My Story #1

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MY STORY



The start

From a young age I was looking to fulfil and to achieve my dreams while doing what I enjoy and to earn a bit of money for myself.







Job hunting

I remember going from one shop to the other and asking if they are looking for an employee.

Thankfully one of the shops called me after a few weeks that they want me to work for them. It was a little photo shop that developed film. I loved it and really enjoyed my time there. I worked there for nine months. In the meantime my mother spotted an advert from the local council who were doing a ladies photography course and we went to register, but they told us that because I’m a girl and not a woman it’s not really possible. My mother – always my staunchest supporter and advocate – insisted and finally they agreed. I would travel once a week to the college to learn photography and really enjoyed it; I felt that this is what I

want to do in my life.





The start of my Entrepreneurial dream

As far as I know, I’m the only one from that course who actually became a photographer, and I still do it now. (A few of the other ladies opened photography studios but didn’t manage to keep them open; it’s a lot of money and time that needs to be invested.)

By then I had a second-hand camera that kept causing me problems but I managed to take photos of people outdoors and to keep practising. That’s the thing with photography – every single shot you take helps you on your journey to become a professional.



Many day jobs

After a few years I got married and tried lots of day jobs. I could write a book about the many places I worked at! Each time I liked it in the beginning but eventually I got fed up and left.

I was a cashier, shoe shop assistant, baby clothing shop assistant and ladies wear seller. Then I became a Motorcycle Surveyor, I would stop motor cyclist and asked them to fill in a questionnaire. In the Israel Diamond Bourse, I cleaned diamonds. I tried customer service at a Call centre and fundraising telephonist. I was an airport ground checking flight attendant and more…!!! Much more! The longest any job lasted was nine months.





The business starts

When my son was born, I was really fed-up with trying to hold down a job, and with the support of my family and a helpful business coach, I opened my own photography business. I put an advert in a local advertiser and the business started to flow. In the beginning it was very scary to shift to a full-time business owner, but I loved it and I felt it was the best decision I have ever made. I started my first studio in our tiny one room apartment. My son slept in the kitchen and I took photos in the little dining room. After that we moved to a bigger apartment and the business grew, and I became known as the kids and family photographer in my area.





The dream move

We always had a dream to move to Europe and one day the opportunity came and we moved to Manchester. I had in mind just to continue with my kids and family photography business but there wasn’t really the same demand for it as in my home town. Also, when we came here, I wasn’t in the state of mind to open a business straight away, I didn’t know anybody and needed to settle down first. Additionally, my seven-year-old son needed to learn English and I had to get a job just to pay for his private tutor.


I was looking for a day job and found a local bakery that was looking for a cashier. At the job interview they told me the job hours were 7:30 AM till 1:00PM, and I told them my kids start school at nine and I would see what I could do. The early start didn’t faze me as I have always been a morning person, but the children needed someone to care for them while I worked.







Work-life balance

I put an advert in the local advertiser that I’m looking for a babysitter to take my kids to school in the morning and a lovely lady called. We met and she agreed to take the children to school. And so every morning I took my kids to the babysitter about 7am and opened the bakery at 7:30. I loved working there, I met so many people, it was wonderful. I told people that I’m a photographer and I got a few photography jobs out of it.

After about five months I started to feel that the time has come to continue with my photography business and I was ready to do it.





Doing the right thing

When I told the bakery that I would like to leave, they were very disappointed because we had a great relationship, but I reassured them that I wouldn’t leave until they found someone else. This was of course very hard for me but I have always strongly felt it is important to do the right thing, when my replacement arrived, I trained her in and then I left the bakery to start my own business again.

A few years later the family who owned the bakery commissioned me to take family portraits and I felt that it was my reward for staying on with them and doing the right thing.




Finding my niche

As I had specialized in children and family photography for many years, I was about to continue this way but it wasn’t in such high demand and it took me a few years until I found my niche in Manchester. I tried food photography, school photography, jewellery photography and new-born photography. (My goal was always to work in the morning when my kids are in school.) It took a few years until I found what I was looking for.

Business headshots and Bar Mitzvah is the area I finally decided to work in, as I see Manchester is a very business supportive community, and many entrepreneurs need photos, and I love it!




Helping people achieve

Finally, I have found my ideal area of photography! I enjoy working with people and love to see their businesses grow, I enjoy talking to my clients who become friends and to listen to their hopes and dreams. I like the connections and I like to see my clients happy and amazed with their pictures and the way they love how they look in my pictures.

They love who they are and they love what they do, and I love being able to help them!





If this strikes a chord with you, why don't you book an initial discussion and let's get your headshots done!! Please book a 1-2-1 here: https://calendly.com/tovaphoto/1-2-1-with-tova-photography-video

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