Wani Olatunde Photography is doing an interview with Nene Local Magazine who is seeing how local businesses and charities have been fairing during the pandemic ….
We spoke to Wani and the owner and head photographer at the photography boutique Wani Olatunde Photography based in Milton Keynes.
Nene Local – Tell us more about what you do
I’m a wedding and portrait photographer but I like to say I photograph women. Wani Olatunde Photography is all about celebrating women and everything that is important to them.
This can range from offering authentic and modern headshots to help promote your business to beauty shoots that help our clients build their self-confidence and fall in love with themselves all over again. And of course, as hopeless romantics, weddings are just one big celebration of love, family and beautiful memories.
Nene Local – Has your business survived the pandemic?
It’s been pretty tough. As you can imagine, as a wedding and event photographer – a whole chunk of the business for the year was wiped out which was incredibly frustrating. Luckily, we’ve had the portraits end to fall back on and with things opening back up slowly – we’ve started booking clients in the studio again and that’s been reassuring.
Nene Local – Have you changed what you do – tell us how?
The business in essence hasn’t changed – we just have more safety precautions in place in line with the government guidelines. I think the main change for us has been around creating more online content. I was forced to move out of my comfort zone and think about how I could serve my clients without being able to actually photograph them. It’s certainly been an interesting period.
Nene Local – Have you learned any new skills during lockdown?
One thing I’m really proud of is the Headshots Challenge we ran over the lockdown period. Everyone was focused on improving their online presence during lockdown and a lot of people needed to update their pictures too. Although I couldn’t photograph them myself – I really wanted to find a way to support my community. We ran a 5 day headshot challenge which basically deconstructed the perfect headshot.
Every day we had a different expert in to talk about a different aspect of the headshot. We chatted about everything from what to wear, the right hair and makeup looks to posing tips and standing out on LinkedIn.
At the end of the challenge, all our attendees had to submit their best headshot using all our tips and there was a grand prize to be won. It was a really fun and informative challenge and we got lots of great feedback from our audience. I had never done a Facebook Live prior to lockdown, so it definitely took me out of my comfort zone but I was really glad we did it.
Nene Local – Are these going to benefit your business?
Most definitely. I’m learning to move out of my comfort zone and that video isn’t really so bad. I’ll be doing a lot more Facebook and Instagram lives to help connect with my audience going forward. #watchthisspace
Nene Local – Have you learned any personal lessons in lockdown?
I think the most important thing lockdown has taught me is how to slow down. At the beginning of the year, I had a giant to do list that I just had to get through and when that didn’t happen thanks to the lockdown, I admit I had a bit of a freak out at the beginning. However, I’ve learnt the importance of being flexible and that self-imposed deadlines aren’t set in stone. I’ve also learned the importance of self-care and taking breaks to recharge. I am grateful for that.
Nene Local – What changes (if any?) will you be making to your life or business as things get back to normal?
I’ll definitely be stuffing my day less and leaving more breathing room to take breaks. I’m also a lot more flexible about my deadlines, which feels a lot less overwhelming. I’ll be challenging myself more to think out of the box and be more solution focused. Resilience and adaptability will certainly be key to moving forward in our “new normal”.
For more information
Headshot challenge videos can be found in the “Videos” section on the Facebook page.
deos can be found in the “Videos” section on the Facebook page.