Updated: Nov 1, 2019
15 questions with Ginny Koppenhol, the talented photographer behind the Textile Candy product photography.
To see more of Ginny's work check out her website: https://www.gkoppenholphotography.com/ and follow her on instagram @ginnykopp
1. What do you do?
I am a portrait photographer. People will always be my favourite photography subject! I mostly photograph families, people and their businesses and also create artistic portraits.
2. Where are you based?
I am based in North Lancashire and work mostly in Lancaster, Morecambe and Kendal, but often further afield.
3. Do you have a studio?
I have a very messy study (converted garage) that I use as a home office, but that's all really. I much prefer to get out and about and shoot using natural light when possible. When natural light is captured well, it can give such a beautiful boost to portraiture.
4. Have you always known what you wanted to do?
My heart has always known, but it took a while for me to take notice.
5. What is your background?
My background is in Occupational therapy and after I got my degree in Newcastle, I worked in mental health services in the NHS for 14 years. Whilst I loved aspects of it, I had been DJing, taking photographs and learning animation skills behind the scenes. After starting to feel burnt out at work, I decided to have a career change and fulfil my long-held dreams of working for myself in a creative field.
6. What is your greatest achievement in business/creativity?
Starting my own business! I made that leap because I realised that it is better to fail at something, than to regret never having tried. When you look at life like that, you start to take all sorts of opportunities that come along.
I will also forever be in awe of myself for teaching myself to DJ, networking in the dance scene from scratch, ultimately leading to me making tunes that were signed to labels, playing in Ibiza, having my own online radio show and warming up for the like of High Contrast and Steve Lawler. It was an incredible few years of following my musical passions alongside working as a therapist! The experience proved that I can basically do anything I put my mind and heart to.
7. What is your biggest struggle as a creative/SBO?
Managing overwhelm. It's almost a bit of a cliché, but when there are no set hours, no one to tell you when to work and when to stop, it's easy to forget to take a breath. Add small children and stressful life events into the mix and things can get really tough at times. Know when to take a break, to outsource, and when to stick on some music and just dance around your kitchen (that might just be me).
8. What piece of advice have you found most useful/try to live by?
Always think of the reasons to say 'yes' to opportunities before you say 'no', but know that saying 'no' can be good for self-care and your business too!
9. Who inspires you?
I am lucky enough to have many people in my own life who inspire me every day.
Photography wise, I have just watched a documentary series about Bob Gruen a New York photographer who has been capturing the music scene there for his whole career (and continues to do so). He makes friends with all the people he photographs and it is evident in his work, and his passion for the music is clear too. His images are authentic and relaxed, and each tells a story. His work is an important document of the last three decades in New York.
There is a lady called Harnaam Kaur who calls herself the Bearded Dame. I have followed her on social media for a few years and she is such an inspiration. Due to polycystic ovary syndrome she has a full beard and after several years of trying to hide this, whilst being bullied and attacked for looking different, she decided to embrace her beard and grow it. She promotes self-love at every opportunity, giving talks and using her profile to spread positivity. I am in awe of her.
10. Do you listen to any podcasts/read any small business books you can recommend?
The book 'The Heart of Sales' by Jane Binnion is a super helpful approach to selling whilst sticking true to your values (Jane is also one of the people i know, who inspires me).I love the Creative Live podcasts by Chase Jarvis, Gary Vee's nuggets of wisdom on Instagram and Maria Forleo's Youtube Channel.
11. When do you feel most/least creative?
Tiredness and overwhelm is the biggest creative killer for me. I feel most creative when it happens organically and I am not trying to force myself to think of new ideas. And I find that creativity breeds creativity. Once I am on a creative roll, I become inspired to create more and more.
12. When you need to boost your creativity what do you do?
Go to galleries, get out in nature. read stuff, have a change of scenery, get more sleep...
13. What couldn't you live without?
Veggie bacon, coffee, 'Pose' on BBC2 (my new TV love), art, music, Morecambe Bay sunsets, my camera, and of course my beautiful family and friends.
14. What advice would you give someone who is just starting out?
If you're a woman, have a look at what The Growing Club offers. There is tons of support and a variety of workshops and courses for those starting and growing businesses, and it's based in Lancaster. Network - get out there and meet people face to face whenever possible. Social media is good, but it's no substitute for real life conversations. Look after yourself and continue the things you enjoy doing outside of your business. If you don't look after yourself, your business isn't sustainable and nor will your health be.
15. FINALLY what project that you're working on are you most excited about at the moment?
I have just had my first solo photography exhibition and so I am currently working on some new ideas for a 2020 personal project (although not settled on one yet). But I have also just joined the Morecambe Artist Colony as a board member. I am excited about getting more involved in using and promoting the arts in the local community, as I firmly believe that 'art is for everyone' (to echo a belief that New York artist Keith Haring held, and was reminded of when I saw his exhibition in Liverpool recently).