I had the opportunity to interview Helena price, Silicon valley’s most wanted photographer. She is more than a photographer, though. What separates Helena from the rest of the competition is the level of quality of her photos and how she can craft a story. Her skill has made her popular among tech startups not only to take photos of their product but to craft a story around how people will use it interacts with their tech products.
At a young age, Helena remembered taking photos. She enjoyed taking pictures with her family with grab a disposable camera. Her goal back then was to chronicle her life. This trend of taking pictures became a regular hobby of hers that continue throughout middle school, high school and beyond. Helena made the decision to pursue a career in the technology field and felt San Francisco was the best place to start.
After securing a job, Helena continued to live, breathe, eat and sleep all things tech. Her initial thought was to one day she would start a public relations firm, but this idea seemed distant from reality. Though she was working and progressing in her career, she realized she was not happy and didn’t enjoy the work. To counteract this feeling of unhappiness Helena remembered her hobby of photography and began taking photos again.
That’s what happens in life. We get so caught up on what I like to call the next steps. After high school, you go to college, after college you get a job or pursue a graduate degree, then wait until somebody allows you to climb the corporate ladder. There is nothing wrong with that. However, those seem to be the default next steps, and I have seen tons and tons of people who are not happy with the careers they have made for themselves.
Helena also recognizes this, the fact that when you’re in school, no one gives you a clear path of what you can do. You’re given certain categories, and as a creative, you have to try to fit yourself into a category. No one tells you that you could be a creative entrepreneur. However, this is a reality for many people who are doing what they love.
As Helena continued to take photos, inadvertently this was practice for some larger projects that would come her way soon. She received a phone call one day from an acquaintance, and they asked her to take pictures for Squareup.com. At the time square was a point of sale application which turned mobile devices into a payment gateway and enabled small businesses to accept credit/debit cards quickly.
Though Helena did not know everything there was to know about photography she said yes to the opportunity and had the most fun she had in a while taking photos. That’s when she realized that she could do something she loved and people would be willing to pay for it
If you want to break into an industry, the best thing to do is to immerse yourself in that particular industry. Start reading blogs, begin finding out about specific companies you like to work with, what are their problems? Are any commonalities in the industry you want to work with where you can solve a problem? Network with as many people in the industry as you can.
For example, if you want to be a fashion photographer this would mean that you need to talk with fashion stylists, network with models or travel to fashion week in New York.
It’s not about networking with people and getting something in return. As a matter of fact don’t expect anything in return, simply do great work and show your level of passion for the industry you want to serve and people will begin to recommend and talk to you through word-of-mouth.
The majority of the work Helena gets for photography is a result of word-of-mouth. She created a positive experience with clients and because clients were able to recognize her passion, care, and quality Helena is highly recommended. This repetitive cycle skyrocketed her business.
Helena began to observe that there was an opportunity to go deeper than just taking photos. Help people visualize themselves being a better person as a result of working with you.