Making the “Ordinary Extraordinary” is photographer Zahrina Robertson of Zahrina Photography.
In a whirlwind 5 years since beginning her Sydney based business, Zahrina has been nominated as Telstra Business Woman of the Year, become a professional speaker on the topic of photography, held several successful exhibitions of her images, worked regularly with high profile business people and celebrities and counts Tourism Australia and Qantas among her regular clients. She has also recently been announced as the Official Photographer for OzHarvest.
Zahrina specializes in Digital Branding for Entrepreneurs, capturing their X-Factor as she creates insightful images to best represent their business in the social media and online world. Her authentic approach brings out the best in her clients as she gets to know them behind their public persona, capturing their true essence and X-Factor.
With more exhibitions, books and beautiful images to come, the future is bright for Zahrina Robertson, photographer to the stars.
Describe yourself in 3 words: Passionate, fun, and real.
What is your life motto? Life’s… just too short!
When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful? I started a little over 5 years ago and I’ve always been busy. Recently with the advent of social media, it’s changed the landscape of business and I am enjoying sharing my success to a wider audience, whom I really appreciate on a daily basis.
How much time and effort did you dedicate? Let’s put it this way, 24 hours 7 days a week is not enough time. I dedicate a lot of time to the “refinement” of my business.
What are the challenges in your line of work? Having to wear many “hats” in the business and also be the creative force from within the business. I love the rewards “delegating” can bring me!
What feedback taught you an extremely valuable lesson? Attention to detail and select the people you wish to do business with carefully.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date? What your passion is..DO IT BETTER! It has spurred me onto do great things…
In your mind, is formal training essential? It’s certainly imperative you have formal training in photography. I studied and I also had some great mentors in photography who have kept me on track. Recently I had a young man approach me about being my assistant, he had not studied photography. I thought I’ll give him ago. He has 4 weddings booked at $3000 and he assisted me this week. Unfortunately his shots were not up to professional standard a high paying client would expect, this disappoints me greatly. If you take the time to study, absorb, practice “loads”, the penny will drop and money follows when your talent is moulding with pure experience, not the other way around.
Do you think having a mentor is important? How would you go about getting one for this industry? Undoubtedly having a mentor has been my greatest asset to my business. There is no better place to feel you can express your wins, dreams and receive the constructive feedback that is deeply personal, reflective and well meaning than from a mentor who has a vested interest in you. I’m going to be providing mentoring to beginners in the industry; I want to make a difference…
Genuinely understand the reasons why you want to get into photography (it’s not as “gla-mor-ous” as some people think)
I definitely believe in studying the craft of photography.
Clearly understand and reflect if you have the creative talent for photography, if not, then study the different photography genres and see how you go from working on these various genres.
What kept you going when you weren’t at your best? I’ve had ups and downs in business in the early years. In the early days, I used to question myself, now I don’t. I decided a while back I wouldn’t continue with photography if my creative talent is not being challenged. The things keeping me going are my self-belief, inner strength, drive and family encouragement.
Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time? “Making it” is all about being true to yourself in your chosen field of endeavour. Doing the “hard yards” over time is success. Understanding key elements of how to make your business successful. Working very hard. All the above I believe has made me successful in the right time and the right place!