory with practical examples so that new information sticks and becomes second nature.
Like other areas of my business, it is important to have consistent branding, and high quality output and Ticket Tailor allows me to do this so that customers feel it is aligned with the high level of service I provide elsewhere. It gives a very professional booking journey for your clients from the outset and I would highly recommend it.
How did you end up using Ticket Tailor?
As anyone that has created and managed events will know, it is a complicated old business. Communicating workshop details and dates, accepting payments, dealing with refunds, marketing the event and a number of other things mean you need a platform that can do all this for you. Otherwise it’s a full-time job!
Before I discovered Ticket Tailor, my first instinct like many people was to go to the only event platform I’d ever used. But I was seriously disappointed. The fees were unmanageable, especially for the beginner’s course where I had set prices cheaper for non-professional clients, and when I made an error on my listing, the support was less than helpful at working with me to fix it.
Looking for something better, I stumbled across Ticket Tailor - I was immediately blown away! It is an intuitive, powerful and flexible platform. Critically, at just £0.50 per ticket fee, with all features enabled by default (no holding you to ransom on the good stuff!) it is incredible value. I love that the payout is immediate, and this is critical. Nick Church Photography education is planning to offer photography tours in future and to have deferred payout after the event would be unreasonable for this model.
The interfaces for event organisers are perfectly thought through, and something that is actually rather complicated is made really clear and easy. You can see they have used the platform themselves. From the attendees perspective, it is a slick, quick and very easy way to book your place at an event.
About Nick Church Photography
Nick Church Photography is based just outside Bristol and provides a range of photography and business courses as well as ad-hoc coaching across any industry. Nick Church Photography also is known for providing stunning wedding photography across the South West, the UK and Overseas.