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Pioneer of the Week: Nelly Naylor from Nelly Naylor Photography

Community Manager

Pioneer of the Week: Nelly Naylor from Nelly Naylor Photography

#LoveIsLove and a keen eye for detail can make for a perfect record of a very special moment in a couple's lives. We met multi-talented Nelly Naylor, @Nellynaylor, on the Voom Tour. She discovered a gap in the market whilst planning her own big day, so she founded Nelly Naylor Photography. It's turned out to be the ideal business for her photography and people skills.


Introduce you and your business in one sentence. Untitled design (52).png

Hello Voom Pioneers! My name is Nelly Naylor, I’m a wedding photographer and my business is same-sex wedding photography. 


Tell us 2 interesting facts about you. 

  • I’ve played music in a band since I was 15! I play lead and rhythm guitar and have a Gibson 335 sunburst! I have played gigs in pubs, venues and festivals around Yorkshire, this works perfectly alongside the business as a creative outlet. 
  • This year I was part of a family sailing team that raced around the Isle of Wight. I lived on a boat for 4 days and we came 300th out of 1300 not bad for a novice team! The best part was seeing my mum drink rum and coke for the first time! 


How did you start your business? 

I studied photography at Sheffield Hallam from 2011 – 2014. In my final year of University, we were given an assignment to brand and launch our own business. I got a first and enjoyed the project so much and I have carried on ever since! I started Nelly Naylor Photography in 2014 photographing everything from family portraits, pets, photo booths, weddings, event and commercial work. Last year I realised that my “unique selling point” (USP) had to be LGBT Wedding photography. 


What made you start your business? 

My girlfriend proposed to me and after looking into wedding venues we finally went searching for our wedding photographer, it was a bit weird as I have always been behind the lens. In our initial search for photographers it was apparent that there wasn’t anybody specialising in LGBT photography. We wanted someone who understood our journey, so we could feel comfortable on our wedding day. I decided to concentrate on LGBT photography and launched my venture aiming to capture LGBT romance from couples being in love, to their engagement and wedding day. My Company supports, loves, respects and understands the LGBT community. 


What do you love most about being an entrepreneur? 

I love how different every day is and the new people I connect who share the same enthusiasm as me. I enjoy and relish all the new things I learn on a daily basis too. I love setting targets, reaching them and the flexibility it gives me to enjoy my other passions in life 


What has been the biggest challenge for you so far? 

It has to be managing my time. When I started out I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t do everything. I believe people think it’s just about taking a photo on my camera – that’s the easy part for me. The difficult part is making sure that I have time to manage my marketing strategy, which includes advertising plans, networking and keeping on top of all the social media channels, creating new offers and pricing strategies, ensuring that my finances are sound, up-skilling and building my knowledge by learning new software and completing courses. 


Can you share an experience that really helped you take your business forward?

Winning “runner-up” at the Hallam Enterprise Awards resulted in funding being awarded, which means I am now able to invest in my digital marketing plan to grow the business and increase sales next year and for the foreseeable future. 


Where do you work from?

I have my own studio space in Sheffield. It’s a place where I can meet clients, have my editing suite, shoot in the studio and store equipment. As well as having my own studio space I am able to use my co-workers spaces around the City. I love meeting new people and it’s an opportunity to have a change of scenery as well as meeting like-minded business people, which is essential for my own personal development. 


What do you wish you knew when you first started in business? 

I have enjoyed my journey learning along the way despite making decisions which in hindsight may not have been the right ones. So, I guess if I took time to understand the bigger picture – had an opportunity to learn from experience, planned and was open to advice then my journey may have been a little faster! 


What are your three top tips for your industry? 

  • Have a good marketing strategy and learn from experience 
  • Know your target market 
  • Learn your equipment and software 


Latest news? 

We've just finished exhibiting our wedding stall at Gay Prides around the UK and we have planned one in Brighton and London. 

We're launching a crowd funding page soon. 

Our new YouTube channel will be launched before Christmas. 


What would you like to ask the Voom Pioneers community? 

What has helped your business take it to the next level? 

Are any of you in the growth stage?


You can check out a video of me in action right here Smiley Very Happy 


(edit by @EmmaDingle to embed the video link)

Well Connected

Congratulations Nelly!

Thought Leader

Great video - did you have a company do this for you? 

Thought Leader

@Nellynaylorjust read this article and thought it may be interesting to your business progression: Dancing with Her: Couple launches world's first lesbion bridal magazine