For the lifestyle you want

Nicki Cameron, pet photographer: My Best Life in 10 answers

I am a Pet Photographer, living near Manchester with my husband. I adore dogs and have a Welsh Collie called Fern who is my very able and beautiful assistant.

1. What has been your Best Life Project to date?

Pet photographer Nicki Cameron

Apart from raising my two girls to be wonderful young adults, my best project has been combining my absolute passion for photography with my considerable experience of working with dogs to begin my Pet Photography business.

It really is my dream job.

2. The unknown … what challenges did you have to overcome?

I’ve always been a private person and had always refused point blank to have any social media accounts. Who wanted to know about me?

However, as part of marketing my new small business, I’ve had to ‘put myself out there’. This has been quite daunting as I’ve had to give part of myself up for public scrutiny!

I even struggled to provide a decent photograph of myself for The Best Life Project as it’s always been me hiding behind my camera and never in front of the lens. My kids joke that they’ll never remember what I look like when I die as there are so few images of me!

3. In hindsight…..what would you do differently?

I’d behave less like a bull in a china shop!

I took on far too much all at once so that I could launch my photography business quickly – from building my own website, to an Instagram marketing course, to learning new accounting software etc. This was all over and above fitting in any photography with clients!

4. Next steps?

Simply to keep growing my business and gaining happy, satisfied clients

5. What lifestyle changes has lockdown made you consider?

I was so fortunate that both my daughters came back to spend lockdown at home so now I cherish spending as much time with family and friends as possible.

With so much unexpected free time on my hands, I suddenly had the inspiration and opportunity to progress from a hobby to a business and spent most of lockdown researching and setting up the foundations of Nicki Cameron Photography

6. Kissing frogs …. is there an unexpected person who has helped you and, if so, how did they do it?

Perhaps not too unexpected, however a tutor from my photography group made me stop and think about myself and how I approached my photoshoots.

She advised me to stop chasing THE perfect shot and to just relax and enjoy my photography.

I hadn’t realised I was striving for absolute perfection with every image I took, beating myself up over any minor mistake.

In fact, following her wise words made me a much better photographer almost instantly, taking away so much pressure and giving me so much more enjoyment and freedom.

7. My Inspiration ….who or what inspires you?

The creativity and quality of my fellow photographers never ceases to inspire me to continue learning, improving and setting new boundaries for my own art.

8. How do you relax or do you struggle to relax?

It’s pretty difficult to relax when you’re self-employed!

I love cooking for and entertaining friends, walking my dog in the countryside and also sport, which is such a huge part of my life. I regularly play badminton and tennis and I’ll watch any sport on TV if I get the chance, especially my favourite Manchester football team.

9. Guilty secret pleasure?

Dancing in my kitchen to 80s tunes when cooking, glass of red in hand.

10. Words of wisdom

Don’t be afraid to take a leap & follow your passion, young or old. It’ll never be the perfect time so just do it!

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