Monday, October 4, 2010

Feature Article in Imagemaker Magazine

I'm excited to share my first of 6 articles to be featured in the UK's Imagemaker Magazine. The series will follow me on a "year in the life" journey that many others can relate to - having to relocate to another city/country and start their business all over again. Besides being somewhat of a journal, there will be comparisons between the North-American and British markets, business tips such as networking, and building relationships, and of course, some great images thrown in. The next article is titled "the Power of Free", and is due out in November.

It was a great honour to have my images and text published in the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographer's bi-monthly magazine, alongside many of the photographic industry's icons whom I've admired for years.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Building a business across the “pond”
Photography and words by Angelique Duffield

I cried. I’m not ashamed to admit that I found the move difficult, even though our stay in England was never meant to be permanent. When my husband Paul asked if I was sure I could leave the UK now that my wedding & portrait photography business was growing, I said ‘absolutely’.

In November 2008, 4 months before we were scheduled to leave – Paul’s residency visa in order, our one-way flights booked, any unnecessary items listed for sale on ebay – I panicked. I called my girlfriend, a fellow photographer, in London and told her that I wasn’t sure we were doing the right thing. While trying to explain it to our 9-year-old niece – that’s what really made the lunacy of it all really hit home. “Are we crazy? Why are we leaving our family, friends, a growing business and my husband’s secure job, weekend trips to Europe, summer holidays at the seaside or walking in the Peak District? We’re moving somewhere we don’t know anyone, my closest family members will be 3000km away across Canada, the market is saturated with photographers, there’s a very much smaller population base, it has the 2nd highest housing prices in the country, and we’ve chosen to move there for the lifestyle.” It sounded good 2 years ago when we started the immigration process for my husband. Now I wasn’t so sure.

We settled in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada, in March 2009. There was a huge “economic downturn” as the government liked to call it. Where a year earlier, when we’d done our research, there were jobs aplenty, now the unemployment rate had hit 11%.  I was lucky – it only took me a dozen targeted resumes and a month to find a well-paying admin job that left my weekends and evenings free to pursue my photography business... 

In the winter I joined a Peer Mentoring group, sponsored by the federal government in conjunction with the Women’s Enterprise Centre, to give assistance to entrepreneurs in their first 2 years of business. I met a lovely group of women, all facing similar struggles to achieve work-life balance and financial security in their relatively new business ventures. It made me feel less alone.

I also started talking to Heather, the owner of a recently-opened bridal boutique when I dropped of my own wedding dress, which had been in storage for 2 years. We hit it off immediately and our friendship grew through shared understanding of life struggles and mutual interest in the wedding industry.
 In late March 2010...I decided that I had spent way too long slogging away at the back-office part of my business, and what I really needed was to go out and actually discover the joy of shooting again. I called Heather to offer her a complimentary photo session for her family, and she enthusiastically agreed. She loved the photos, and put a large framed print of her family up in her boutique...
That was when our relationship grew in was the kick in the pants I needed to focus my efforts on pricing and promotional literature, get the word out about my business, and get shooting...

More importantly, I was building relationships. [We] went on to plan a bridal shoot at a nearby luxury hotel & spa that was due to open in the spring. I’d seen the ad in a bridal magazine a number of times, and showed everyone how gorgeous this contemporary new venue was. It finally occurred to me that the hotel was new, not even open yet, and it would be a prime opportunity to get in there on their preferred vendor list. My co-vendors and I put together a plan that would help promote everyone involved...
Within 2 short weeks, my fortunes [had] changed. My husband and I are no more financially afloat than we were 5 months ago, in fact worse since now I’m investing in high-quality sample albums, promo cards, a banner, and acrylic fine-art prints... But my outlook has changed. The future finally seems bright instead of bleak. I no longer feel the need to cry myself to sleep with worry over the future of my business. Thousands of miles away from where I started my photography career, I can see that my dream of working for myself and running a successful photography business has a good chance of becoming a reality…again.


I hope it inspires others to continue with their efforts, whether personal or business-related, regardless of how difficult things may seem right now. Keep persevering.

A special thanks goes out to Jane Haslam (a complete stranger) who said she felt compelled to email me and wish me well after reading about me in the SWPP magazine. Jane is a photographer who emigrated from England to New York state. You can view her website:


For more information contact:

Angelique Duffield, LSWPP
Creative. Stylish. Professional.

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