Annie Armitage is a celebrated family lifestyle photographer based in Surrey. Having worked in numerous professions – everything from singer/songwriter to hotel management – Annie only found her true vocation after her son, Peter, was born in 2000. Her love of photographing him and people loving her work encouraged her to follow her dream of being a full-time photographer. You’re in for a treat, meet Annie Armitage!
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in photography.
All my life I’ve loved images and that love only grew after my son was born. A lot of people started telling me that my photographs were very good and that’s when I started to seriously think about a career in photography. However, at the time I really wanted to be work in commercial photography rather than be a social photographer.
How long have you been working as a photographer?
Eight and a half years.
Did you attend a photography school or assist anyone?
Yes I attended the London College of Communications and graduated with distinction. But I didn’t assist anyone because at the time I had a young family and my family came first.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I would say it was reportage, timeless, very natural and stylish. I try to take quite classic portraits.
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I use a Canon 5D mark III and a Canon 5D mark II as well as a Fuji camera.
What is your favourite editing tool?
I use both Photoshop and Lightroom but I try to edit as little as possible because I don’t want my images to be over-processed.
What is the best part of your job?
I never feel bored. I always feel creatively challenged and there’s always something new. I also love to work for myself.
What is the worst part of your job?
It’s sometimes frustrating that people don’t realise how long the admin side of things take. They think that photography is an instant thing but actually a lot of work goes into the behind-the-scenes side of things.
Do you make time for personal photographic work?
Yes I try do something every year to grow and learn as a photographer. Last year I went to Argentina for 10 days which was wonderful because it allowed me to see things differently. Normally I am working to a brief and trying to capture what my clients have asked for but when you take photographs just for yourself, it’s a very different experience.
What advice do you have for any photographer just starting out?
Get the business right first. I truly believe that it’s the business that sells rather than the images – you know it’s the clients experience and you as a business person that will make your clients book your services rather than how great your images are.
Also if you are a social photographer I would highly recommend that you join an association such as the SWPP or BIPP and get a mentor.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Probably the same as above really. Get the business side in order and invest in your business rather than your photography. If you’re leaving college with a photography qualification then get your business sorted before you graduate so that you’re ready to go instantly rather than spending the next six months getting set up.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
I love music and singing. I would love to be a singer.
Are you a Mac or PC lover?
What talent would you most like to have?
I would love to dance the tango. When I was in Argentina I went to an event which is a bit like a barn dance but you do the tango and it was absolutely stunning. I would love to be able to do that.
What are you favourite movies of all time?
I love Rear Window, Terminator 2: Judgement Day and The Pink Panther Strikes Again.
What do you love to indulge in?
Enjoying a vodka Martini with a twist at the Dukes Bar, Dukes Hotel in St James’ London. It is where Ian Fleming got his inspiration for shaken not stirred!
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Rome. I absolutely adore it.
First thing you would do if you won the lottery?
I think I would book Claridges and invite everyone and just have a big party.
For your business, what is the best thing on theimagefile?
Definitely having seamless galleries, the ease of use and it’s incredibly professional.
Want to see more of Annie’s work? Take a look at her website and blog and make sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Annie is also presenting a seminar ‘Secrets of Becoming a Business Person First & Photographer Second In Your Business’ at the SWPP Convention on Wednesday 20 January 2015. To find out what Annie’s seminar will cover click here!