Andrea Mai on life as a photographer

AndreaMai-72581. Why did you start your own business?
I made the decision that I want to have financial freedom and to be able to express my
creativity through my work.

2. What are the hours that you work?
I am constantly working on new images as a photographer, going out on photo shoots,
editing photos, working on blog posts and marketing. I can’t really say what the hours
I work are, but I can say that it occupies most of my life. I work more than I would at
a job. But it doesn’t feel like work because I enjoy it.

3. How many people work in your business?
At this time, it is just myself doing everything.


4. What are the goals for your business?
My goals for my business include developing a brand name as an artist, consistent
income through the licensed use of my images. I am also a visually impaired
person and my personal goal is to become financially independent, no longer
depending on disability income support.

5. How do you handle pressure?
I trust that things will work out for the best in the end. I don’t worry about things that I
have no control over. I show up for my job and be the best I can be. I don’t attach to
end results. It’s a fine balance between caring and not caring about what happens.


6. How would a man run your business differently?
I think that a man might approach his work from a very technical Stand point,
whereas I approach my work intuitively. I don’t worry about the things I don’t know or
haven’t learned yet. I believe in my abilities and I let my instincts guide me.

7. Would you ever go and work for a boss again?
I don’t want to say never, but it’s really unlikely. I’ve found that it’s only by being on
my own that I can have the true freedom to express what I want to in my work.

8. Do you ever take work home with you?
I work from home, so yes!

9. What do you do to relax?
I watch videos on YouTube, go for a walk. Actually, as a photographer, there is
something very zen about the process of taking photos. I feel that it takes me to a
meditative state.


10. What would you like to know more about to run your business better?
How I can reach the right people to generate more opportunities.
11. What would you do differently if you had the chance?
In the past, I’ve done business without written contracts and got burned. What a
mistake! I’ve learned my lesson and will never do business without a contractual
agreement. It’s simply not worth the risk. Take the time to understand your rights and

12. Did you have to borrow money and if yes what route did you follow?
No, I have funded myself every step of the way.

13. What satisfaction do you get from running your own business?
The fact that I am creating something that is my own is satisfying. Hearing feedback
that people are enjoying my work feels rewarding.


14. What makes your business successful?
I feel that as an artist I have created a distinct style for my brand that is consistent and
recognizable. I feel that having a unique point of view is important in the creative arts.
My aim is to create uplifting images to remind people how beautiful the world is.

15. What form of marketing do you use?
Mostly social media on Instagram and Facebook. Clients find my work through there
and contact me directly.

16. Do you have a favourite mantra or quote that keeps you going in tough times?
I always say to myself that I will cross that bridge when I get there. I don’t worry
about problems that haven’t arrived yet. I take things one step at a time. This releases
endorphins from anxiety about the future.

Andrea Mai Bio:
logoI am a legally blind photographer. Since childhood I was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition that has caused extreme nearsightedness that cannot be corrected. The advancement of digital cameras has made it possible for me to take photos. I can actually see better through the camera than I can in real life. Everything farther than half a foot looks blurry to me.
As an artist, I want to defy what it means to have a disability. In the past, I faced discrimination by employers once they found out I was legally blind; they never really gave me a chance. Working independently as a photographer, people are so surprised by what I do when they find out that I am visually challenged. I work intuitively. Although my sight is limited, I am not limited by intuition.