How did you get into photography?
I fell into it actually. I studied digital photography at university but after a horrible experience at uni, I vowed to never pick up my camera again. However, through meeting other creatives – especially female photographers – it really opened my eyes to image-making again. I guess you could say it lit that fire in my belly again so I began working for myself and haven’t looked back since.
Have you found it fairly easy to establish yourself?
Not at all! It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to where I am now and I’m only at the beginning of my career. Social media has helped me greatly but so has good old word of mouth. Yes, it still exists and actually it’s benefited me now more than ever through that classic thing of networking. I work with such incredible, inspiring individuals who push me and motivate me and without them I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today.
What are the key attributes to have if you want to become a freelance photographer?
Drive, determination, patience and bravery – so much bravery! Having a strong business head helps as well. And if I’m really honest I don’t really possess one but I’m learning.
How useful has social media been in terms of putting your name out there?
Very! I’ve been slogging away on my blog and Instagram account for six years now. I started when blogging was very much still in its infancy – there weren’t bloggers flying to Mauritius for press trips back then. I didn’t know where it was going to lead me but I knew I was working towards something for myself and for my career. So when the time came that I had a service to offer my audience, that’s when all my hard work paid off.
Do you collaborate with a number of other bloggers from the area and if so who?
The beautiful Pascale, @Style_Mum, the lovely Victoria, @Victoriagenevievestyling, and Jane, @luludumas. But I also work with amazing local brands and businesses including Natalie and Laura from Mum’s The Word and Justine Barker from @barker_design.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
My hopes and plans are to carry on doing what I’m doing! To keep growing and to keep learning.
A snapshot of Mollie’s work:
Socials: I cover lots of events locally such as Mum’s The Word parties, including the recent Vision Board one with Sarah Akwisombe at The Royal Wells in Tunbridge Wells
Profiles: I work with plenty of local social media influencers including stylist Susie Hasler, @styled.by.susie, Sarah Lilly, @sarahlillystyle, and Lauren Marks, @theparentingchapter
Still life: I’m now a regular contributor to YOU Magazine and the Evening Standard’s ES supplement beauty pages
Follow Mollie Manning on Instagram and Twitter: @molliermanning or visit www.molliemanning.co.uk