Nina Mace, Founder of Nina Mace Photography
An award-winning photographer, trainer and mentor based in Surrey
There’s always someone in a friendship group who’s responsible for taking photos at get-togethers; in my case, that someone is me!
It’s a lot of fun and I’ve never minded doing it – so much so that in between having my first and second child, I enrolled on a photography course for beginners. Purchasing a second-hand entry-level camera off eBay, I enjoyed it so much that I seriously started to consider turning to it as a business.
My career background is in marketing and brand management, where I climbed up the corporate ladder and worked with some of the world’s biggest names across a whole host of different sectors – including the leisure industry.
I became a mum in 2006 and returned to work, which was more than manageable because my husband runs his own business. A few years later however, when we had our second child, we recognised that a compromise needed to be made to juggle our working lives with being parents to a newborn and a three-year-old. I was happy to make the change, but it was important to me to do something that felt ownable, where I could utilise my working space and thrive in it.
I pursued the photography business – taking short-term contracts still within the marketing sector to make the money I needed to get my new venture off the ground. When a contract ended, I’d spend a few months committed to photography before repeating the cycle again until I was ready to remain behind the lens on a full-time basis. Operating in this way meant my transition was super-smooth and low-risk – creating a stable foundation to build from and completely avoiding financial debt.
Nine years on I’ve won awards, created a Facebook support group which currently has 1,500 members through purely organic growth and I now devote 75 percent of my time to the coaching and mentoring side of my offering – creating bespoke one-to-one training programmes for photographers (mostly working mums) who are aspiring to succeed.
Although I still love doing photoshoots, helping other people’s businesses to flourish through setting goals and targets – centred around marketing strategies and transitioning from their current career into self-employment – has definitely become my passion.