A love of photographing sportsmen and women led Rebecca Lee to become a freelance photographer. Named as one of the best portrait photographers in the world, after being awarded the Lens Culture International Portrait award in 2015, Rebecca, who is based in Dalgety Bay, has traversed the globe capturing sporting history at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and, most recently, the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.
What does your business do? I am a freelance photographer who is most well known for my sports photography but I also work in commercial, PR, press, portraits and weddings. Each area can complement the other and through my sports photography, Sir Chris Hoy asked me to be his wedding photographer a few years ago.
How and why did you start in business? I have always had a passion for sports photography and worked for a sports and press agency for eight years. I then decided to take a leap of faith and become a freelance photographer. To get my business off the ground I contacted Business Gateway Fife and The Prince’s Trust and Business Gateway Fife who helped me get started. I did a lot of start-up courses with Business Gateway and still, try and do one or two each year, as I love to keep learning. The Prince’s Trust itself still support me to this day. Any questions or advice I need my adviser is always there to help.
How did you get to where you are today? I was good at art when I was younger but when I got to college I realised I wasn’t good enough to make a living out of it, however, part of my course was photography and I shined in that area and was the first student to get a merit in photography at Fife College many years ago. My love for sports photography comes from my swimming background. I love the action and animation you get for all the different sports, but also how a photo can open the public’s eye to different sports such as Paralympic sport. Building the reputation I have has taken a lot of hard work and late nights, but I love the variety of work I get each year which makes it all worthwhile.
Who has helped you along the way? Too many people to name! Every person, family, friend or business acquaintance has had a role to play in some part of my business success and life. Without lots of people, the jigsaw wouldn’t fit together.
What is your greatest achievement to date? It has to be photographing London 2012. After only a year and a half in business, I was photographing the biggest sporting event a sports photographer could ever achieve. A totally amazing event and atmosphere. To be the only multi-sports photographer from Scotland documenting the Paralympics made it even more amazing. I also have four Commonwealth Games under my belt. Sports photography is a male-dominated profession, so it gives me a massive buzz to be the only female photographer at these events most of the time.
What do you hope to achieve in the future? To just keep on loving what I do.
Do you want to recruit in the future? If my businesses went in a different direction, there is always the option to recruit. At present, I hire two members of staff for different areas of my business.
What is the hardest thing about running your own business? Juggling everything there is to do with a photography business and the time that takes.
Any advice to wannabe entrepreneurs? You need time and passion then double it, then you will hopefully succeed. Also, take all the advice you can get from other businesses that have started-up and attend as many of the Business Gateway courses as you can to get your business off the ground.
Find out how Business Gateway Fife can help your business by visiting their local pages or by calling 01592 858 366.
Outwith this area? Find your local Business Gateway office or call 0300 013 4753.
Photograph credit: Mairi Helena Textiles & Photography.
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