articles/Profiles/p-h-p-page2

Panikos Hajistilly For the Love of Photography - part 2 of 1 2 3 4

by Panikos Hajistilly Published 01/12/2016

p-h-p-03.jpg

My first studio

Then one day in 2002 I read a copy of the British Journal of Photography where a photographer said he made £162,000 in one year in his Venture studio! That got me excited all over again, that appealed to me immensely.

I went up to Cheshire for an induction day and after a few months I sourced premises for the studio and opened my own Venture franchise in the November. I was finally a photographer!

But was I?

We hit the ground running and from a small group of four grew to a team of 18 full- and part-time staff within four years, I was managing a huge machine, business planning, accountant's meetings, management meetings, turning over huge amounts of money, and spending just as much; it was eating up nearly all my waking hours. I became a manager, I wasn’t a photographer, the years would pass and I hardly did any shoots. On my own without a studio

Then the recession hit, things started getting harder. In 2009 I managed to sell the studio and I was on my own. Completely on my own! It was scary. But I was a photographer. I signed up with the Cherubs scheme with the MPA and that is what got me through those early days and years.

I didn’t have a studio so I hired a conference room in a hotel where I would set up early on Saturday mornings ready to receive my first clients for 10am. I would book them in for 30-minute sessions right through the day - 16 shoots per Saturday, and I’d do this every five or six weeks. After the shoots, I arranged to go to show the edited photos to clients at their homes on my laptop.


p-h-p-04.jpg

That was the way I worked for a few years after leaving my Venture studio. But it was hard, very hard. Setting up the 'mobile studio' was backbreaking work, usually a 14-hour day, loading up the car, unloading to set up at the hotel, doing all the shoots and then re-loading the car at the venue and finally unloading it at home!

My studio at last

After talking with my dad one day, he offered to help me if I wanted to set up a studio at home. So I gladly accepted and went about designing plans for my home studio. Within 18 months it was built! I did my first shoot in it in January 2013, and I have to say I’m pretty chuffed with it!

Finally after 38 years of wanting to be a real photographer, I had my own studio and I was taking photos for a living! It was a rocky road, but I made it in the end.


Please Note:
There is more than one page for this Article.
You are currently on page 2 Contact Panikos Hajistilly

1st Published 01/12/2016
last update 06/11/2019 11:07:49

More Profiles Articles



The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
You have 267 days until The Societies of Photographers Convention starting on Wednesday 16th March 2022

Dec 16336Professional Image Maker

Professional Photo magazine - Professional Photographer of the Year competition now open for entries. £8000 worth of prizes to be won!