Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Burvill.
Laura, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I moved to New York City from London, UK and wanted to document the changing world around me. I went on to study cinematography at film school in Boston. I knew I had a passion, but I wasn’t confident that I could make a career in such a creative field. I was always encouraged to pursue academic subjects as a child and so I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. While studying abroad in Sydney, Australia I won a photography competition. This gave me the boost in confidence that I needed and propelled me forward to where I am now.
After college, I moved to LA to try my luck in Hollywood. I worked in a lot of different roles and fields. Countless hours spent as a PA, camera operator and cinematographer, photography assistant, and throughout it all I learnt what I like and what I do not like. It took years and lots of alarmingly cheap labour on my end, but it was critical for me to try different things and learn what I want from my work life. I realized that I wanted to work for myself and invest my time, energy, and skills into my own business rather than someone else’s. This entrepreneurial approach has lead me to my two main fields of work.
I now specialize in architecture, interiors, and real estate photo + video image creation, and I supplement this with my yoga and headshot photography. A balance of these disciplines fulfills both my financial and creative needs.
Covid-19 left me without my side job and forced me to take a hard look at my business model. Although this was a tough transition, taking the leap into full-time self-employment was the kick I needed.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely not been a smooth road! I don’t think that the path of the freelancer is ever smooth, it’s paved with obstacles and hurdles which make you resilient and more adaptable than you ever thought possible. There will be people that promise to but never call you back, producers that take advantage of your free labour as an intern, big-budget clients that refuse to pay. I’ve seen it all. These experiences have made me doubt myself, self-worth, and my capabilities as a photographer and videographer. They have also forced me to stand up for myself and my business. They are tough lessons to learn but not every professional relationship is going to end well, and not every client is worth compromising your rate, no matter how big their name is. Exposure does not equal a paycheck.
Another trap I fell into time and time again was my distaste for business management and marketing. I think a lot of creative individuals and artists struggle with this one. I had a professor once tell me that you can’t have the creative side without the money side. And as a creative person, I resisted investing my time into business management because it was neither stimulating nor fun for me. But in order to make money it was absolutely critical that I begin to do so. Since adopting this mindset, I’ve seen my business take off and I feel much more capable and in control of my future.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Laura Burvill Photo + Video story. Tell us more about the business.
Laura Burvill Photo + Video is a full-service production company specializing in architecture, interiors, and real estate. I am known for making bright images – still and moving – which capture the atmosphere and reality of a space. Everything is handled in-house from the initial meeting with the client all the way through to the shoot, editing, and post-production, and delivery, nothing is outsourced.
Along with my successful architecture work, I am proud of the portraiture aspect of my company. Here I focus on photography and video for yoga teachers. Yoga is something very dear to my heart and so to have the opportunity to help amazing teachers spread the principles of yoga is a true honour. Giving back to the teachers that I admire, helping them spread the lessons that have transformed my life and help other students is why I love what I do.
In all of my work, I strive to provide my clients with what they need and then exceed their expectations. It’s more than just making pretty pictures and videos, if I can help you elevate your business or brand to a level that you never thought possible then I have achieved my goal.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck is always a factor. Good luck is just as prevalent as bad luck, but it really is all about how you take the lemons and make lemonade. Luck is what brought me to LA, I never planned on living here but a happenstance in my college credits allowed me to visit for a semester and I never left. Bad luck is just as transformative as good luck. My Mum passed away suddenly from a pulmonary embolism last year and of course, that was a lightning strike of truly bad luck. Losing a family member is as bad as bad luck gets. When something as cataclysmic as this happens in your life, it forces you to stop and reflect. For months after, I was so low energy that I barely did anything or left my apartment. My business absolutely suffered, but that was quite frankly the least of my concerns.
I took up yoga again, something I had always been drawn to, and I enrolled in a teacher training program. I needed to exist in my body because being stuck in my mind 24/hrs a day was damaging my mental health. This was the best decision I could have made. In my most vulnerable state I found a community of incredibly compassionate and caring people. They helped me come out of my shell and for the first time since my Mum passed, I picked up my camera. It had been too painful for me to photograph anything until then but seeing that I could help these new friends and teachers who had helped me so much was enough to bring me back.
I realized that contributing to a cause that you care about is just as important as making money. I hold this philosophy with me and that is why despite specializing in architecture and spaces, I will continue to help create images for yoga teachers.
- One Hour Yoga photography shoot for $299. $50 OFF when you refer a fellow yogi and they book a shoot.
- Website: www.lauraburvill.com
- Phone: 9086163228
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lauraburvillphoto/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lauraburville
Laura Burvill Photo + Video