We present you one of our valuable team members Heleci Ramirez, describing her journey in FotoEventi Group from the beginning when she first came to Lanzarote to apply for the job, until today – working in our corporative office and combining all her passions and skills.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO CHANGE YOUR FREE LANCE PHOTOGRAPHER JOB?
I have been working as a freelance photographer since I was 25 and it has always been my complementary activity, in addition to other jobs related to marketing and communication.
I come from Honduras, but I´ve been living in Spain for 11 years already. I´m a person who is always seeking for new experiences and this is why in 2018 I was looking for a geographical change, thinking that it would be great to do it for only one season. That’s when I found a job offer on Facebook for the position of Touristic Photographer in FotoEventi Group and I thought “Why not?”. It was a type of photography that was completely new to me, but since I had a lot of experience as a photographer, I’ve sent my CV, did a Skype interview, participated in the formation process and they have selected me.
I came from Salamanca (the last city where I lived for many years) with the idea of working just for the summer season but as time was passing, I started to like the job a lot. As the company was very satisfied with my results, they offered me a new contract for another season and taking the position of Photo Manager in one of the biggest hotels at the moment. I considered it to be not only a great opportunity, but a challenge as well since the position doesn’t only include photography skills, but it requires strong team management and organizational skills.
WHICH WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION REGARDING THE PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENT IN FOTOEVENTI GROUP?
It was definitely the multicultural and dynamic environment. I have always liked meeting people from other countries and in my first season I met a lot of different people from all over Europe – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Slovakia. These were all young people coming from different backgrounds and we all share the passion for photography and traveling, so I can say that I have learned a lot not only professionally, but personally as well. I have made really beautiful friendships over the years.
WHAT IS THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WORK OF A FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER AND A TOURISTIC PHOTOGRAPHER?
If I have to describe it in a few words: The difference lies in speed. By this I mean the performance in shooting and the way of selling your products. When you are a freelance photographer, getting clients is a short to medium-term process, the photographic sessions are much longer, as the editing process as well. The sale is concluded already from the beginning, since the price is negotiated and defined previously.
In touristic photography, you have to be very, very effective with timing and rhythms. The photo sessions are very fast, the editing is done almost at the moment, so at the end of each day, customers have their photos ready to select and buy. In order to achieve results every single day, the Touristic Photographer must have excellent Public Relations and Selling skills.
In this field of touristic photography, our hotel clients are not obliged to buy the photos, so it is your job as a Photographer, to ensure that all the photos are being sold, and for this same reason, it is very important that the Photographer is sympathetic, extroverted and with very good communication and customer service skills.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED IN THIS JOB?
Having experience as a freelance photographer was a good basis for the beginning, but by doing this new job I was learning new things continuously – like the selling part, the negotiation, working with absolute speed and all of this in an international environment.
Another thing I have learned was getting stronger emotionally in order to manage rejection. I will explain you why: we do work in a great atmosphere and people are friendly and relaxed as they are on holidays, but there are many clients that will tell you they don’t want photos, so is up to you not to take it personally and find a smart and elegant way to convince them to finally say yes. But, when you achieve that yes, and they finally love your photos, buy them and thank you with a smile… there is no bigger satisfaction!
HOW DID THIS JOB CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER?
It has helped to combine several of my passions and professions in the same job. As I mentioned before, I have done freelance photography, in a complementary way to other jobs, and I have always been teaching photography to different types of audiences – from university level to free amateur courses.
By working in FotoEventi Group, I really had the opportunity to grow from season to season. I started as a Photographer, then I got promoted and managed a team in a luxury hotel, the following season I became Photo Manager of two hotels at the same time, training photographers and managing a bigger team.
Since last year, I’m working in the corporative office in Marketing and Communication, but contributing as well in Recruitment and Training of new photographers. In this way I can continue growing and learning by combining all my knowledge and skills, staying focused on my greatest passion – photography.