October 29, 2021
Local Inspiration - Photographers Eddie Judd & Vicki Knights
This month we shine the light on Surrey photographers Eddie Judd and Vicki Knights, who run the award-winning podcast Shoot Edit Chat Repeat.
How did the two of you meet?
EJ: We’re both photographers with over 20 years’ experience between us, and we both live in Surrey. We met chatting on Twitter, where there used to be a big photographer community, and then became great friends - bonding over f-stops, running our businesses and bringing up toddlers!
How did you get into photography?
EJ: Ever since I was about 10 years old, I wanted to be a photographer, but people kept trying to put me off, so I basically did it to prove them wrong! I trained to degree level and then started as a picture researcher on magazines, before becoming a picture editor on a magazine – all the while doing my own photography on the side. When I had children, I needed a job that would fit in around the family so I built my photography businesses around that, initially photographing families and doing lots of weddings but I moved away from larger weddings because I wasn’t able to really engage with people. Now my business has a firm focus on personal brand photography.
VK: I set up my family photography business in 2008 after having my first son, prior to that,
I’d had a career in working in the advertising/marketing/sales industry. Before long, I began tutoring family photographers as well as other parents on how to take better photos of their children. I’ve taught hundreds of people over the years and now run retreats, workshops and online courses.
What are your USPs?
EJ: Personal branding photography is at the core of my businesses. I love getting to know a person and their business and helping to find a setting and style that will suit their brand. It’s not just about shooting a headshot, it’s about capturing the whole ethos and personality of a person and their brand.
VK: I am also a family and personal branding photographer but mentoring is a key part of my businesses. I have trained in NLP and success coaching, and run regular business Visibility Retreats for big-hearted entrepreneurs, who want to develop their own personal brand and build confidence in their business. Why did you start the Shoot Edit Chat Repeat podcast?
EJ: Vicki loves listening to podcasts and I remember recording my own pretend radio shows when I was at school (they were terrible!) – back when you’d record on a double tape deck (those were the days!). Although podcasts had been around for some time, we felt there was a real gap in the market for a business podcast for photographers. The idea worked and we managed to land sponsors right from the beginning.
VK: The idea was to speak to really interesting people, not just photographers, but people that both photographers and others could learn from. Creatives tend to have a habit of underselling themselves and it’s a tough market out there so we wanted to help them with tips on how to grow their businesses. The podcast has now had over 200k downloads and is listened to in over 70 countries!
What are your top personal branding tips for independent businesses?
Find a photographer that you feel a connection with – you need to feel comfortable and relaxed when doing a personal branding shoot.
Don’t worry about what you look like or where to position yourself or your hands, that’s the photographer’s job.
You want to feel as confident as possible so invest in getting your hair and make-up done before the shoot and a stylist if you can afford to – we work with some great local businesses.
- Location is really important and often the most difficult thing to get right. You can suggest places that are important to you and your business but your photographer should have experience with different locations too and should get to know your businesses and what would work. For example we use the home of a lovely interior designer in Weybridge if you want a homely environment but would rather not have photos taken in your own home. Or alternatively we also regularly use a hotel in Guildford for colourful and eye-catching portraits.
Be honest with your photographer. The more they know about you and what you like/don’t like, the better they will be able to capture you in the best way. And remember, people buy people!