Episode #4 with Stuart Beeby, British photographer in the USA
Updated: Sep 4
Stuart Beeby moved across to the US six years ago when his wife relocated there for work. Deciding to set up his own photography and film-making business after arriving, Stuart started his career with a contact list of zero, a long way from home and having to build things up from scratch. Fast-forward to 2021 and Stuart is killing it (as they say over there). In this episode he explains how he grew the business with some smart marketing tactics that you could swipe and deploy yourself. In this podcast we explore what it's like to be a busy photographer and why it's so important to put yourself in your clients' shoes from time to time.
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Transcription of this podcast
Below is an automated transcription of this podcast episode for anyone who might be hearing impaired and would find a written version more helpful. It is automated though, so some words might be incorrectly typed ⬇️
So, if you want to grow your photography business from what it is now, to something bigger than this is a podcast episode for you, you're going to hear from someone who moved to a new area, a new country for that matter and started with an audience of zero. Like literally nobody. And I'm not just talking about no existing clients. I'm talking about no contacts full stop. So no friends, no single person that they already knew, but he created and grew his own successful business. And in this episode, he's going to show you how so stick around. You're going to love this one.
Welcome to '9 to 5 photographer', the podcast to help professional photographers and filmmakers get more shoots, make more money and spend more time doing the things they love. And now your host Simon Jones,
You may or may not know that before I went full-time as a photographer, I worked in the it and telecoms industry. Back then I met someone called Stuart Beeby who worked for a different company, but was also in the corporate world six years ago, Stuart and his family moved out of the UK. And that was when he decided to start his own business. As a family photographer, then expanding into professional headshots. You're about to hear his story, but also you'll pick up some great tips on how to grow your own business. Let's get into it right now.
Stuart, first of all, thank you for being here today. How are you doing in your part of the world?
Amazing to be here too Simon, and thank you very much for inviting me very excited to be here.
So where I am here in the UK is currently 4:41 in the afternoon. Tell us what time of day it is with you and where you are.
Sure. So I'm just outside of Boston, a lovely town called Sudbury in Massachusetts at the time is now 11.40. So I'm five hours behind.
And so you've been hanging, you've been out there for, how long did you say?
About six years now. Yep. So we moved out here, six. It was actually for my wife's job. When did she she got transferred over here. We were given the opportunity to to move here. And it was a big life-changing decision. So we the easy thing was actually to say no, but then we thought, you know what? We didn't want to live a life of saying, well, you know, I wonder what would have happened. So we decided to go for it and you know, just, just took the plunge and, and and dive right in. And we, we moved over here and it's been an amazing adventure. We love it. Okay.
So that was six years ago. So that, that leads on perfectly to my next question, which is, you know, just to give our listeners a little bit of context. Can you tell us just a bit about your, your family situation, we know where you are in the world and what you used to do before
Sure. So well, before photography, I was in the the technology industry in sales and marketing. In fact, that's when we first got to know each other assignment,
Samsung, was it Samsung or Computer Associates?
Yeah, I've, I've worked at Samsung computer associates. And then I was in, you know, it distribution pretty much, you know, I had an 18 year career in sales and marketing channel management. And actually when we moved here th this is really why I got into photography. It kind of became a lot more serious for me because I was interested in photography when I was in the UK. But when we moved here, I couldn't actually work for the first sort of three or four months because I didn't have the visa to work. So my wife went off to work. My son Oliver went into school and I was left at home. And after you've done the cleaning and taking care of taking care of all the the household errands, I thought, well, you know, it was kind of scratching my head and thinking, well, what am I going to do with this time?
You know, I didn't know where I was going to work or where it ended up. So I thought, you know, I'm going to take a, you know, a course in photography and kind of start taking it a little bit more seriously. I would have kinda knew the basics, but I really kind of wanted to really get to grips with it. And I started the course and just, I just fell in love with it really. And then I started learning through YouTube a lot faster. Youtube is an amazing resource. And I think really, you know, it's like anything, the more you do something the better and easier it becomes. So I kind of drop the course halfway through it. I just found it was moving too slow,
I guess, as well. If you're passionate about something like that, then you're going to naturally just do it in your spare time. Aren't you, instead of waiting for the next lesson.
Exactly. That's right. Yeah. And, and I was actually using our new life and our experience and I was sharing that experiences and life and new scenery and surroundings through photography. So I was actually uploading a lot of the photography. I was doing the landscapes online, social media, Facebook, Instagram because really that's, you know, it was actually landscape was my first kind of introduction into photography because I think it's a great way to learn anybody it's learning photography. I think it's great because you really get to grips with the technology. It's just you and the landscape. There's no pressure at all. It's just like, you know, really learning the settings and learning about light. And it was, it was a great way to learn. It was great to share, and I was getting more and more positive feedback from my, from my friends online.
And and I started my job, which was actually an identical job to what I was doing in the UK back in sales and marketing. And at the same time I was, you know, it was actually traveling across the U S I was like managing accounts and, you know, so doing sales and marketing, but then what I would do is I would get up before my meetings, like before Dawn and wherever I was in the States or Canada, I'll get up and go and shoot like a, a sunrise or perhaps often my meetings in the day that I would go and find you know, a sunset somewhere, you know, to, so I would always have my camera on me and I just, the passion was just there.
When you then transitioned from that, into doing it for a living, did you find that that were nervous about trans transitioning across or did you also find that because you were getting sort of the social proof social proof by putting your landscape pictures on like social media and various people were liking them, I'm guessing that they were more friends and family, were they
Exactly right. So it was just about a sort of a, a year later that I actually started to create my website and that's how I built my own website. And again, really not knowing what I really want where I wanted this to go. But I'd always wanted to run my own business for sure. I never knew what that was going to be. And somebody once said to me that you will know what it's going to be when it comes along. And then it was like, you know, it's, apifany essentially, it was like, Oh, hang on. I've just loved this photography. It's what I'm all about. And perhaps this is my opportunity now to make something of this, I never knew where it was going to go. And so I started the website and initially it was literally just friends locally here because a big thing actually for families here in the U S certainly here in the Northeast it's to have family photos in the fall in the autumn.
And then we, we put family photos on front of the holiday cards, know the Christmas cards and send them out to our friends and family. So family photography here is huge. And I actually happened to live in Sudbury, the town I live in, I happen to literally live half a mile away from probably one of the most popular places in, well, certainly in Boston Metro West, where people would come to have the photos it's a big wedding venue. So people love having their photos there and families love to have their photos in the autumn. So initially my initial, you know, part sort of on the side work was taking photos of family that I knew I was working at the same time. And then it got to the point where, you know, then that grew and they recommended me to, to, you know, friends and family, I was doing little events and stuff and charity events, et cetera, locally.
And then it got to the point when I was working still full-time job, that I was having to make excuses at work for me to go and do, you know, I'd have to take the afternoon off. So I was earning money on the side initially. But they got to the point then about a year later in 2017, I thought, you know what, I just need to be to do this. I just need to, you know, take the plunge and just go for it and just sort of announce to the world that I'm going to be a full-time photographer. You know, don't get me wrong. Unfortunately. I mean, I was in a position here where, you know, because we moved from my wife's job and her career, you know, she's pretty well advanced in her career. We, you know, we looked at the numbers and we thought, well, you know, we can make this work, but I, you know, I had to make it work pretty quickly, but, you know, we could, I still had that kind of a little buffet. It wasn't just all on me to go and earn, you know, six figures on day one. Right. It was, there was always going to be a little bit of a break in period and allow me to grow this thing.
Stuart, I love the way you said you both looked at the numbers. So I'm guessing that your wife was fully on board with what it was you were doing.
She was on board because she knew that that's what would make me happy, bless her. And and yeah, you know, ultimately Simon, you know, I just wasn't happy after 17 or 18 years in this career. It just, you know, even though the money was good, like, you know, in a pretty decent six figure salary you know, money was good good career opportunities, but honestly it is, I wasn't passionate about it, you know? And when you get into your forties, I mean, I'm 48 now, but I think you just start questioning well, what's important in life, you know, do you want to be happy or do you want to earn some money? It'd be great if you can earn the both together. And fortunately now, you know, I'm getting to that point now where I'm back up to those kind of levels you know, sort of three and a half years in I'm now enjoying both, I'm enjoying, you know, a pretty decent income with the business. I just absolutely love what I do.
Give us a breakdown about the sort of photography that you do. You mentioned family photography, but what else do you do and what portion of what you do is family?
Sure. So actually initially, like I say, it all just really started with family. And then when I went full time, it was w I can, we live in a beautiful place here in Sudbury, Massachusetts. And our property also comes with a, a sort of three Bay garage. And above that we had an apartment like a granny annex. And when we first bought the place with, I said, Oh, that was one day that I could maybe work from here. And so we, when I went full time, I decided that we, we agreed that we would develop that studio apartment actually make it into a photography studio. So we spent a bit of money, we did it up and it's, it's now a fully functioning studio. So, so now my day-to-day business is essentially doing business head shots. And I also do high school, senior shoots there you know, dating online, dating profiles. I do acting headshots. So my data, I would say now that I'm a headshot and portrait photographer. So that really evolved from being the family photographer into now more business headshots and you know, personal branding portraits,
You say online dating portrait photo. I'd never even, I never even knew such a thing existed. Maybe I've been married for too long myself.
I know. Right. I mean, I'm the same, I mean, but no, absolutely. So if those people that I've done that for generally are, should we say, they're having a second stab at life? You know, they had perhaps previously married and then now we're going to go to the online dating world and they can afford yeah. Rather than having their self is online. They, you know, yeah. They, they using the online dating and they want to put some beautiful photos on there. So they use a professional photographer to do that for them. I have to say that I don't do that day in day out, but there's, you know, I've done a lot of them for men and women actually. In fact, I was actually on a dating coach Facebook live show about three or four months ago, he asked me to come on. Yeah. So he, what this guy did, he was helping people find their, their true love in life. And we got talking and he said, well, I want you to come on and say how important it is to have, you know, great profile photos to help you find the love of your life. So, yeah, definitely. There's a market there for sure.
And how important would you say it is to to, to gain that sort of, or to increase your exposure by, by being on something like a Facebook live, whatever that was?
Well, I mean, like you, I'm into marketing in my career with sales and marketing and you probably agree that being a photographer it's not just about being a good photographer. It's really about how you market yourself, because let's be honest, anybody with a phone these days, you know, in the phones are amazing, can be a good or decent, or, you know, decent photographer, but how do you differentiate yourself? And so we're really about the marketing. It's about creating that, you know, that want that desire, that need. So, you know, I firmly believe that, you know, marketing is the, you know, is really what it's all about. So what differentiates us photographers to people that even want to be a photographer or just somebody with a phone or, you know, posh camera themselves. Sure. We have, we have a lot more experience.
We understand the technology more, but it's also about, you know, how you can prove that you're, you're adding that value. So that, so anyway, it's a long answer to say that, you know, I see that exposure through shows like that Facebook live, you know, dating, it's just all about exposure. Right. I'm really big on that because I think marketing, it just goes beyond just creating your website and, you know, some SEO and shown on Google, maybe some Facebook ads, I've done all of those, but it's also being a little bit more subtle as well. I'm sure you have in your area, for example like a town Facebook page.
Yeah. We do exactly that. Yeah. Right.
So a strategy that pays off for me, time and time again, it's just amazing is you know, because remember I started off life shooting landscapes, so I love to get help, but yeah, especially as the seasons change here, cause we got four beautiful seasons. When those seasons change I share a photo of, you know, a great photo of a local you know, well-known spot maybe some, you know, a park or a church or something, show a great photo of that into the town. I, so I took this this morning I wanted to share with you as the town and that just gets probably up to sometimes a thousand likes from people.
Wow. Fantastic. And not only is it, that's not just a thousand likes, there that's a likes of people in your area. Whereas if that's on your personal Facebook profile, then you know, you might get people back in, but back home in the UK liking that. But clearly they're not going to be your clients.
Exactly. That's right. So it's about, you know, really interested here. I mean, again, is it, first of all, I love to share, right. I love, I love helping people and educating people and anybody asked me anything about, you know, what cameras should they buy or can you help me with this? I a hundred percent, I'm the first person there to help anybody. But I love to share, I love to share, you know, I have a real appreciation of nature and the beautiful, you know, the seasons and stuff. And so when I learn how to capture that in a beautiful way I want to share that and, but absolutely is a million percent helped me, you know, get that exposure. So I mean, not to brag or anything, but again, if anybody wants to get into photography, you know, you've got to be known as the, or a photographer, certainly the photographer in town. Right. You've got to be. Yeah. And so I, sometimes now I have people come up to me and say, well, you're sure. Right? Yeah. You're the photographer, you know, so it's kind of, that was one of my things that I wanted to get. So that's one of my goals when I decided to make that plunge into full-time photography was to be known within town as you know, not just a photographer, but the photographer to, you know, in town
And do people know you as the British photographer? And if so, does that help you? Or does that hinder you at all?
It helps. I mean, you know, people locally will often comment, Oh, I like your accent. You know, it's difficult to know if it is help or hindrance. I mean, obviously you get some very, you know patriotic Americans who, you know, would maybe turn their nose up at the fact that you're British know. But I found honestly that is probably helped more than, than hindered. But you know, it's interesting once you live somewhere as I have now for, you know, six years, you forget that you actually forget that. And you know, probably at least once or twice a week, somebody says, Oh, I love your accent. Okay. Right. Yeah. But then, you know, you figure that you yeah. But people do point it out for sure.
Have you, have you picked up Americanisms since being out there?
Yeah. So that definitely some languages, some words for sure. I mean, I, you know, I teach my, I train my son with football, his football team because it's soccer. Right. And you just, you just get into saying these words. Yeah. There's, I can't even think they would sort of have put me on the spot, but yeah, for sure there are certain things that and, and, and ways and words that we use that I feel like we're American, but even though I don't sound American, but there are certain words that we,
No, you definitely sound very British still there. There's no doubt about that.
That's good. That's good. Yeah.
Just in case, anyone's wondering, do you shoot Canon Nikon, Sony? What do you shoot with?
Yep. So I shoot Canon, I've got a couple of 5D Mk4's and then I've got the, you know, the trio lenses, which covers all areas at the 16-35, the 24-70 and the 70-200. I also got to say last year, actually a nice 85 mm prime lens
f/1.2. So it was really nice. Nice. Yeah. So yeah, it's, it's, it's nice, nice lens.
But I tend to, my, my go-to set up really when I'm in the studio for, you know, business head shots, it's the the seventies two hundreds, you know, off-camera flash and, you know, it was kind of stuff, but that's my go-to. And then when I want to get a little bit more creative, perhaps, you know, for, you know, some maybe a model portfolio acting portfolio, I like to get more creative in the studio.
We've, we've, we've lighting and perhaps jails on the lights and stuff, you know, I, I even actually have a smoke, a fog machine in the studio, no way. Yeah. That's really fun to get out. Yeah. I've used that a couple of times. Actually had a a local kind of a where's the guy from Boston, he's a rapper he's done an album or two. And I thought that'd be perfect to get this kind of smoke out, you know, for gout. Yeah, it was fun. And actually just a couple of months ago, I had the guy who was a business guy. He was he was that kind of alpha male, that real. And he spotted this fog machine in the in the corner. He says, you got a fog machine. He says, get the out. Now he said, I want to ha I want to be surrounded in the folk.
I really loved it. It's great fun. I love it. I love it. You know, the, I don't know if you've ever shot, you know, flash fruit through a fog before, or, you know, rain it's it gets a great effect, real good effect.
And are you just photography or, I mean, a lot of photographers these days are stepping into the world of video as well with, with our, with our DSLR cameras.
I love video. I absolutely love storytelling through a video. Absolutely. and actually that's another thing that really, really helped me last year. Actually, I made a film a short film locally. I just did it as a personal project. Okay. and it was when COVID 19 first hit the States. We are actually having a movie made actually just round the corner. It's going to be probably, you know, it's being finished now, it's called the the shrine and it was starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan. But anyway, the reason why I'm telling you that is because there was a whole film crew and cast literally half a mile from where we live and we would go, yeah, it was really cool. Anyway, then COVID happened and they all just vanished just literally just the whole, yeah. The whole set went and it was just like gone like deserted.
And I just thought, you know what, I do think we need to document this. We just need to see what's going on as it became more and more. So anyway, I got my cameras and my mix and and went around town and spoke to businesses and local residents. And you know, I got some really nice footage with my drone as well. Cause I'm going have, by the way an approved a drone pilot, start, can fly that legally, sell it, sell the images and video for that anyway. But I got so put together this kind of short film, which is around about 12 minutes and shared that into the town. And it just got like overwhelming feedback. And again, I picked up a fair bit of work from that, you know, both photography and video, what I'm learning Simon honestly with you.
Cause if you think about, I've not been a professional photographer for too long, only now three and a half years full time, but you know, marketing it's about getting out there in any way you can, and not just doing the obvious things, but just doing things, you know, give yourself, give up your time, give, do stuff for the town or for your area. And people really appreciate that. You know, yes, you can benefit from it, but you know, really all it costs us as artists photographers, you know filmmakers is our time. So I put a lot of love and passion into that and yeah, it paid off big time. And I was very proud of that actually very proud of that piece that I put together.
So I love video. And in fact, I've just, just pulled the trigger actually this week on cause I want to get more serious with video. I've just pulled the trigger on the C 200, the [inaudible] cinema camp. So I'm excited that it's on its way I did did have an eBay secondhand thing, but yeah, it was still, you know, a fair investment. But I look forward looking forward to get my hands on that. Cause I've, I've done everything so far on my five-year Mark fours, but I do, if you've ever shopped video on your DSLRs and they're pretty limiting, I mean, they'll give you good quality, but they're still limiting with what they can do really
Stuart, I just want to jump back to your business a little bit. Yeah. You mentioned about about how you started it or you mentioned why you started it and then how you grew it in the early days. If you could go back and do it differently, is there anything that you would change? Is there any different approach that you might take or, or any any any way that you went with the business in the early days that now looking back, you think, mm, I probably shouldn't have gone there because that ended up being a waste of time.
Yeah, that's a great question. You know, I was really keen to put myself out there in, in all sorts of ways. Initially I would do, you know, free shoots and stuff for people which I think, you know, is, is good for when you're building, sorry. When you got to build a portfolio, I'm pretty proud of where I've got two so far in a relatively short time. So it's, it's been a lot of work Simon, honestly. It's been a lot of grind and a lot of commitment and passionate. I'm trying to think, you know, if I want to do anything differently, maybe maybe charge more initially you know, cause it's easy to go out there and say, Oh, I do that for free. I do this for free. And then you realize actually how much work is involved, but that comes with experience, right?
That just comes with a, you know, like, you know, when you go and do an an event for example, you know, all the photos you've got to filter through. So that just to deliver these photos, you know, there's a lot of work, probably more work that goes back on in the studio afterwards than the actual time you spent there. So, but that all just comes along with experience. But then when I look back on that, I still think, well, anything I did for free, I still made sure that there was something in it for me in terms of like, if I did a, an event for free for like a local charity or nonprofit, I said, I'll do it for free. No problem. I'm going to share the photos in the gallery, but anybody that enters that gallery is going to give me an email address. So then you'll get you think, well, okay, I've got that email address now. So now I can email them just with you know, some marketing, for example, some talk to them about some offers. And so I, I was really kind of doing stuff initially just to really go and grab sort of data from people so that, you know I could market to them down the line really. And so that, that kind of worked.
So do you have a system of like regularly emailing different people in your, in your database? Or do you sort of email people individually?
I use a MailChimp and I segment the database. I sort of see where they've come from, you know, how, you know, there could be just a gallery entry. But of course I make sure that they're there. Okay. And I always give people the option to unsubscribe. I never go too much with email. I don't do these kinds of, you know, weekly or monthly can, you know, I generally think if I'm going to run a campaign, I think who is going to, who is this relevant for? So I've segmented my database.
For example, if I'm running ARCA, a family session special in the fall in the autumn, sorry. Then I will just send that out to the families locally. Okay. So, and, and honestly it pays off, right. It really honestly, email marketing is, is great. And so, you know, as long as I'm using the right language, using the images and, and give a really clear call to action, it, it always pays off for me.
Tell me more about why you think that's great because I'm with you on the same page. I also do do the same things that you're talking about, but I know a lot of photographers and some possibly some people listening to this tend to either store, email addresses in a, in a spreadsheet and then kind of not really do anything with it, or they don't even store them at all. And they just don't communicate with, with any prospects like that. Tell us more about why you think it's so important to have an effective email marketing strategy.
It's huge. Because again, this is all comes back for my sales and marketing days in, you know, when I was in the corporate world. But you know, for some first of all, you've got to think about what somebody is willing to give you their email address off. Obviously you're offering something of value to somebody, right? So once you have their email address, it's literally like, you know, it's the modern day. I have your home address essentially. So, you know, previously we would, you know, stuff through them post through a letter box, but now we send through the email. And I think it's hugely important because once you've got an email, then it's free to market to them, right? Because as you know, when you advertise on Facebook or Google ad words, whatever that costs money, and if you're spending that money in Google or Facebook or Instagram or wherever it Pinterest, wherever you're spending, if, if, then that then follows that they land on your website and then to get a price for it, maybe a session that they have to give you their email address.
Well, you've got you've, you've essentially, you've invested money to get that, to that point with them. Once they've given their email address and perhaps they've received the information and they've thought about it and perhaps life happens and they decide not to go for it just then, well, you still got them for next year or the year after that. And that actually, I that's proven to me time and time again, where somebody made an inquiry, maybe so two or three years ago, they've never actually done anything because initially they were just scratching around and, you know, they were serious, but they just didn't execute on it. Right. But then you put another offer in front of them and it hit some of the right time and yes, thanks. So all that time and investment and creativity that you've come up with, you know, on any marketing campaign, when you've got that email address, that's, that's a win. And, and I mean that in a positive way, you know, because it always makes sure that you give people the option to opt-out, which again is another reason why you should use services such as MailChimp or constant contact because you get that, you know, you're, you're applying to the, you're doing anything to regulations, right.
And you're giving people the option to opt-out. So that's another reason why you should avoid, I think, personally emails.
Yeah. Cause things like that, systems like that, you can't actually take out the unsubscribe option. You physically can't do it. So every email that you send out will have an unsubscribe option clearly down at the bottom, which anybody can click.
Right. But so I just think it's such an important thing now. I I've now got a database now I think of almost 3000 people. So which is, yeah, I'm, I'm proud of proud of it and that's as much pleasure. And you know, I get pumped up with things like that, just as much as I do photography. So I have a real love of actually running a business as well as my love of photography. Right. You know, even when I'm not working, not being paid to do photography, if you talk about what my hobby is, well, my hobby is still photography. I still go out and shoot landscapes or, you know, I still love, you know, and if I've not got any work on a couple of days, then I think w w what video should I make?
You know, I just love creating stuff. But then I also love just, I see, you know, coming up with a campaign is just part of that, create that creativity as well. And I love creating stuff. And it gives me such a buzz when you've created creating a campaign or just under something. And people said, yes, I want that. Thanks. And they actually, you know, hand over their dollars to you to do that. I just, but again, it's just proven that clients see value in what you're offering. So they're willing to give you their, that their money for it. I a huge, huge, huge fan of automation. I love like probably most people love shopping online. I love, you know, doing stuff that's easy and simple. Right. That's a huge thing for me. I just want to make things as simple and as easy as people as possible for people.
So when they see something, they click on it, they've booked. So most people that I see that I take pictures of, I've never even spoken to them or seen them before they just walk into the studio and like they've already paid for it. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I think that's a huge success, right? Because, well, it's a huge thing that I think to be proud of is if somebody is even not even spoken to that, they've just based their initial investment. They've spent money on you. They booked you based on the words and the pictures that you're using in your marketing. I love that. And I love the fact that, that, and I say to people, you know, how did you find me? How did you find the experience of book-in great. Very simple. In fact, that's why, but you, because you had all the answers there in front of me, and then you made it easy to do,
Stuart, you mentioned the C200. So clearly you're looking to do more video in the future. Tell us a little bit more about that.
Sure, sure. Yeah. I mean I, I want, I'm definitely in the market to look in for now expanding the the business into to more video services. I've done some video projects for, for clients. I really enjoy the process. There's some some short films for a nonprofit organization last year and they went down. Great. so yeah, I, I want to be taken more seriously for filmmaking. And you know, I love it because it's storytelling, right? It's, it's, it's about, you know, come up with an idea and making that happen. I love learning through video. I'm a huge fan of like watching stuff on YouTube and stuff. I've learned a lot of things on YouTube. And then at the same time, I give back by sharing stuff that I've learned on YouTube. So I'm trying to build up my YouTube channel in that way as well. If I've learned something new, I think with this, you know, maybe if I've struggled to learn something, maybe it's something quite technical. Well, I've really struggled to learn this. I need to share this with people to S to make it easier for them
Because other people might be struggling to learn the same thing, and maybe they haven't achieved it.
Yeah. And I love giving back in that way. I love making stuff to say know, here you go. This is what I found. These are the things that I needed to make this happen. You know, I want to help you do this as well. It sounds awesome.
So what kinds of things then have you achieved or that you shared with other people?
Yeah, so actually it's probably my most successful video on, on YouTube. And like I said, I'm still building the channel. Right. But one of the most successful things is actually when, when we went to lockdown and when we're doing more zoom meetings I thought it's gotta be the little webcam on my laptop here. This is not kind of, I want to, again, it's all about the branding, right? You want to look and sound good on, on video when you're having meetings with people, how do I use my DSLR or my GoPro? And it wasn't the straight forward. It wasn't just a case of plugging it into the the laptop. So there was additional cables required and that little device called a cam link. And so you had to, I had to go and find all this out and it was a struggle initially.
And then when they kind of all clicked together, I thought, well, I'm gonna make a video on this show people how to do it. And, you know, I think so far, it's now up to 20,000 views and I've got subscribers from it, not many, but but here's the kicker as well. I love is obviously the little links you share in, in those those videos. People are clicking on it and making their purchases.
So I'm helping people, but I'm also getting a little bit of a kickback from the Amazon affiliate stuff as well. Not much, but it's still a little bit of pocket money.
It's funny though, that you're in, in a very British way, if you don't mind me saying sort of playing down the fact that it's only, I'm doing sort of air quotes when literally, as I'm saying only 20,000 views, because I don't know many of my friends at all that have created a video, put it on YouTube and got 20,000 views. And do you think that there is a tendency for all of us, whether we're photographers, filmmakers, or, or anybody trying to make it in the world to, instead of comparing ourselves to where we were before, we tend to compare ourselves to like, if Peter McKinnon had created something like that and how many likes he would have, or how many views he would have.
Right. Right. You said, well, that's a good point. I mean, that guy is a, he's a bit of a rock star. Right. I mean, he's just rocketed you know, in what he does. Yeah. You're probably right. Yeah. I mean, you know, you look at, for example, Pete McKinnon, and he's got like 5 million subscribers and, you know, like hundreds of thousands of views for his videos.
So yeah, I guess I was kind of proud with having that, you know, that 25, it's definitely been my most successful video. And I w I want to do more, but the trouble is I get so busy in the, in the autumn, the full with my photography and video that I kind of ran out of that momentum. So actually this time a year forward, maybe the first six months of the year is when I start creating more videos, but I'm just still coming up with ideas about what I can teach and educate next, the honest, the obvious thing of course, would be to teach them photography, but there's so much competition on YouTube with, with you know if you want to show somebody or teach people about a certain time that you would photography, this is hundreds and thousands of videos out there that people are doing the same thing.
So it's really trying to find that little niche about, you know, what am I going to teach about for it to be viewed, because I'm sure you've done stuff for YouTube. It's that process is quite, yeah. It takes a lot of thought. You've got an editor and I've, I do so many takes when I'm talking in front of the camera, it takes me a long time to actually make a video. And so then when you put it out there and you realize that actually it's only had like a hundred views, you're like, Oh, all that work. And it's like,
Because I guess nobody sees all of the work that you've put into creating it.
Absolutely. And so there is a lot of work that goes on behind it. And so I do have a lot of you know, I admire people like, you know, the Pete McKinnons the weld and all these people that have got all these subscribers and followers and, and all this these great videos cause I know actually how much work is involved in how much, you know, it takes to put together.
But no, I, I, you know, I love to challenge myself and push myself. And so that's something that I really want to keep us hearing. You know, even just talking in front of a camera for me initially was really, really tough when I was back in my corporate job. One of the big barriers I was found, I don't know if you've ever spoken on stage before and somebody is actually handed you like a microphone. And that, for me, whenever I was in my corporate world talking on stage of a microphone, I just crumbled. I just hated it. I don't know what it was. It was just that mental power. And I, I initially I found it really, really difficult as talking into the camera. You know, I, I was much more comfortable being the other side of the camera a lot, a lot more comfortable,
But there's something about having a camera in front of you that does create that? There was about four or five months ago. I was videoing somebody who, who was so nervous being in front of the camera, that he was physically shaking, but he, he, he had a job where he said to me that he regularly spoke to eight or 900 people in one room in one place. And he said, he's completely comfortable with that. But when it was just me and a camera, then he was, he was literally shaking his hand.
Yeah. It's a really, really strange thing. I can, I can appreciate that. I don't go that bad with it, but yeah, I guess that's the beauty of editing. Right. And cutting. But but yeah, it's it's, it's something I'm still going to deal with, but again, I just love to push myself. I, I love to do new things and try new things. Like, you know, I, I don't like just doing the same thing day in, day out. So you know, to be challenged, to push myself, to learn something new is, is really what I love to do.
I need to ask you something, which I'm asking every guest on this podcast, which is to ask you about non photography things. I'm asking three things that you're into right now. And one thing that you would like to throw into the world of never ever seeing again. And actually you're not allowed to say COVID for that one.
Oh, that's a challenge. That one,
Because that's the obvious one. Isn't it?
I say that, that in fact, when you said that, obviously it's COVID okay. Okay. Let's go with a sentence. So three things that I w w are we allowed to say, like TV shows, whatever
It can be. Absolutely. Anything quite by chance. I hadn't realized here in Boston, by the way, I knew you were Massachusetts, but I hadn't realized you were sort of near Boston. And last night, my wife and I watched the deposit, which is just great film. Absolutely fantastic.
Be gripping that one. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. okay. So what CBS series of, I mean, we actually just finished the crown series three last night. Okay. And so hang on, what year does that take us up to with, with the, the series three, but yeah. Yeah,
I guess I got confused with the numbers. I won't lie anyway, the last series, but the okay, so we've got Diana, but she hasn't died.
Exactly. So we're up to the point where Fetcher left, but that series has been absolutely brilliant. I absolutely love it. So definitely the crown, we actually deliberately paced ourselves with that one rather than its binge-watch it. So we'd love the crown. We also loved The Undoing as well. Oh, I didn't know that that's really, really gripping. That's good with Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant. Very, very good. And you go on set. She'd done a lot of really good stuff recently, so definitely. Yeah.
Have you seen the gentleman with Hugh Grant have seen that?
He's brilliant. Brilliant. So can I count it as my third?
Yeah. Okay. Unless you got something else to chuck in there.
No, I, I think that, so the undoing, the crown, for sure. And yeah, the gentleman is a great movie. In fact, it's probably my wife's favorite. Anyway, the thing that I would, what's the question, the, the thing that I want to,
So when you want to throw into the world of never seeing, ever again
Do you know what I think I'm going to say, ah, yes. To ever work for somebody ever again.
Yeah. So that's probably the biggest driver for me with this whole thing. I think once you make that step into this world of working for yourself, if you can get enough escape velocity, if you think from the world of working for somebody actually been paid and, and have a boss again, I'd never ever want to see you again. And you know, it's just, I mean, I've had some great bosses in my time who have become very great friends as well. So work for yourself is just like a whole new world. I absolutely love it. And I never want to actually have to work for somebody or a company again. So that's why,
And of course, then that doesn't mean that when you work for yourself, that every day is like a, like a walk in the park because you know, at the end of the day, yeah,
You have to, you have to push yourself forward
Because you got nobody saying, I need this done by Thursday. You've got to set your own deadlines in a, in a lot of things
Entirely. But do you know what Simon, I've never been more motivated. I get up at 05:30 every day. I'm in the office. I can work, you know, I'll work on a Saturday or Sunday. I don't care. My darling wife often has to remind me, but it's Sunday or it's a bank holiday story. Oh yeah, yeah. But I just, please can, I just love it.
And if you love your work, then it's not work. That's what they say.
Right. I just, yeah, I love it. Sure. I mean, I get doing it wrong. I mean, when, you know, when it gets crazy, crazy busy, it can feel, I think it was at the end of 2020. I actually needed the time off because I didn't want to look through my camera for another second because I do a couple of 'em big school here actually local schools you know, middle school and the high school school photos. And they are big undertakings in terms of the work that's involved.
These are the photos that go to parents. Is that right?
Yep, exactly. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Right. So but, but that was a, that's been a big uptick on them, on the, on the business this, this year. And again, going back to that marketing thing, so I'm in is, is the opportunity. I now have to, you know, these are now all clients and customers of mine. So the way I look at the world is everybody needs a great quality in a business headshot, right. Profile photo. So when somebody says, well, what, who's your market? Who's your typical client? Well, everybody, that's how I see it. I see the world as just one big opportunity. I don't, I don't really consider competition. You know, there's so many photographers out there these days that I don't see them as competition. I just see, well, anybody that says yes to me, it's that that's just shows the amount of opportunity there is out there.
Yeah. It's a great way to look at it. Isn't it great way to
Look at it. It's huge. Yeah. It's really just, don't worry about competition. Just do your thing. And everybody that says yes to you and is happy to invest in your services then that's that? You've done. Sorry. Right. Yeah.
Well, I think it was a great place to, to bring this to an end. We need to wrap this up in a moment, but where can listeners go to find you online if they wanted to know more about this
BB? Well so yeah, it's Beeby and by the way, it's B E E B Y I've spent my life Simon spelling my name. Okay. Hang on B E E B Y. Is that right?
B E E B Y.
Got it. Yeah.
So Stuart with the U as well. So illiterate, I spend every in my life spelling my name to people, the Stuart Beeby. You can just put me in Google and you'll find me. I have Instagram, I have Facebook. I, as we've talked about, have YouTube and yeah. And obviously I have my website,
All of those platforms. Are you searchable on that name?
Easy enough to find?
Exactly. Yeah. You'll find me everywhere.
Okay. All right. Stuart. I just want to say thank you for your time. I really appreciate you being here today. I really appreciate you as well. It's been great fun talking to you.
Can I just say Simon actually your move into this world of photography? Cause we first got to know each other through actually the corporate world. You know, you took that step first and you know, I was I admired your courage and commitment and I could see how much you're injuring yourself. So you're a big inspiration to me actually, I have to say. So I blame you as well for that, for this step in my life, but I also want to thank you because you've been you are actually quite instrumental in, in my in my move forward with this.
I'm glad it's worked out and really glad that you're happy and that you're all happy and living in an East coast, USA. Sounds fantastic! It really does.
So there we go. And a big, big, thank you to Stuart for sharing all of that with us. I know Stuart will be listening to the show right now. So thank you very much for being here. Just to recap that spelling it's Stuart with a U, not with a W, and Beeby, which is B E E B Y. Our next episode, we're back in the UK with someone else who used to have a regular employed job, but then became a full-time wedding photographer. So if wedding photography is something you're looking to grow, then you should subscribe right now to this podcast channel. So you'll not miss that. The second it comes out, but in the meantime, thank you for listening and I'll see you in the next episode.