DA: My name is Denieze Anderson. I attended Northern Caribbean University and I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications. I'm 21 years of age. The name of my business was originally D.Andy Photography, but I am now in the process of fully implementing new services, and the name has changed to ' D. Andy Agency'. It now offers:
- Videography (includes commercials and promotional videos)
- Graphic Design
- Web Design
- Video Graphics and Editing
- Internet Marketing (Tentatively)
- Social Media Specialization (Tentatively)
Ashleigh: How did you first get interested in photography?
DA: I was always interested in photography from a young age. That is, people photography. When I was around 8, I always did these photoshoots with my cousins where I would dress them up and then take the pictures. It only became serious when one day I was browsing around on Facebook and I came up on Ryan Lue-Clarke's work and I thought to myself, "But I can do this too!" So I had no camera at the time, I only had my iPhone, so I started taking pictures of my best friend behind my school as a mini-photoshoot and uploaded them on Facebook and wrote D. Andy Photography on them, which was a shortening for my name. I then decided I'm going to do a prepared photoshoot with my friend with my same iPhone. So we did three different themes and uploaded them, and an epidemic was born.
Ashleigh: What camera equipment do you use?
DA: I'm happy to say I have upgraded three times since that, and I'm now using a Canon EOS Rebel T2i with a 18-55mm lens and a 55mm-200mm zoom lens, including a strobe light with a softbox and umbrella attachments, and a Canon External Flash.
Ashleigh: How did you end up turning your interest into a business?
DA: Well after the iPhone epidemic, I proposed to my daddy that I could really use this to make money but I would need a proper camera. So because I'm usually careless with digital stuff, he didn't trust just getting me one so the deal was that I would pay him back. A little after, I got my camera, which was an advanced point and shoot. A little after that, I booked a shoot with the Ishia Model Agency in Mandeville to do their pictures. Coincidentally, that was enough to pay for the camera. I was 18 at this point. I continued my photography until I booked another big job in the summer of the next year with Northern Caribbean University. I was responsible for doing their graduation photos, after which the Chairman I was working with mentioned to my father how talented I was, and that he should give me one of the shop spaces that he had available for me to open a photo studio. I took the suggestion and I invested the money in the studio, fixed it up and bought equipment and started business in October 1, 2009.
Ashleigh: How is your business today and what are your future plans?
DA: My business has definitely grown from the days when I was dying to get one customer. It definitely has been profitable, and I hope it flourishes into the next big thing in Jamaica.
Ashleigh: What would you say has been one of your biggest setbacks and what did you learn from it?
DA: Well my biggest challenge was getting the word out about my studio and getting customers when I first opened. At times it depressed me alot and I felt like giving up, but giving up is never the thing to do. I learnt that things don't come easy and 2 P's are very important, persistence and perseverance. You won't get anywhere without those two things.
Ashleigh: What is one advice you would give to young entrepreneurs having problems getting their business off the ground ?
DA: I definitely would say that the most important thing is to believe in yourself and the rest will follow suit. Also, focus on your customer satisfaction, its the best marketing you can do. Nothing like word of mouth and referrals. Also, what i'm doing, is self educating myself on marketing, so I got a principle of marketing book. Learning more about improving your business definitely brings about innovation.
Check out some of D.Andy's work!