Meet The Culture Vulture - Lifestyle shooting
I met Rachel a few years ago (I don’t even remember how we started working together?!) I’ve been working for her and various clients of hers for a while now and thought on top of talking to you about what a lifestyle session shoot is, I would also do a little interview with Rachel a.k.a. Horts owner of The Culture Vulture.
About the lifestyle session, basically, during those shootings, I follow Rachel along one of her events or numerous activities that goes along her business and shoot away! Sometimes we do some paused portraits, but most of the time, I’m just there, following her, while she does her thing. She’s a social media and Culture Queen!
If you had to describe the culture vulture in four words?
I'm the least concise person in the world - so this is a tough one and I do so many different things... "Cultural adventurer & creative champion" sums it up perfectly - I also have the tag line "Big hair and even bigger ideas" due to the fact I'm known for my curly mop of hair - no matter what I do in life, it is very unruly and doesn't conform....which is also a metaphor for me in general! Rebel!
What is your favourite thing about being freelance?
The freedommmmmmmmmmm! My skill set is around ideas, plotting and planning, making things happen, chasing and seeking out opportunities - I'm able to do that. I really struggle in a structure that you'd find in big businesses - I find it oppressive, demotivating and suffocating.... I need to feel free, valued, excited about what I'm doing, feeling autonomous, able to take risks and experiment....freelance life is perfect for that! You're constantly learning, no day is the same, you're only as good as your last project, you're building up a reputation - everything around you is in a constant state of flux and ever-changing - I thrive in environments like that.
What do you hate about being freelance?
I'm a terrible workaholic.... I don't really know what my life is without my work because it's all so entwined and I'm SO passionate about it - being freelance means that it all never stops and I have to put stricter boundaries on myself or else my natural inclination is just to work work work! It also means that sometimes people have taken advantage of my work ethic.....
So I guess whilst I don't "hate" that side of me - I know it exists and I know that I have had to learn to say no, look after myself in a freelance environment where burn out and overworking is progressively becoming the norm.
Now a very important question, about why professional photography is important, what difference does it make, is it worth it…
What professional photography brought to you and your business?
It's brought loads of things....... It was actually the first area that I really started investing in alongside my branding. I prioritised it highly in my business. Many moons ago some of the first business advice I got what that you can't be brilliant at everything, so decide early on what you want to outsource to people who can do it better than you and the stuff you want to keep in house that you like doing.
Photography was something that for me was super important and I am not a photographer! I have learnt LOADS through you, to be more playful in composition, about lighting, my weird tight jaw....
It captures my events and activities in a really professional way and exciting way. Most of my work is events and project-based - so I need to be able to convey within a portfolio of work other things I've done and been involved in - the best way is photography and of course, I'm presenting these images on social media or within a portfolio for another gig - so the photography has to look AMAZING.
The right vibe - all the freelancers I work with, it's been like a "dating process" meeting folks until you meet one that really gets it. You not only get what I'm about but you're able to capture my vibe in photography so well.....I love it when people say "oh yeah Marion does all your photography doesn't she!?" and I'm proudly like "yes she absolutely does!".
For some of the clients I work with - they may have had a historic relationship with a photographer or been managing with a friend doing it - when they engage me for work - it's often at a point where they want to up their game or try something new - so of course, having someone that I can recommend and engage for them takes the hassle out of it for them and they know they are going to get something amazing.
How on earth could I be a professional social media and content generator with rubbish visual content..... I use my own social media as a point of showcasing what I can do. If I don't invest into my own content...... then why should someone invest in me!?
Anything you'd like to promote?
I'm running an event on Mental Health for freelancers and self-employed folks in September - it's called "Time to Pause; let's get real about our mental health" at Thought Foundation. Trying to spread the word and start a conversation about this important topic and to instigate positive action!
Just for fun, do you know any French word?
Flâner - It means someone who likes to wander in the city with no real purpose but taking in things around them (I think!). That is one of my favourite things to do..... to put away my phone and to just explore without having a final destination in mind. I might say in English "I'm going to potter about!" which doesn't sound half as good as "i am off to Flâner!"
There you go, lifestyle or what I also call “branding” sessions are quite interesting because you can get lots of visual content in a short amount of time it’s not just someting for a fashion business, it’s about showcasing what you do with the world, in qualitative visuals. You could be an artist that want to show their process, you could be a social media manager/cultural project creator/wonder-woman like Rachel and in need of lots of good visuals, or you could be a blogger who want good photos for some posts but don’t have the time or skills to do them yourself, or any business really, it is for everybody. (I’m actually shooting one today where this post is being published for a skin product creator!) Just send me an email or go click here to ask me some question and book your very own session in September!