LEARNING CURVE | Photographer’s passion and entrepreneurial desire see success
Born into a business-orientated household, it was no surprise when talented photographer Tsidi Limba started her own venture.
Limba has always been captured by the idea of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
The 39-year-old, whose passion is to freeze clients’ memorable moments, also loves to photograph women.
Please share some background on yourself and how Tsidi Limba Photography was started?
I grew up watching my mother running different businesses and I have always known it is something that I wanted to do, there was just something about starting something and growing it to success that has always captured me.
I get my creative side from my father and after high school I studied interior design and ran a design business for more than 10 years.
After taking a lot of images of my design work, I realised that I had a love for art and photography and so my business started.
What is your core service?
I am a photographer and my three main focuses are portraiture, boudoir and maternity. These I absolutely enjoy.
What makes your business unique?
First of all, I am a black female photographer — in a profession which has been mostly male-dominated — and because I am female a lot of women feel comfortable around me.
If someone wanted to copy your business model, how would they start?
Firstly, you need to have passion or the love for creating art to be a good photographer, also the type of shoots I do people aren’t really used to.
Asking people to strip down in front of a camera for boudoir you need to be patient and understand that women have a lot of insecurities, even if they booked the shoot themselves, you still have to be a very reassuring person.
What were some of the biggest inhibitors your business faced before getting off the ground?
Photography is very expensive, cameras and equipment cost a lot of money, so I needed to save a lot for a long time just to get started.
I still get people who don’t trust me because I am a female, many people would rather use male photographers because that’s what they are used to.
Do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs or new business owners?
In life, we don’t get what we want but what we work hard for.
Research is important before starting any business, investing time and energy at the beginning stages of your business helps a lot.
What are some of your biggest challenges in day-to-day business operations and your particular industry?
Dealing with different types of people on a daily basis is a bit hard for me, you need to have the personality for it.
What is the best advice anyone gave you on success?
A photographer who mentors me once told me to invest in learning, and to be obsessed with seeking information to improve your skill — that has helped a lot.
How do you measure or define success in your business?
For me, success has always been defined as waking up and doing what you love best, also watching my level of growth is success to me.
What are some of the best practices that have made your business successful?
Teaming up with people who are successful has elevated my business. I work with an excellent make-up artist who has elevated my images.
Also, I am very visible on social media, I have a following that has grown my business very much.
What kind of advertising do you do?
Mostly, I run ads on social media. I also create promotions, with themes around my work.
What is your company’s vision?
To freeze memorable moments.
Who is your target market?
My target is everyone who is interested in being photographed, however, I love mostly to photograph women.
What have some of your highlights been in running your business?
For me, seeing women who are shy or self-conscious come alive in front of my camera, also how they feel when they see themselves in an image I have taken, it is priceless for me.
How important is social media and an online presence for your business?
Absolutely vital, my business wouldn’t be this successful without it.
How many people do you employ?
I have two employees.
Do you have any plans for expanding the business, and how would you go about this?
I am in the process of moving into a bigger studio, I am also planning on opening my business in other towns.
How did you acquire funding for the business?
I got my first camera from NYDA but after that my late husband and I worked hard to buy all my equipment.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from your business journey so far?
The more you put in, the more you get out.
What have been the greatest challenges and advantages of running your business in a city like PE?
When I started, people weren’t so open-minded to my style of photography, it was bold and sensual, however, in the past two years things have changed, people are loving my work and are open to it.
What do you say are the three key traits of a successful entrepreneur?
Wanting to grow, seeking knowledge and passion.
What do you believe are the key traits of a successful employer?
Problem-solving, passion and critical thinking.
What do you wish people knew about your industry?
Photography is an art of expression, it’s not as easy as just clicking a camera.
Also patience, passion and dealing with people is vital, however, it is fun and beautifully rewarding.