SENSE Session - Photography & Branding talk at Southampton Solent University

Sunday, April 10, 2016

On 8th March I had the wonderful opportunity to guest speak at SENSE (Solent Entrepreneurs' Network for Sustainable Enterprises) at Southampton Solent University and it was fantastic talking about a subject I love: photography & branding! Working as a graphic designer full time in the day and photographer by night, it was a fun putting together two passions in my life in a presentation, and gave me a good excuse to dig out the various design and photography books/magazines I have on my bookshelf!

The March session 'Using Photography to create a Visual Identity for your Brand' was a great follow on from the February session led by a good friend, graphic designer, Tom Snow Design who talked about creating a brand identity and logo design. It was lovely seeing regulars from the group as well as new faces to learn more about how photography can really uplift or detract from your business branding.

Having graduated from Southampton Solent University in BA (Hons) Photography in 2014 and having been active in entrepreneurship activities such as undertaking the Solent Creatives student course 'Creative Entrepreneurial Freelancing Practice' as well as being successful in the University's student business start up funding; it's been brilliant joining the SENSE network for Solent graduates and being invited to speak at the session. Greg Sandford, Entrepreneur-in-residence at Southampton Solent University thought it would be great to learn from each other's strengths in the group. There are so many talented creative people you network with at Solent, it's a sort of skills sharing network as well. Greg, who organises the SENSE sessions stated:

“I knew I could rely on Nisha to deliver a well-prepared, well-researched and above all thought-provoking session for SENSE members. As with all of our workshops, it’s given me a lot of ideas for my own business.”

I found the photography & branding session really fun to deliver to the group where I covered topics such as decoding well-known brands and their websites, how photography brings a website and marketing materials to life and the power of using images in social media to share and market content. With a mixture of entrepreneurs who have newly-established business and new ideas for businesses in the group, it was interesting having a brainstorming activity looking at their brand values and ways they would like to represent their business. It was eye-opening to see such a range of small businesses such as graphic design, furniture sourcing and interior design, photography, hand-made luxury chocolate, tax advising to name a few in one room.

The session ended on a 'Google Yourself Challenge' to see whether the first hits on Google Images represented their business and visual identity. It was fun and a little nerving to see live what everyone's businesses appeared online to potential customers, but it was all part of the development process.

After the session it was lovely to hear comments such as "It was very motivating & refreshing" and having a lovely buzz and chatter of conversations. Certainly a big smile on my face and everyone who attended!

Solent University graduate and interested in joining the SENSE network in Southampton? 
April's session will be led by Lottie Turner, Risk manager at NHS Trust and Business Manager at Tom Snow Design where she'll be giving a talk about improving presentation skills for your business. Come along to the 6pm session at Southampton Solent University on Tuesday 12th April 2016. More info here.

Follow SENSE on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

P.S Thanks Greg Sandford to taking these snaps of me during my presentation.

Thanks guys for your support - cheeky after session drinks & food at Tapas Barcelona! :)

A few resource materials: Love Love these books - defo recommend!

Resource books:

The Start-Up Kit - all you need to know about setting up a business
How to Style your Brand - Definitely a recommended read!
Start Me Up! - This is a super gorgeous book!

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