Sara Dalrymple is an East London based headshot and family photographer specialising in fresh, fun and flattering headshots for female-led creative businesses. Her natural and authentic style draws out confidence in the most camera shy subjects and she passionately believes that all business owners should have a fabulous headshot they absolutely love to confidently shine as the face of their brand.
We sat down with her to find out more about her background, the challenges she faces as a sole trader and why she applied for the Forge business support programme.
Tell us a bit about your business
Hi, I’m Sara, a personal branding and headshot photographer for female led creative businesses specialising in helping my clients feel absolutely at ease. I create photos that help small businesses and brands shine online, attract more dream clients and grow their business.
What made you go into this creative industry?
I set up my photography business 6 years ago after a lifelong passion for photography and a need to find a more flexible career when my children came along. I wanted to help people get natural photos that captured their personality and essence without feeling awkward or posed, as I COMPLETELY identify with the fact that most people don’t love having their photo taken. To me, having photos of ourselves that we absolutely love is so important in so many parts of our life, and in business it’s no exception.
What are the pitfalls and benefits of running your own creative business?
The benefits are so plentiful: I LOVE working for myself and getting to meet so many inspiring people and hear their stories – I feel a real sense of community as a freelancer which conversely I never felt in a decade of working in financial services even though there I was constantly surrounded by people. Having true flexibility is something I never take for granted, being able to work around other aspects of my life which are important to me is a no brainer and so worth it. The main pitfall is the fact that you have to become an expert in so many different things, as suddenly there is nobody in charge of marketing, IT support, financial planning and so on – the photography is the easy bit!! But it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the benefits and 6 years in I’m much more adjusted to it!
How long have you been a Walthamstow resident?
I live in Leytonstone – we moved to Waltham Forest in 2014 from Hackney and have never looked back!
There seems to be a real community feel amongst the area’s creatives – why do you think that is?
I don’t think the sense of community is only amongst creatives – my experience has been that the whole borough has just the best community feel of anywhere I’ve ever lived! When we moved, our neighbours all came to introduce themselves and to welcome us to the area, and there just seems to be an all-round caring vibe here. Add to that the plentiful and brilliant networking initiatives for freelancers that exist in the borough like Hive Collective and Forge, which make it so easy for creatives to meet each other and feel connected. We are so lucky to have so much creative talent in the borough and I for one am really glad to benefit from that.