FEMtrepreneur: Connie Chan – Flatlay and Photography Expert behind ‘What She Pictures’

In the ever-advancing digital age, the need for instant, creative and captivating marketing photos have become a necessity. When it comes to turning an ordinary and mundane campaign into an exceptional and visually unforgettable one, there’s no other name that comes to mind than Connie Chan. The Australian-based content creator is the visionary photographer behind ‘What She Pictures’, and is a specialist in the field of product flatlays. Her distinctive, chic styling techniques and graceful photography skills allow products to shine and generate better sales and engagement for her clients. Graduating with top honours in Applied Photography from Sheridan College (Canada) and having 15 years of experience under her lens, Connie chats to us about the art of creating the perfect flatlay.

Where does your love for photography and visual arts stem from?

I’ve always known that I wanted a career that utilises my creativity. Photography is a wonderful medium because it’s constantly evolving. It’s been a part of my life for so long, that it’s hard not to see potential photographs in my everyday life.

How did ‘What She Pictures’ begin?

I’ve always worked in commercial photography, but it wasn’t until I was an in-house photographer for a large online retailer did I start working specifically in content creation. While working full time, I started using Instagram to build my personal brand. This let me build a client base that allowed me to eventually freelance full time and work from home.

How would you describe your business/services?

I’m a flatlay and product photographer specialising in beauty, fashion and food content creation for brands.

What challenges have you faced as a FEMtrepreneur and how did you overcome them?

When I first entered the field over 15 years ago, photography was a very male-dominated field, especially in the commercial sector. It was challenging to find my own style and voice that wasn’t heavily influenced by successful men in the industry.

Social media and e-commerce have really changed that imbalance. There are more and more women succeeding as photographers in these newer industries. It’s given me the confidence and support to find my own style and place in the photography world.

How many hours do you work in a week, on average?

I used to work about 40 hours a week, but since I became pregnant, I’ve scaled it down to about half that.

How do you find your creative spark on a daily basis?

I spend a lot of time on Instagram and Pinterest looking for inspiration from other content creators. I also love watching movies and TV shows to learn different forms of storytelling, lighting and composition.

What has been the most effective way of marketing your business?

Instagram is my main marketing channel. Since my speciality is content creation, my target market spends a lot of time on that platform. It’s important for a content creator to demonstrate their ability to create engaging content. What better place for that than the platform brands love using to share their content the most?

What is the most courageous thing you’ve done as a FEMtrepreneur?

Marketing myself as an expert in my field. I’m confident in my skills, creativity, and experience, but it’s a whole other level of confidence to market yourself as an expert. I don’t explicitly say that out loud, but that is the underlying message in most of my marketing.

Describe yourself in three words:

Confident. Relaxed. Optimistic.

What do you love most about your job?

I love how flatlay photography can often feel like play time. There’s a lot of joy in your work when you can incorporate so much playfulness and creativity into your everyday.

What are the negative aspects of your job?

Being a sole trader means you have to do every aspect of your business yourself, including the parts you don’t like. One of my goals is to start outsourcing some of my admin so I can concentrate on the creative side of my business.

Photography

What’s the most important lesson entrepreneurship has taught you?

The importance of knowing what you want and what you’re capable of doing. It’s easy to get swept up by all the things you ‘should’ do as a business. But one of the best things as being the founder of your own business, is shaping that business into exactly what you want. You can’t do that if you haven’t spent the time to work out what that is.

Is there anything you haven’t done yet that you would like to achieve?

I have a lot of ideas on how my business can grow, but for now, I’m concentrating on growing my family. With my first child on the way, I’m having to change the timeline for my plans. For now, I’m only hoping to create a happy work/life balance for myself and my family after the baby arrives.

Photography

What are your three best tips for creating the perfect flatlay?

1. Always start with your why. Know the main message you want to communicate with your flatlay. Every decision you make when creating your flatlay should support that message.

2. Lighting is key. It’s the make or break factor in any photo. Natural window light works wonders for flatlays and best of all, it’s free.

3. Choose a clean background. A busy background will be a distraction from the flatlay itself.

What advice would you give to other young female entrepreneurs who’d like to work in your field?

Always work on growing your photography skills. That is your most important asset as a photographer. It’s not about how expensive your gear is, the best looking props, or what editing software you use. It’s always about being a great photographer.

Fun facts about Connie

Favourite business tool: Photoshop
My personal style is… Classic
Heels or flats? Flats
My favourite piece of equipment is… My camera
I unwind and relax by: Going for walks along the beach
Book recommendation: Too hard to answer!
Brands I love working with: Beauty brands
Flatlays I love creating the most: Anything featuring desserts
If I had an unlimited budget, I’d shop at: Camilla
Dream destination: Maldives
The one thing required for success is… The ability to adapt

We wish Connie the best of luck with her next project which will most likely be the most exciting of her life – motherhood. We can’t wait to see more of her aesthetically-dreamy works of modern photographic art.

For more information, admire Connie’s Instagram feed feed or visit her website

She works with clients worldwide so to book a collaboration for your business, email: connie@whatshepictures.com

 

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