Entrepreneur Interview: Teri Moy, Photographer at Large

Teri Moy, PhotographerA look into the world of Teri Moy, entrepreneur and owner of Teri Moy Photography

Teri Moy has taken photos all around the world. After working as a commercial photographer in Sydney, Australia, for several years, Moy decided to start her own business when she moved to Singapore in 1997. There she started on her journey to capture the expatriate market with her creative black-and-white photography.  According to Moy, Teri Moy Photography started with one client who, as the old Breck shampoo commercial said, ‘… told two friends who told two friends and they told two friends!’ “

Finding a Niche

Entrepreneurs who find a niche they “own” are tremendously successful. When Moy and family moved to Virginia in 2001, she took a year off to work on her craft before opening her doors to customers once again. There, she focused on the usual family, business and wedding portraits … with a twist. She is quite possibly the only photographer who specializes in “second marriage portraits.”

“New beginnings deserve remembering the same as the first time around, but with more depth and experience,” said Moy. “My clients in this category are more mature and usually more in love. They know this is their time, and the images should reflect that.”

She also began to offer social media profile headshots in response to the number of requests as Facebook and Twitter grew in popularity as marketing tools.

And speaking of marketing, Moy uses social media, Yelp!, her blog and face-to-face networking to find new clients. Nothing, she says, is more important than meeting people face to face and getting to know them.  Below is one of her photographs, taken of a local businesswoman for the Sterling Women’s Group calendar.

Teri MoyFinding Inspiration in Unusual Places

All entrepreneurs find inspiration in unexpected places. Moy has her list of inspiring photographers (Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson), but surprisingly, she found inspiration in her architecture studies at Tulane University. “[It] supplied me with new vision on lighting and shapes which I have taken into my photography as well,” she stated.

Moy has traveled and taken photographs worldwide, and lists Florence, Italy; Scandinavia; Russia; Southeast Asia and Australia among her most inspirational points of interest.

Life as a Small Business Owner

Moy struggles with what most of us have in recent years: “surviving the lean times and reinventing yourself and keeping ahead of the curve  to meet the rapidly changing market while remaining true to your core business.” She also has struggled with being asked to donate her services:

“I find that a little goes a long way.  If you ‘donate’ too much and too often, I believe that your services are watered down and not seen as valuable.  Have a sense of worth and value what you do, then do not be afraid to charge for it.”

Her advice to fledgling entrepreneurs is to put yourself in as many places as possible to be more visible. And it’s not enough to have passion for photography or whatever it is you love; you also need business acumen to make it.

Thanks to Teri for sharing her story with us!

Susan Payton Susan Payton is the Communications Manager for the Small Business Trends Awards programs. She is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management and press releases. She is also the Founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners who want to generate their own PR.