Ben Lynch is married to Jodie and has a 17 month old daughter named Elsie. He grew up in Casino, deferred university to go hitch-hiking around Europe, then onto the Himalayas just after school. He met Jodie in 1999, they ran away together and did not come back to Australia for almost four years.
They married in 2006 and have lived in lots of interesting places but decided to come back to the Northern Rivers about 4 years ago to start a family and start a photography business. Ben had to find out if he could make a living from something he was passionate about.
Today they operate Blue Tulip Imaging, primarily shooting weddings, a bit of portraiture and Little Blue Tulip which is a niche project, specialising in early chldhood photography (with a pinch of magic).
He said working for yourself is certainly very hard, but they’ve have never had a more enjoyable lifestyle and having a child has been the most rewarding, enriching & fun experience of his life.
1.What keeps you motivated?
(1)Constant critical self evaluation which comes with being a photographer. I think the best & most successful artists are always just a little bit unsure of themselves and will reevaluate their thoughts & ideas as they go & this helps keep them fresh. I would say this is especially so with the very best photographers.
(2)Probably the number one guiding principle for me has always been understanding the difference between the journey and the destination. All of this does not mean I have arrived ………it means we are going somewhere.
(4)I would be lying if I said that competitors did not motivate me. I have actually slashed to almost nothing the amount of time I spend looking at blogs and even friends work. I am curious to see how creative I really am ( as opposed to being a product of my influences ) and felt I was being influenced by what I was taking in far too much. Much of our work is my reaction to how I feel about someone or what is taking place before my eyes and most of it is felt right there and then. This is what I always want it to be and would hate for it to be a bunch of preconcieved ideas. Surely if I was shooting your wedding this is what you would want too right ?
2.What is your favourite way to unwind?
Ahem…..red wine !! Elsie, reading, dreaming, really good music and movies, going on dinner and/or coffee dates with Jodie. It may sound odd but reading, particularly fiction and/or really good prose is the best thing for creative visuals and imagination.
3. How do people find you/ your business?
We have two –
(1)Blue Tulip Imaging for the lovers and the big people. I can safely say that up to 75% of our bookings and enquiries are from word of mouth. I truly believe nothing is stronger than a good word from a happy customer, especially with regard to women – they purchase on emotion far more so than men. A combination of this and harnessing the power of the internet. Facebook is quite handy and it is amazing how quickly it can disseminate information, although I have to say I have a particular dislike of it as a platform.
(2)Little Blue Tulip for the early days of childhood. This one has been hard work due to the nature of it. Without going into detail we have had to figure how to capture the attention of people we are appealing to ( Daycare centre directors and parents of pre schoolers ) at the right time and in the right place. It has been tough but now we are getting somewhere and it feels as though the sky is the limit.
4.What have been your biggest challenges and how have you overcome them?
Finding a work/life balance without doubt. As a Gemini I am great at conceiving and beginning things…….not so great at finishing. The hardest part of all this is the self discipline needed to get everything done at a consistently high standard. Also you can’t ever have an off day. I can’t ring up sick on the day of a wedding. And unless you have been here you probably won’t know what I mean. I am always being told “ you have a great job “ which is undoubtedly true but the reality is probably a bit different to how it is perceived by most people. The only way around it is to stay healthy, eat well, go to bed early and learn to focus and finish things. Also learning from mistakes is very important as they are often the best lessons. And if you keep making them it slows you down and it means you are not learning and advancing…….
5.What is your favourite brand and why?
It may be a bit naff but ……..Apple. I find a lot of Steve Jobs binding beliefs and principles fascinating, in doing what you love & simplifying the user experience.
6.What has been your biggest marketing success?
My blog. We started with one WordPress blog, added onto our original site. Then we went to WordPress for our main(portfolio) site with an additional blog component. Then we broke off Little Blue Tulip into a separate business with another WordPress site with and (you guessed it) a blog component. So now we have three blogs. And lots to say. For the record I think WordPress is the best publishing platform on the web.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you were establishing your business?
How to price and to believe in what you are worth. If you are marketing yourself as affordable all you are saying is “I am afraid to put a decent price on what I am worth” and this will lead you to never become a full time working pro.
8.What is your proudest achievement so far?
Elsie. And probably just the fact that in a short space of time we have gone from nothing to a lot all through learning from mistakes and sheer hard work. And we have done everything according to what we believe and done it with all our hearts. There is a piece of me in every bit of work, every image.