When Anastasia Giaouris looks back to the start of her career, the Toronto entrepreneur admits it is a bittersweet memory. It was 2012 and her brother had passed away. It was a turning point in her life because it brought her values into focus.
“It made me realize that each day is a gift and it’s important to document it,” she says.
The young camera buff found comfort and healing through her hobby of photography, capturing everything from engagement moments to wedding days. With each new photoshoot, she developed a deeper appreciation for the impact of pictures and she wanted to share that experience with the world.
She knew then that she wanted to turn her hobby into a career.
Olive Photography is born
Just by taking a quick look at Olive Photography’s website, you can tell Anastasia is truly passionate about her business.
"I wanted a name that somehow encompasses how I feel when I photograph, and how I want my clients to feel – enjoying the moment, truly living."
The ‘about’ page explains the story behind the name, Olive Photography. O-live encompasses how she feels when she photographs – enjoying the moment, truly living. Not to mention, she has a Mediterranean background and olive green is her favourite colour.
Establishing credibility with a website and professional domain name
“I knew that in order to be taken seriously as a professional business, one of the first steps that I had to do was set up a website,” Giaouris says. “I actually made my first website in one day. I stayed up until 3. a.m. working on it.”
Giaouris didn’t hesitate to opt for a .CA domain. “It allows me to identify the company as Canadian,” she says. Since the majority of her work and clients are from the Greater Toronto Area, “it was the clear choice to go with,” she says. “When people search the web for Toronto photographers, olivephotography.ca gets listed in the results and clients know they’re dealing with someone local,” she added.
Once her business took off, Giaouris hired a professional to give her .CA site a design makeover. She said she wanted to keep her domain name the same to help further promote the company. She also said that she trusts .CA and didn’t see any reason in changing it.
“If I could give one word of advice it would be to not cheap out,” she says. “Spend the money on your website because ultimately your website talks for you.”
Olive Photography would not have been as successful as it is today without the development of her website. She uses her site to answer questions from clients, and provide them with a sense of who she is before they actually meet her.
Capturing life’s happiest moments as a solopreneur
As a solopreneur, Giaouris has single-handedly built her business from the ground up. She used her life experiences and her drive to get to where she is today. That’s also what motivates her to persevere when the going gets tough.
“There is always going to be tons of competition out there. But you have to remember to focus on what you are doing and not worry about everyone else.”
Her events of choice are weddings, engagements and family portraits because she “loves capturing life’s happiest moments.” Her style is soft and classic, aiming to capture the essence of each couple or family she photographs.
“I photograph from the heart, clicking my shutter when I feel something so that you will too when you look at your photos,” she says.
Each photoshoot is unique, to capture the true colours of her clients. Giaouris says she loves getting to know the stories of each client and aims to "translate those stories into genuine, warm, life-filled photographs."
“I’m continually inspired by the beauty that can be found everywhere,” she says. “Photography is incredibly rewarding for me – there’s something so exciting about capturing emotive, real moments.”
This article was produced with the support of StartUp Canada to profile Canadian businesses.
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