Have you ever considered what it’s like to be in business with your spouse? Well, here’s how one couple does it. Photographer Rebecca Sigala shares her perspective on business, art, and some stuff in between.
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Hi Rebecca. Pleasure to have you here. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My husband Yehoshua and I currently live in Efrat with our two kids ages 4 and 2. We’ve been in Israel for about 5 years and can’t imagine living anywhere else.
And now a bit about your business?
We are fine art wedding and portrait photographers. We specialize in weddings together, with Yehoshua as the lead photographer. It is important to us that brides and grooms are offered a unique and personalized experience. We are absolutely passionate about giving them a romantic, genuine, and classic momento of their special day.
I have my own specialties: Glamour and Boudoir, which means offering women of all stages in their life a space to be photographed how they’d like, and feel confident and beautiful. Glamour is defined as editorial, fashion and beauty while boudoir is a more intimate session. All my packages include a wardrobe consultation and professional hair and makeup. I also have recently started a branch of our business called “Babies & Bellies” focusing on maternity, birth and newborn photography.
Where did the idea for the business come from?
We both have always loved photography, and I have a background in fashion, particularly wardrobe styling. When we entered the photography market, we were able to shape our businesses based on all the things we love to do.
There are so many photographers out there. How do you keep your business different from everyone else on the market?
We truly strive to give our clients a unique experience and create a connection with them. We don’t consider ourselves just a service, since photography is our personal perspective on their day, their families, their beauty. It is incredible when we can bring these aspects together and create beautiful imagery for our clients, hopefully for years to come.
You certainly sound very passionate about what you are doing. And I am sure your clients find that attractive. What kind of clients do you attract?
Sigala Photography (our joint business) generally works with couples in their 20s and 30s, who are newly engaged. Our portrait photography reaches people and families of all ages.
My portraiture business (Glamour and Boudoir) mainly serves women between 20 and 60.
We love working with sweet, friendly people, who love life and appreciate art and beauty. Clients that value professionalism as well as connection and are willing to invest in artistic photography. We have found that clients who connect with our style of photography are aware of fashion and trends, pay attention to detail, are confident and romantic in nature.
Getting to work with clients you personally enjoy is a big upside of a successful business. Can you share some creative strategies you have used for attracting these kinds of people to your business?
A lot of our marketing is through Facebook and blog posts. We blog about many of our events and sessions, including stories and special moments. Social media seems to reach our target market very well, and it’s incredible to see the amount of people we can reach this way.
Getting to work with people the way you do probably creates lots of eye-opening moments. Can you share some of yours?
Once a client received her images and asked me, “Is that me?! Did you photoshop me like crazy?” and I said, “No that’s really you.” And she replied, “Today I’m going to stop hating myself.” At that moment, I felt like I was doing really important work.
Wow! That sounds like an amazing moment. On the flip side, what kind of challenges have you faced?
We have definitely had setbacks, and I believe that each day is a step towards overcoming any struggles we may have. We wake up in the morning and are so passionate about what we do, and what we can offer people. It is important for us to stay organized, focused and healthy – nothing can stop us from doing what we love!
How do you work through dilemmas in your business? Where do you turn for advice?
We work through it together (that’s when working with your spouse becomes a plus ), writing lists, researching, and asking advice from colleagues or friends. I’ve also found that professional life coaching has been very helpful.
I’ll second that. Professional coaching can definitely be helpful . Seriously though, what other valuable resources have you found?
Creative Live has been a great resource for us to learn about photography from a business and artistic perspective. They offer free live courses. I think the most important lessons came from our experiences working with people from all walks of life.
Photography is a pretty tight space. Has competition been an issue for you?
We view our competition as friends and resources and do our best to be open and helpful to others in our field. I think that we feel that we offer a unique service and can appreciate the fact that not every client is the right fit for us. When someone is the right fit, we are able to truly give them everything they want and more. It is all about making our clients happy!
With two little kids, you need to keep a whole lot of people happy. How do you manage your time? What time management techniques have been helpful?
Writing schedules and to-do lists for the day are very helpful. As well as staying away from browsing the internet. I’m very much of the nature that I like to finish what I start. I will give myself mini-projects and goals to accomplish each day.
Bite-chunk pieces are a great way to get things done when you have this much on your plate. What self-care approaches have helped you keep it all together?
Eating healthy, sleeping enough, exercising, therapy/life coaching, having my daily rituals – such as my morning coffee, listening to music, praying or writing.
Do you find that entrepreneurship affects your lifestyle and your family?
I think that being an entrepreneur has opened doors for us to places that we didn’t know were possible and helped make our dreams a reality. We learn more every day and that helps us become more self-aware and gain worldly perspective. I’m really grateful that we are able to pursue a career that we love.
I love that I am constantly inspired and learning new things every day. I love that we can create our own destiny and do not have any limits to how we can succeed. Having said that, balancing work and family life is a challenge, since work is always on my mind. I think that with time, I will learn how to find a true healthy balance.
Rebecca, one final question. If a new entrepreneur would approach you for advice, what would be the most valuable tip you would give them?
If you have a vision for how you want to run your business or what you want to provide, don’t make exceptions and stay confident. People will love and come to you for exactly what you offer.
Thanks so much. Your passion for what you do and your ability to carve out a unique place in a competitive market is truly inspirational. So is your photography.
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Rebecca’s passion for photography is the driving force behind her business. What are you passionate about?