Interview with Elena – Marketing

(Country: Portugal, Native country: Bulgaria)


Veronica: My name is Veronica. Thank you so much for agreeing to be interviewed for our blog. What is your name and what is your business?

Elena: Hello. So my name is Elena and my business is photography, videography and marketing project development.

Veronica: What is your home country and your native language?

Elena: Well, I’m from Bulgaria, so Bulgarian Brevnovsky.

Veronica: What was your professional studies before you started your own business?

Elena: I studied a lot of hospitality, so that helped me create a lot of people skills. Communication is very important. I guess that’s the key when it comes to photography. Have the I have the knowledge about your gear, about the light and how to deal with all of that, and then being able to talk with people. Because if people are not feeling comfortable, then pictures are not good.

Veronica: Exactly. So tell me about your products and services and why did you choose to offer this?

Elena: Well, the Portuguese market right now in the Algarve, it’s mainly events, weddings. So that’s why we choose to do what we do right now, starting with events and weddings. And then hopefully in the close future, we can start doing a little bit more fashion and a little bit more high end photography and videos.

Veronica: You also do social media, right?

Elena: Yes, we also do social media. The area here is more touristy orientated, which helps a lot, but at the same time you have low season and high season, which helps with the social media as well because people can use the slow winter season to market better their businesses.

Veronica: Why did you decide to start a business in this new country and how long have you been here?

Elena: I’ve been here for around seven years already and fell in love with the nature, with the people and the whole. This is my community type of living and living around these amazing people. It makes me think they need more. They need more to promote their businesses. They need more to be able to capture the special moments they have right now and capturing moments that’s priceless.

Veronica: Describe the difference between working hours and free time, comparing to when you first started the business and after it became profitable.

Elena: Honestly, it’s all the same. You leave a job that is eight hours, seven days a week, and you start working 24 over seven and it’s all the same. And I guess it depends how passionate you are about your work. And I am passionate. So if I can work 30 hours a day.

Veronica: I would a real entrepreneur here. So how did the idea of your business change from start to finish?

Elena: It changed with all the projects we will get. First, you start with little parties, birthdays here and there, and then you start to get more people interested. And if you’re having clients from ear to ear, they already know what you’re doing so you can talk with them, you can work with them, and you can make more high end productions with them because they already know your grid. They already know how you work, they already trust you. So that gives you the opportunity to bring a little bit more to the work. You know, when it comes to photography, you already know them, they already know you. There’s that trust, so you can talk freely and position them, place them, make the pictures look a little bit more and more and more depends on the project professional or more friendly or more high end. If it’s something like fashion or couples portraits, trust is key.

Veronica: Thank you. Did you use any inspiration or knowledge from your home country to come up with your business idea?

Elena: Oh, I did a lot. Bulgaria is a very traditional country. We have very old traditions, and bringing that to a picture or to a video elevates the whole work. Imagine. Imagine a picture like a portrait picture. It can be very simple. And then if you pick the colors of the country, it can bring that extra sense of, Oh, I belong there, and the little things like that sell out. But they can do the trick.

Veronica: Very nice. Do you have any tips for someone who is just starting out with entrepreneurship and business?

Elena: Oh, yeah. Don’t be scared to explore. Just try everything. You don’t have to pick a niche right away from the start. Explore, try different things, meet different people. In the beginning I would take. Literally any project that can grab. Now I can I can select, I can prioritize what I do first and what I can reschedule for a little bit later. But in the beginning, just try and see what’s interesting for you. What gives you that drive to stay on editing for hours and hours until you make it perfect or to take the extra hours on the set and capture that special moment that only comes once in a while. You know, the light’s going to be perfect, the person’s going to be perfect, and then you get that amazing shot.

Veronica: Very nice. So what is the one lesson from your experience as migrant entrepreneur you can learn from?

Elena: Oh, that is interesting. Um, a lesson.

Veronica: As a migrant entrepreneur in Portugal.

Elena: Learn the language basically being in Portugal, I’ve struggled with the Portuguese language because it is a very complicated, intense language. But even if you know a few phrases, a little bits here and there, it helps a lot. And especially when you work with people, it helps them to to feel like, okay, okay, we’re going somewhere. She’s trying and I am trying, although it’s really hard. But yeah, like language and communication are key. So if you are in a foreign country, even if you know a few phrases to start with, that opens a lot of doors and I think it’s important.

Veronica: Thank you. Okay, so you’re a very busy person. Thank you for your time. Do you have any last words for the people who will read this?

Elena: Don’t be scared to explore. Jump high.

Veronica: Thank you so much, Eli.