Describing her work as her "true calling", Rima's first break into the world of wedding photography came with a little help from her friends…:
"After finishing my BA in Graphic Design I thought the corporate path would be for me. Taking a year off after graduating, I then found it difficult to find a job. I had the skills but no experience, so I thought I'd create a job for myself! To cut a very long story short, I had a friend who was getting married and randomly asked 'Will you do my wedding pictures for me?'"
From this simple starting point, work started to snowball and Occasion Photography was born. Setting up your own business is something Rima recommends for anyone with a clear idea of what they want to do and why:
"The motivation came because of the positive responses I received from clients, family and friends. I'm extremely passionate about what I do and it was humbling to find people will gravitate to that. If you have a passion for something, go for it… It's always a buzz when I get a booking! I love meeting new people and capturing them at their best. After a 10-hour shoot, I get back home still excited about the fantastic images I've captured, so I have to upload them onto my laptop straight away."
Like many freelancers, Rima would love her own studio but works from home because it makes financial and practical sense. Working alone, networking with other like-minded professionals plays an important role in inspiring her; helping her keep in touch with fellow freelancers, expand her business and contacts, whilst also keeping her up-to-date with wider developments:
"I'm a one woman band! I've networked with lots of other brilliant photographers and when the situation arises I may second shoot for them or vice versa… Last year I attended The Enterprise Show; this was a great resource as it put me into contact with lots of professionals who've given me a great deal of help and advice. Outside of wedding photography, I really enjoy shooting models for fashion magazines and editorials. I find that I'm incorporating the fashion elements more and more with my brides. My inspiration comes from a mix of fashion magazine spreads, talented photographers and business entrepreneurs, all of which motivates me to push my boundaries."
When it comes to promoting her business, Rima recommends the personal approach:
"Without doubt, word of mouth referrals have been the best way to generate new clients. I quickly learned that having a glossy magazine ad was never going to bring in the enquires. I've realised in my line of business people want to hire 'you' - they're not just hiring a stranger but someone that can make them feel at ease. Having my blog up there for the world to see has been great for people to get a sense of who I am and what I'm about."
Referring to them as her "pocket portfolio", Rima's Business Cards work alongside her approach to self-promotion. Being able to choose a number of different images means that the rich fabric and diversity of Rima's work is fully showcased in an accessible way. And, because it's so easy to do, she adds new images every time she orders a new batch, so her cards are always current. They do have one downside, however … she likes them so much she wants to keep them!
"I found MOO cards incredibly unique. I was struggling to narrow it down to just one image to put on my business cards – MOO made it easy, I could use as many images as I like. I now have a pocket portfolio wherever I go. My one problem is that I hate giving them away! I get such an amazing reaction when I show them to people, as each card is different they always want more than one. Every time I order a new batch I just add more new images on the front of the cards. That way my business cards are always current."
Occasion Photography also received an unexpected boost when a MOO client decided to use one of Rima's photographs on her thank you cards after her wedding. Rima describes this as a "great way of reaching out to potential clients".
With the option of a different image on every card, Rima offers truly personal cards to the bride and groom using not just one shot, but many different images of the day. Add a small url to the reverse of each card, and admirers can find out more about the person behind the camera.
From making memories to making plans for the future, Rima - like most newlywed couples - reminds us that she's "just getting started" so keep an eye on her blog to see where life takes her next.
Thanks for letting us zoom in on your work, Rima!