Freya Dowson

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Freya Dowson International Photographer From London United Kingdom For CulturallyOurs Podcast About Global Entrepreneurship

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Freya Dowson
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Show Details

In this episode, we explore Travel and Entrepreneurship as I chat with Freya Dowson a non-for-profit photographer who focuses on international development and wildlife photographer from London, UK. Having worked in the non-for-profit space for many years before making the switch to free lancing, Freya shares some practical tips on how to go out on your own and not feel overwhelmed with the amount of work and hustle that is required to make it as an entrepreneur and freelancer. Freya is also a new first-time mom and she shares how changing her thought process and mental pep-talk has helped her manage all the different seasons in her life – motherhood, entrepreneurship and life – such that in each role she lives life to the fullest.

Freya believes that often the biggest thing holding us back is fear – fear for what will it be like. The biggest thing for her has been realizing that she didn’t need to have it all figured out before she did what it is that she wanted to do. 

Show Notes

Karthika interviews Freya Dowson a non-for-profit photographer who focuses on international development and wildlife photographer from London, UK. Having worked in the non-for-profit space for many years before making the switch to free lancing, Freya shares some practical tips on how to go out on your own and not feel overwhelmed with the amount of work and hustle that is required to make it as an entrepreneur and freelancer. Freya believes that often the biggest thing holding us back is fear – fear for what will it be like. The biggest thing for her has been realizing that she didn’t need to have it all figured out before she did what it is that she wanted to do. 

The Transcript

Karthika: Welcome Freya, thank you so much for joining me on CulturallyOurs. I’m so very excited to chat with you and I cannot wait to dig into your entrepreneurial journey.

Freya: Oh, thank you for having me.

Karthika: Absolutely. So before we begin, could you tell us a little bit about who you are, where you’re from, just to set the stage a little bit for this conversation?

Freya: Sure! Well, I live in London at the moment. I was born in Bermuda, but then I, I grew up in Canada and I’ve been living in England now since 2002, so for a while. And I’m a photographer and I shoot mostly non-for-profit work with an emphasis on international development and wildlife conservation.

Karthika: Wow. That sounds really interesting. So could you tell us a little bit about what exactly your businesses, I know you said photography and non-for-profit, but maybe elaborate a little bit about what does it entail in that spectrum?

Freya: So for a lot of my work I shoot for I guess specific campaigns. So sometimes I’ll be shooting for a fundraising campaign. Sometimes I shoot for social media. Other Times I’ll be shooting for marketing or a television advert. So sometimes I’ll do the photography to go along with the TV for sometimes. I’m also in film production as well. So sometimes I’ll be producing the film while shooting. At the same time I wear a lot of hats, all of them creative. It’s never just one thing. It’s usually very multifaceted. I worked in the no-for-profit industry for seven years before I went freelance. So I sort of know a lot about the different aspects of like fundraising and marketing. So I kind of pull a lot of things together.

Karthika: Sure. Now these are all for non-for-profits, right?

Freya: And I do some editorial work with some magazines and that kind of thing. And I do work for a few brands, but for the majority of my work is for international development and wildlife.

Karthika: Sure. And before we go any further, that’s your little baby in the background, right? You just had a baby a few months ago.

Freya: Yeah, it is. And then the other sound in the background is my dog drinking some water?

Karthika: Thats so sweet. Is this something that you went to school for photography, creative arts?

Freya: I did my undergrad in oh my gosh, what did I do? This is baby brain. I don’t remember what I did. I did art, history and theology. And after that I sort of finish my degree and was like, I’m not prepared for life. I’m going back to school. So I did journalism as a master’s degree. And I wasn’t really cut out to be a journalist per se. I suppose I’m not very good at, I don’t like small talk and holding a conversation that needs to be led somewhere, if you see what I mean. And I don’t really have a brain for facts and figures and that kind of thing. So journalism was never really for me. At least not the written words. It’s not really my forte I guess. And so I ended up in the not for profit sector because I really loved actually, I really loved animals. And I really love the idea of doing work with animals. And, I ended up working for an animal welfare charity and then that kind of took me to fundraising. After I went to a fundraising role, I saw a gap in a commune in the communications team and non-for-profit, I was working in, I just thought I have a masters in journalism, I might as well put that into some use. And then I went into social media and then from there I went into content creation and that sort of led me to, I guess like there was a need to collect the story from overseas in the organization. And my manager at the time was could you go and do the interviewing and take some pictures. And I was like I can do that. Having never done it before. I did it. And from there I was just like I enjoyed that. I’m going to keep doing it.

Karthika: There’s nothing like bootstrapping something and learning on the job and then you realize that hey, this is something I really enjoy my life. I get the fake it until you make it. At what point did you sort of decide to branch off? You said you freelance, so you’re on your own. At what point did you decide to kind of move away from working for somebody else and sort of do this for yourself?

Freya: Well, so I was in the not for profit sector for seven years and I think for six of those years I was doing communications. And then I think for three of those years I was doing solely content creation. So film production, editing, photography. And then it was in the final part of that I ended up dedicating all of my time to sourcing stories and for fundraising and marketing and then creating the content myself and hiring freelancers to work with. So it was through working with those freelancers that I would work in quite independently even though I was working on a payroll. And I think it was a couple of times on those trips overseas, I contacted other not for profits and I was like, hey, I’m here on a job. Would you like me to stay a bit longer? And shoot for you and, and you know, I always got a yes. And I was like, this is working. Like if I needed to go freelance or if I wanted to go freelance, I could. And then I just thought, you know, now is the time to do it. I might as well cause I was doing a full time job and freelancing and I’ve never worked so hard in my life. It’s only gonna get easier from here. And it kind of has.

Karthika: Oh my gosh, I can imagine. Two jobs in parallel and it’s quite demanding.

Freya: Yes, I kept thinking, This is it. I’m just working harder than I need to.

Karthika: Let’s talk like industry and market space. You are a photographer, you’re a content creator, a visual storyteller, but you also have a little bit of a niche. So how is the industry space, how competitive is it? Is is a fairly easy going or is it a lot of struggle?

Freya: I dunno. I guess the thing is that you could always look at any photography industry is competitive. But for me, every time I sort of start thinking about my industry and other photographers and how hard you have to work and that kind of thing and struggle, it kind of really gets me down, you know? It freezes me up and I get scared and I think what’s the point in me, doing this now when there are massive influencers out there and now it’s become a bit trendy to work in the not for profit space, which is amazing for not for profit and spreading messages and that kind of thing. But you know, it, I don’t know, I think every photographer has something to offer. Nobody do what I do. A ton of people can take pictures for a not for profit, but nobody can take pictures the way that I take pictures and nobody can see the sector the way I see the sector and that kind of thing. And everybody has something to bring to the table. So I kind of try and look at it a bit more of a positive way. So it’s not a terrifying,

Karthika:  No, absolutely. I think that’s a fantastic strategy. And you’re right, we all have unique skills. We all bring something unique to the table no matter how many people are sitting on the table. Right. So at that sort of leads me to my next question in what is unique about your business. How do you sort of differentiate yourself from the crowd? How do you kind of set yourself apart? And it could be just an internal thing or it could be external. I’m just curious.

Freya: I think in a few ways. Firstly, when it comes to my specific sector, I bring a lot of experience and a lot of varied experience. So that definitely helps me because you know, charities like anything our business it helps if you can go into that business speaking that businesses language. Do you know what I mean? So like I can go in and if its for their annual review or something for the trustees or for a direct marketing campaign, I know the different audiences and I can really sort of speak the same language. And I think it helps us really put clients at ease, in the first instance. And then in the second, the way that I shoot, I don’t like to go in and make really gritty documentary images and show the worst of everything. And you know, I think not for profits for a long time have relied heavily on, I wouldn’t say guilt and maybe emotional manipulation is a bit harsh as well, but I think that they’ve gone in and said, you know, this is the worst of things and you know, you need to have, and really sort of laid the responsibility on the donor to be like without you, we’re in big trouble and that kind of thing. And now I think that people don’t respond to that in the same way they use to you. I think that they get overwhelmed and they switch off. Where as the way I shoot, I tell stories for not for profit is I believe in, and show the whole story. And I like to bring another element of editorial to my images. I like to show the beauty in the everyday, even if the everyday is harsh. And when I take pictures of kids and you know, they might be working and they might be under age and it might be sad, but they also play, and I like to show that yes, their life is hard and yes they need your help. Of course they do, but it’s not so hopeless that your help will just be a drop in the ocean, which I think is what a lot of donors feel. So I do try and bring in an element of realness in the good and the bad in what I shoot so that the viewer and potentially the donor or whoever the audience that you’re shooting can find something in an image to relate to as opposed to feel isolated from.

Karthika: Absolutely. And I think that’s such a fantastic philosophy because you’re right, the struggles and the sorrows are just one part. Yes, it could be a really big part, but there are some positives and there is happiness too. And by giving a more real sort of a picture, you make it more relatable. So I think that’s fabulous. Now how many years have you sort of been in business? And when I say business either it could be the freelance part of it or the work part or just a mix of both. And how has this ride been so far? You alluded to it a little bit, but maybe you can elaborate some more.

Freya: I’ve been freelancing I guess for four years while I had a job. I had been freelancing on my own for a year and a half, maybe two years. Looking back it’s been good. I would say at the time when I first started, it was definitely scary and I definitely had a moment where I was like, oh gosh, like what have I done, I want my steady paycheck back. But I actually found like I said before that if I sat and I was like, how am I going to make myself stand out and what am I going to do? And I really need to like fight for this. Everybody says, when you become a freelancer, you’ve never worked so hard in your life. And it’s all this negative talk around how hard things are and how difficult it’s going to be in terrifying. And I just thought, no, I need to just put one foot in front of the other, I need to make lists. I got super into bullet journaling and that actually that really helped because it helped me keep track of everything that I had done and everything that I was going to do. And all of those little steps I needed to take just one at a time and eventually I was flying and eventually I was booked out to my capacity. And it was great. Of course looking back, I’d never worked so hard in my life, but I mean, it never felt like work, you know, doing a full time job and working for somebody else and doing the things, like all those admin things that you don’t want to do but you have to do because your boss tells you to, that feels like work. But when it’s you and you’re only doing the things you want to do and everything is like a step forward into some amazing opportunity, it never feels like work and it doesn’t feel hard.

Karthika: I absolutely agree. And cliche as it may sound when you get up in the morning and you’re excited about work,  doesn’t feel like work. You’re actually having fun and you’re doing something you really enjoy. That’s when you feel like everything is worth it. So thank you for sharing that. Now as I feel sometimes like as people, as a culture, as a community, we don’t celebrate all the successes that we’ve had, especially as entrepreneurs. We are so focused on the next goal, the next job, the next task. So before we sort of really get into the meat of the interview, I want to ask you, what has been your greatest or proudest accomplishment so far so that we can just celebrate it?

Freya: I think my proudest moment is always when I get a client that comes back again and again. Just getting my business off the ground and realizing that it was self sustaining, and that my clients were coming back again and again because they liked what I was doing and I was delivering shoot after shoot. It’s like when you’re riding a bike for the first time, you’re like, I’m doing it but you don’t want to look down because if I look down I’m going to crash, you know. But you just keep going and, and I think, the fact that I have savings and I made sure that I had savings before I went freelance in case I needed them. And I never once had to dip into them because I worked hard enough in the lead up that by the time I went for it I was flying.

Karthika: No, that’s fantastic. And then you should be very proud. Now just like anything in life, we have our ups and then we have our downs. So what are some challenges you’ve faced so far and what’s your mindset and how do you overcome these challenges? Because we all have to.

Freya: I think for me, my biggest challenge currently is the fact that, my husband and I decided to have a baby and we did it. We decided to have a baby just over a year after I’d gone freelance. And at the time I was like, what? What am I doing? Like this is insane. You don’t start a business and then immediately do something, which means that you can’t do what you’re paid to do. That’s mental. But I don’t know, it just seemed like the right time. And for me, the challenge is telling myself every single day when I’m used to waking up and working and traveling and going nonstop and doing this thing that I loved so much. Now I can’t do it for the time being. And I have to tell myself like, that’s okay, that I can get back to it, that I will have a career when I’m ready to get back to it. That my clients will still be there, that I’m not any less of a mother or a photographer for wanting to do both. And I feel like the world has progressed enough that I can now have my cake and eat it too. I can be a photographer and I can be a photographer that travels as much as I need to when I can still have my baby and I can find balance and I can make it work. And you know, it seems counter intuitive and when I was growing up in my mother’s generation that wouldn’t have been allowed. They were still going to work and having to sit in the closet to pump breast milk. I don’t necessarily have many examples of women who have kids and go out and make it work, as photographers and international photographers. But there are a few and I cling to them. If you can do it, I can do it too.

Karthika: No, you are so right. Now as an entrepreneur, sometimes we are alone. We are the master of our own ship and we love it and it’s, you know, very empowering, but it can also be very lonely. Have you ever felt that way? And if so, how do you go about finding your support system, those, those people or that group that sort of lifts you up? You talked a little bit about finding other women sort of role models, but can you elaborate a little bit?

Freya: Yes, Thank goodness for Instagram, right? Like that’s how you and I, met and that’s how I’ve met some of my closest friends in London because, you know, obviously I didn’t grow up here, so I don’t have that sort of family support or, old childhood friend support that most people have. I just had the people that I’ve met since I started working both for myself and  in actual office jobs and that kind of thing. So my support system is mostly people like myself who got into photography and that kind of thing for creative reasons or other reasons, and then decided to make a career out of that. And Instagram, it’s always such a massive part of that. I have people that I can reach out to you on a daily basis to say like, Hey, you know, I just got offered to do this job and they said they’d pay me this much. Is it  a joke or should I be expecting more? My best friend lives, luckily just across the park from me and she’s also a freelance photographer and blogger and creative. And every single day we can be in touch or I can go over to her house or she can message me and say, will you help me with this shoot? Or, you know, how much should I charge for this? Or I got an offer for this job. Do you think I should take it? We call each other work wife. I think we might actually talk more than I talk to my husband because every day it’s like chat about work and we got together last week just to have a conversation about our goals for the year and what we want to manifest in our lives for the next year and how we’re going to do that and breaking it down. And I find it so much easier to help her manage her goals than I do mine, which she may or may not appreciate. She is really good at saying, how are you going to do it? Absolutely nothing is impossible. I travel and wherever I work, I found myself in some ridiculous situations. Many times I have to tell myself that. And we all need those people in our lives, those work wives to keep us honest.

Karthika: Yes, absolutely. And, you know, they sort of make the ride bearable times. And I love what you said at the end of the day, nothing is impossible. It’s just how badly you want it and how hard you’re willing to work for it. Lets talk external support. How about things like government programs or other non for profit organizations for entrepreneurs. Is that something that’s predominantly active in London and where you are?

Freya: You mean like government support for people who start their own small business. Yes there are things like think tanks, meet up groups and other such organizations where you can kind of go and talk to other people who maybe are not so close to you and can still get that feeling of community support. I don’t know of any personally. I know around where I live that there is a lot of work spaces. There are freelancers everywhere. Like you literally cannot get a table at a coffee shop because there’s a freelancer there. For when I was freelancing, I was like why not? And now that I’m a mom, I’m like, dude, I just want to sit down. Please take the coffee you should have finished like two hours ago. And I think in North America that is a lot more prevalent. My mother in law is a writer and I should know she talks a lot about writers and meeting up with people that you haven’t met before. I know my mom started a small business in Canada and I know that she got government support for that. I don’t know if there is something like that for freelancers here. I haven’t actually looked into it, but I would imagine so. The freelancers hubs are always sending me emails saying, come, chat to other freelancers with free pizza and beer and that kind of thing. And I am really bad at small talk. I would be really bad at that and awkward. You have to be comfortable doing what you want to do and not because everyone says you should do it.

Karthika: Now you have recently had a baby and she is so adorable. So how are you sort of balancing all these things in your life. Motherhood, business work and just life in general. Can you maybe talk a little bit about that for people in similar situations like you are?

Freya: Yeah, I think for everybody it’s just about finding the right way for you. I know a lot of women who had babies and I’ve seen a lot of women around at these coffee shops and that kind of thing, and they’ve got a newborn and they’re back at it. And I guess it depends on what you do for a living. I think I had a moment with my daughter when she was maybe six weeks old or eight weeks old where I was putting her to bed. And I was like, normally at my head, I’ve got two voices. One being like, you’re doing great as a mum and another voice saying you’re doing terribly as a photographer and what are you doing and what have you done to your career? And you know, how are you going to make it work and you’re never going to make it work? And I sort of had this moment where I was like, look, you were never going to have this back again. You are never going to get to do this. And you 100% know that when she’s older you’re going to look back and be so mad at yourself for missing it because you were stressing. And at the end of the day like it’s going to turn out how it’s gonna turn out. You can’t ruin this moment in your life by stressing about what you can’t change right this second. So for me, the way the I am making it work is I just let it go. I was like, I can’t focus on my career right this second. I can keep certain things going. You know, I can keep in touch with my clients who thankfully are like friends now. And you know, when Rumi was born, most of them sent her gifts which to me meant the world. And I can get back to it when I get back to it. And she’s four months now and I’m already in talks for taking on a job for when she’ll be six months. I didn’t seek that out. I think that things come to you when you’re ready for them to come to you. And a friend came to visit me right after she was born and she said energy flows where your attention goes. And I know that’s like a really old saying, but for me I was like, that’s amazing. I’ve never heard that before. This is brand new information. And I clung to that and as Rumi has gotten older and a little less full time, and my attention has sort of started to jump back to work and slowly emails has started to come in just only as I can handle it. And for me, I have to count everything as a win, you know? So for me this podcast is something that I’m doing towards my work, even though it’s not a paid job, it’s something. And slowly that momentum will build until I’m back at it full time to a level that I can manage. So really all I’m doing is just trying to think about it positively and know that because I want it and because I’m sort of directing, my energy it is going to happen. Energy will come back to slowly and it already is.

Karthika: That is such a perfect way to look at things. And your friend is right, energy flows where you give it that attention. And right now you are in a season of life where being a mom and being present for your child is priority. And there’s nothing wrong with that. And career will take a back seat and when the career is ready to be in the front seat, it’ll happen. So thank you for sharing that. I mean that’s really well said.

Freya: I like the theory behind it. I can’t see that every day. I’m like this 90% of the time. And then I keep asking why aren’t you being positive, be more positive and it will always work out. But that’s what I’m aiming for.

Karthika: Let’s talk specifics because a lot of us are in that freelancing space, content creators or visual storytellers or just entrepreneurs so the specifics just helps. I think people can follow along the journey with respect to where they are. So whatever you’re comfortable sharing, that’s totally fine. I’ll just ask a series of questions and we can kind of go from there. How long have you been in business and how long of that have you really been profitable?

Freya: I’m really lousy with years. I’ve been in business as a full time freelancer and now since 2016 and I have been profitable since I started.

Karthika: Okay. Have you pivoted in what you’ve, what services, offerings you provide to your clients? And if so, kind of when was the right time to pivot? How did you going to go about having that conversation with yourself?

Freya: So when I first started, I was in a period of what you call it a scarcity or lack. I was like, I need to take every paying job that comes my way. I can’t say no to any kind of money because I’m just going freelance and that’s what you need to do. And I mean to some degree, yes. But I guess it also was helpful to me to do that because of what I learned and what I was bad at. I learned what I should not be doing. And you know, like I took on some editorials that I probably shouldn’t have taken on, some lifestyle stuff that I probably shouldn’t have taken on, some influencer work. And I’ve always tried to be really authentic and in that kind of work that I take on, but sometimes you panic and you’re just like, I just need money and you do things that you probably shouldn’t have done and you take on shoots that you probably shouldn’t have. Like, for example, I did a few weddings and luckily they were for friends or people that I kind of knew and they know what kind of photographer I am. So then they were happy with that and it taught me that if I want to do weddings as a form of income, which I’m never saying no to, but I’m not necessarily saying yes that I need a lot more practice in that respect because man, those things are so hard. Rather I would rather be shooting down a Pakistani coal mine any day then take on a wedding because the amount of work in photographing weddings is really underrated. It is really backbreaking long hours and not enough pay. And if you miss a moment, it is gone.

Karthika: Yes, for sure. Now do you employ others and if so kind of what is that like for you?

Freya: No, I don’t employ anybody else.

Karthika: Okay. And where do you as in Freya, you spend most of your time? Is it in marketing, is it in sales? Is it in ideation? Or Financials, where do you spend most of your time?

Freya: Editing. I spend a lot of time editing photos. A lot of time emailing clients back and forth. Like for example, if I’m sort of editing a film I did. In Jordan last year I did a film about Syrian refugees living in Jordan. And a lot of that job, even though it was four days shooting in the field, I think the editing afterwards, that usually takes double the time of the shoot just to get it right. You know, so whether it’s photos or film and film is usually a longer, a lot of behind the scenes is staring at a computer about four inches away from your face. Try to get those moments and those edits just exactly right.

Karthika: Yeah, I can completely relate to that. Now, how important is social media for you in terms of marketing and you talked a little bit about Instagram. So I think I know the answer but I sort of want to hear it from you. Or do you still think, especially for creatives, traditional forms of marketing, like ads, word of mouth, those kinds of things are still king. Or is it a little bit of both.

Freya: Social media and Instagram is a bit of a gamble. I think that you really need to sort of temper how much time you put into it because I know a lot of people can really beat their brains out over social media. I remember at one point when before I been decided to be a photographer and I was just sort of tentatively sharing my photos on Instagram and I had a blog back then and I remember saying to a friend like, I don’t have that many followers on Instagram, so I must be a bad photographer because if I were any good people would want to follow me. You know, that it’s just as simple as that. People follow what they like and nobody wants to follow me so I must be bad. And I think that’s a trap to fall into. So I think that’s as much as Instagram is an amazing tool, it’s kind of an unpredictable beast, especially these days. So you don’t want to put all of your eggs in that one Instagram basket. Now having worked freelance for a few years, the most important thing you can do is just be a good and kind person. And a good freelancer, you know? I think being your own agent, I guess in a way. I’ve workedwith a lot of freelancers and it always surprises me how bad they are at showing up on time, having the right kit, making a good conversation, being fun to hang out with, being friendly, following up with an email, delivering when they say they’re going to deliver. You would be surprised at how many people just do not meet these basic things. And I think being reliable and basically just really friendly goes so far. Be kind and work hard like that. That is the best thing that you can do. And that’s that. I mean it’s doesn’t seem like marketing yourself, but actually if you meet those two criteria and you deliver a shoot on time with a smile, people are going to hire you again. And then at the end of the day, it’s not about reaching a million people on Instagram. It’s about reaching a hundred people or 200 people. And out of that maybe, you know, five to 10 become clients. All you need are maybe five regular clients, depending on what you do. And there’s your business. You don’t need hundreds of people knocking down your door. If you did have that many, I mean it’d be a nightmare. You’d be turning down people left, right. I think that popularity and that kind of thing on social media, it’s not overrated. Like nobody’s ever going to want to say no to that, but at the same time it is not everything. It seems to be these days.

Karthika: I loved how you shared those tips and you’re right, at the end of the day, it’s just being reliable, especially as a freelancer because there is no backend support that a client can go to and say, Hey, I didn’t get what I was promised. It’s all just one person. So when the client is putting the trust in you, I think as a freelancer, it’s your responsibility to make sure you deliver.

Freya: Exactly. I’ve had moments with freelancers where they’ve been flat out rude to me or rude to the subject that we’re shooting. And in that instant, I was like, I’ll never hiring you again. I’m sorry buddy. You know, great as your photos are. If you’re not nice to be around, you don’t get hired.

Karthika: Yes, simple human conversation and interaction skills.

Freya: Exactly.

Karthika: Lets perhaps start to wrap this up a little bit just in interest of time. So I’ll ask you a few more questions and then we can kind of go from there. What has been the most important part of your entrepreneurial journey so far?

Freya: I think having the courage to go out on my own and having the belief in myself that I could do it. The biggest thing for me has been realizing that you don’t need to have it all figured out before you do what it is that you want to do. You just have to sort of leap before you look and figure it out as you go.

Karthika: Absolutely. If you could go back in time to when you first started and had all those conversations of should I or shouldn’t I, knowing what you know now, would you do it all over again? Would you change anything? And if so, what?

Freya: I wouldn’t change anything. Looking back. I mean it was a very sort of windy, convoluted, back and forth. But I think everything happens when it needs to happen, you know, I think if you’re not doing something because you don’t feel ready, maybe you’re not ready and maybe it’s not about ever feeling ready. It just sort of happens when it happens. You know, I often look back and I think imagine how many things I could have done or how many jobs I could have taken or trips I could have gone on before I had a baby if I just had the courage to start sooner. But like if I start beating myself up for that, it’s never going to stop. So and then you just fall into the hole of, ‘Oh, I’ve done everything wrong and you don’t look forward.’

Karthika: Absolutely. Look forward. Don’t look back. You’re not going that way anyway. So what do you do for fun? Outside of photography and work, what do you do for fun?

Freya: Well, a lot of photography.  I think that’s probably how I got into it in the first place. Currently my life looks nothing like it nine months ago. I just like hanging out with friends, cooking dinner or going out for dinner and that kind of thing. I really value that sort of one on one human interaction with the people that I care about. And traveling. I used to really love to travel, but currently my favorite thing to do is go swimming with my daughter because she’s absolutely bonkers in the water and it means she gets two hour nap in the afternoon. For now it’s just sort of hanging out at home or at a friend’s house in the evening.

Karthika: Yes, when you have kids, you kind of have to go by their schedule. Otherwise it is just a mess. Now what lies ahead for you and what’s coming next? If you can share.

Freya: Well I may not know what’s coming next.  I guess slowly trying to get back into work. Things are coming up that might happen or might not happen. I got contacted last week about a potential shoot in Senegal and it would be five days away including travel days. So that would mean technically three days away from my daughter who will be six months old at that time. And I just think that’s kind of the perfect shoot to begin with. So maybe that will happen, maybe it won’t. And then after that it’s just sort of one shoot at a time. And then when I feel like I’ve gotten on my feet and I know everything will be fine once I’m gone. And then I’ll reach out to my other clients who will love me to shoot for them, but would not be happy to fly me anywhere for just three days. But you know, I will just reach out and say hey if you need me I am available. And then hopefully stuff will come rolling in. And if not, you know, it’s back to the drawing board and then something else will come up.

Freya: I am sure something will come up. You have such a positive attitude and thank you so much for your honesty. You shared so much and so openly, so I really do appreciate it. So thank you so much.

Freya: Thank you for having me.

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