Bobbie Lee Photography
Photography entrepreneur overcomes personal and professional challenges to turn her business around.
Bridgend-based Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Lee was able to overcome a number of personal and professional challenges to turn her business around and become a successful wedding and family photographer. Since engaging with the fully-funded Business Wales Mentoring service, she has managed to exceed her target for wedding bookings, shooting 31 in 2019, 20 already booked for 2020 and 6 for 2021/2022 with more in the pipeline.
Bobbie Lee is a Bridgend-based wedding and family photographer specialising in weddings, family, portrait and new-born photography covering South Wales and the South West of England.
With a passion for photography from an early age, Bobbie started taking pictures of events, corporate functions and weddings for friends and family.
Following redundancy, she made the decision to finally turn photography into her full-time occupation.
What did you set out to achieve in your business?
My goal was to get established as a wedding photographer and I wanted to get to the point where I cover 24 to 30 weddings a year.
What challenges did you face?
When I first started up, I found it difficult to find and book clients. Other challenges I faced were understanding my costings and what I should charge in order to earn what I needed to, as well as understanding and setting up effective systems of working on my own.
Why did you approach the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service?
I approached Business Wales following a training day with Andrew Miller Photography as I wanted a business mentor who understood the industry to help me achieve my goals.
This time last year I had just done my first wedding after a two-year break caused by high risk pregnancy and resulting in long-term complications. I had no more bookings and was struggling to get anything.
I was desperate to make my dream of becoming a professional wedding photographer a reality. I’d been doing it part time for several years but was finding it very difficult to get going, so I decided to invest in some photography and business training. One of the courses I signed up to was with Andrew Miller Photography – a really great course that taught some of the fundamentals of running a wedding photography business. Following this, I signed up to being mentored by Andrew for free through Business Wales.
Taking what he’s taught me alongside the other training I’ve received has turned my business around. So far this year, I’ve photographed 7 weddings with at least another 8 to come before the end of the year – 15 in total, not including the weddings where I’ve worked as second photographer. I already have 12 weddings booked for 2020, and even 2 for 2021! I’ve still got a lot of work to do to achieve my goals, but the turnaround in the last 6 months has been amazing.
Future plans and ambitions
My future plans are to continue increasing my bookings to 30 weddings a year and to work to make the business as efficient and profitable as possible.