Sophie B Photography - Sutherland Shire Open 4 Business
WOW! What an incredible few months it's been!
Around the 22 March 2020, when all of her exisiting photography bookings were either cancelled or postponed Sophie B, decided that she wanted to capture this time in our lives and photograph the 'faces' of people in business in the Sutherland Shire. Sophie set up a Facebook Page and an Instagram Page titled, 'Sutherland Shire Open 4 Business'.
The idea is simple, a 30 minute photo session, capturing the people of businesses, supply 3 images and follow up with 3 social media posts.
By May 28, she had photographed a total of 50 businesses and reached over 650 followers on Facebook and over 165 followers on Instagram.
Absolutely overwhelmed by the encouragement and support of the community for this Personal Photography Project, Sophie went on to promise another 50 businesses the same service at no cost. Within a week she had a further 20 books and by the beginning of July as restrictions eased, she had reached her target.
Just a couple of Facebook statistics (as at 28th May 2020):
- Number of followers on Facebook Page: 653 (majority women aged 25-54)
- Overall reach this week (20-26 May) on Facebook is: 28,413
- The average number of people that see each post is over 4,200
Every day Sophie is receiving enquiries and is super excited about sharing the images she has taken. What makes this different is 'I was surprised at how many people hide behind their business. They are happy to have their products photographed but many had never been photographed. After sending the images to them and posting them on social platforms, many send little messages of thanks, not just for the awareness the project had provided them but for the pride these professional images instilled in them. Even though I saw them as confident and competent business owners, skilled in their craft and thriving in their career, my photos were able to reflect that back to them in a way they had never seen themselves before." said Sophie.
Sophie would regularly update me with her project through our ShireWomen connection and as I watched the project grow, Sophie and I started collaborating on this Podcast. It records her anticipation of meeting someone new, it recounts their impression and how the intimate act of taking a photography opens the opportunity for a connection, friendship and access to valuable resources that this close knit community can tap into.
In this episode I interviewed five of the business owners Sophie photographed. They share their Covid Experience, the business lessons and strategies use to stay open, adapt to continue providing a service and overcome the challenges of retaining their talented staff despite seeing 100's of thousands of people being forced into unemployment.
'It was strange being photographed for my business, I do every in my business including hand modelling, but I've never really been photographed like this before. It made me feel proud of what I started all those years ago.' - Rebecca Hearth, Jewellery
'It was the first staff photo we had ever taken, and it now hangs in the front foyer as a reminder of how we stuck together through this'. Matt, Park Side Physio, Engadine
'Sophie's photos were just what I was needing during a time of rebranding. The photos captured the essence of my business. It was positive and refreshing.' Jacinta, Purple Biz.
'I've never had professional photo's taken and the exposure on Facebook attracted new clients to our cafe/restaurant, who didn't know we were here.' Carmen, Flying Swallow, Bonnet Bay
'I was so proud to be apart of this project, the Sutherland Shire is a special community, we know each other and in these times we have really come out to support each other like I have never seen before'. Amanda Hamer, Daydream Creative
'These businesses are the life blood of these suburbs. Every business plays a part in providing a livelihood for other families and she really captures the personality of the person.' Lindell, Fast Mama
'I saw and reached out to two businesses I didn't even know existed but had been looking for.' Stacey, Ageing Well Sorted
It looks like we are doing another episode, encapsulating this unique time in history, the stories of resilience and the community spirit that lifts those that live amongst it.
When I sent the podcast to Sophie, it was with the intention of helping her understand the difference she was making and the greater impact she was having not just on business but on the mindset of those business owners. She sent this message that really says it all.
I honestly don’t know what to say! Thanks so much for putting this together! So cool. I feel a bit, I don't know, overwhelmed, by the comments from each of the businesses. Feeling chuffed. I’ve done this for all the right reasons…so, it’s nice to hear their honest feedback." - Sophie B
This talented photographer has provided over $39.5K in photography, marketing and social media services to 100 businesses for free. Her family has supported her drive to make an impact and true to her nature, Sophie has gone out and created the community she wants to be a part of. She is nothing short of inspiring, doing what she loves, being who she is and sharing it with the world.