by Angela Adams Published 01/08/2015
Angela Adams talks to fellow photographers about working at the coal face - an occasional series.
Most of us are aware of the big names in photography, but what about the jobbing photographer - one who isn't necessarily entering competitions and selling training - but simply working hard at their craft to pay the bills. Are they an endangered species? Has the industry become devalued in the digital era, with all camera owners deemed photographers by the general public? Or are the professional photographers diligently working away in our towns and villages providing their clients with great photos? With this in mind I set out to discover a little more from those at grassroots level, working hard to keep our industry alive and promoting good practice and providing a professional product.
Ruth Trotter, based in the village of Bankfoot in Scotland, is situated approximately eight miles north of Perth. The last census recorded a population of 1,136, so Ruth doesn't have a huge client base on her immediate, rural doorstep. Being a generous lady and wanting to assist others in the business, she agreed to digitally discuss her business with me over a series of emails.
What motivated you to consider a career in the photographic industry?
Initially I studied media at school and decided to continue in further education, with the aim of gaining an HNC in photography in my late teens. Sadly, four months into the HNC course the bursary allowing me to study was discontinued. This led to me getting married and having three wonderful children, all boys! I needed to work, so purchased a franchise to run a community magazine. This involved everything from writing, designing advertisements and taking photographs. I quickly realised that the magazine wasn't going to be successful in the areas I had chosen, however, my real passion for photography had been reignited!
What's your mindset when you get up in the mornings?
Although I'm not a morning person (probably because at times I'm still editing to the early hours and don't get to bed until 3am), once I have my morning coffee I'm raring to go again by 8am. I start as most of us do, by replying to emails and my mindset is always focused on creating better images for my clients and being the best I can be at everything I do ...mum, photographer and charity co-founder.
Are you a sole trader or do you employ staff?
I mainly work alone, although twice a year I take on work placement students for a week at a time, to give school kids an idea of what is like to be a photographer.
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