Abigail Klopper – The startup story of a South African photographer with a passion for confidence building portraiture for women at all stages of their lives

Women entrepreneurs who follow their passion and turn it into a business are more likely to find success, as they are driven each day to fulfil their creative ambitions. Abigail K Photography is the passion of Abigail Klopper, a talented photographer who is harnessing the power of her chosen medium to enrich the lives of others.

What does your company do?
I elevate the collective confidence of all women, one portrait photo session at a time through my Specialist Women’s Portrait Photography offering Confidence Sessions with Luxury Portraits for women at all stages of their lives, as well as Professional Portraits for women in business. My company tagline is: Inspiring Confidence – Celebrating the Uniqueness of You.
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What inspired you to start your company?
The choice to start specialising in women’s portraiture was born from my own feelings of inadequacy, both when I was younger and in the present time. When I would compare myself to others, I would always find myself lacking in something – not successful enough, not disciplined enough, not slim enough, not pretty enough, the list goes on. It occurred to me that that the standard against which I was measuring myself was always changing, and therefore I was always going to fall short. The only constant and the only measure we can ever use to compare ourselves against is our previous self. Our former self is the only true compass that can show us how far we’ve come and whether we’re on track in our lives or not. By getting lost in the fog of mixed messages from society, the media and our family and friends, we land up diminishing our value. I read a quote by Marianne Williamson which says… “And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” This made me realise that each of us has a responsibility to step into the fullness of our authentic selves. To see ourselves, accept ourselves and love ourselves as the confident women we are destined to be. Portrait photography was my tool to enable women to see themselves as they’ve never seen themselves before.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
When a woman feels confident, it shines from the inside. She walks taller, her presence is felt and she shines as a beacon to those around her. All women deserve to know what this feels like and my portrait sessions are often the starting point for this transformation. I’ve had clients tell me that the ripple effect on the rest of their lives after their portrait session with me has impacted themselves and those around them in such a positive way. I’ve had clients tell me since their photo shoot they feel inspired to make more effort with their hair and makeup, their wardrobe, and how they present themselves on a daily basis. The business women I’ve photographed have told me how the images they used on their website and social media profiles has given them the confidence to take their business to the next level. My super power is making clients feel at ease in front of the camera, and when they feel calm and confident, it shows in their images. I’m not just Photographer, I’m a Confidence Crusader!
Tell us a little about your team
I’m a solopreneur managing most of the business on my own. I do outsource some admin to an assistant and I have a couple of professional makeup artists who come in to pamper my clients before their shoot. I share my studio with a dress designer.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I really started taking my talent as a photographer seriously in 2010 when I first arrived in Cape Town, having grown up in Johannesburg. I received a BA Communications degree at university but felt that it never really assisted me in finding a job that excited me. I knew that I wanted to do something creative and when I discovered photography, I knew I’d found my craft. Learning and mastering a craft is only one aspect of being a professional photographer, the other being the business management side. I had no frame of reference in running a business and much of what I know today was self taught through trial and error. I knew that word of mouth was the best form of marketing, so if I could demonstrate my talents and services to as many people as possible, the work would start to come in. I joined several networking groups and learned how to use social media to my advantage.
Since then I’ve refined my offering from photographing anything anyone would pay me for, to finding my niche and establishing myself as a specialist in my chosen genre. The highlight of my career so far has been meeting and attending the workshop of one of the world’s top women’s portrait photographers, Sue Bryce.
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What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I want to change the way women view themselves and create an army of confident, empowered women who uplift and inspire each other. I want to refine my craft to world-class level and I’d love to educate, mentor and motivate on a larger scale.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
I love the personal development journey that goes along with working for yourself – taking daily action towards your goals and watching the story of your success unfold. I love that as I discover my authentic self through my own experience, I can share my lessons with others and hopefully impact and inspire them too. I love seeing my clients get emotional when the veil of self-judgment, self-criticism and self-deprecation is lifted to reveal a woman who can see herself, accept herself and love herself, perhaps for the first time.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Know yourself first – discover your Why. Discover what makes you happy, what you would do even if you didn’t get paid to do it, what you would give up weekends to do. Once you discover what that is and why you need to do it, remind yourself of the endless possibilities and outcomes of your efforts every day. There will be days when you question the long hours, the hard work and the lack of money, but when you know why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’ll get on with doing what needs to be done.
SOURCE: lionessesofafrica.com

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