Ishrat Amin's prowess ranges from photography to business
_Tanvir Shams01 Jul, 2019 | 1649 Views|-+
Ishrat Amin is a household name in the world of wedding photography. She is one of the pioneer photographers in Bangladesh who changed the game for all revolutionising the industry forever being the first female photographer to dominate the field along with men.
She is the Founder of Ishrat Amin Photography which is the photography and cinematography wing of Dream Merchant Event Solutions which Ishrat is also the Owner and Co-founder of.
Dream Merchant provides all event management solutions_ photography, cinematography, musicians, dj, accessories, decorations etc.
Ishrat's journey of becoming an entrepreneur from a photographer is cinematic. All the steps came automatically one after another. At her first professional event, she took two of her photographer friends to accompany her because she realised, she needed a team. At first she used to do portraits of bride, groom and family. Thus, she needed a team to photograph other aspects of a wedding because many activities and events happen around that need to be captured. So, she started recruiting. She also trained her recruits according to her unique style. That's how she formed a team.
What came after is an office. Since, Ishrat gets so many projects and from such prestigious clients, she definitely needed an address to match the high profiles of her client base as well as hers. So, Ishrat along with her husband Riyad opened their office in 2012. Until then, they worked online. An office gives out a sense of reliability to the clients too. Also, in this line of work, she has to set many meetings, prior to the event as well as in post-processing in which case having an office is a must.
Client satisfaction is the utmost priority to Ishrat Amin. Wedding photography is a service-oriented business. Therefore, she sets meetings with the clients prior to the event to get to know them and their tastes. Ishrat Amin and her company works in three stages_ prior meeting to know the client's requirements, covering the event according to that and compiling everything in post and delivering the output.
Post processing is a vital stage in photography. Hence, the editing panel of Ishrat got bigger as the volume of work increased over the years. Now, she has a big editing panel where 10 to 15 people work.
Having a business background helped Ishrat to turn her passion into a proper business. She did detail market analysis before she made further investment. In the beginning, before buying her first professional camera, she used cameras on rent. She accounted all the costs there are - of opportunities, risks, backups etc and invested gradually analysing her position in the market.
A business has to be organized. Because every little thing associated to the company holds the brand's image, starting from delivery bags to the work itself. It has to be an overall package.
Digital marketing is another important tool in this regard. Most of the clients approach Ishrat watching her works in facebook, her website, instagram and other media. She has her techniques and strategies to keep the clients engaged through every platform.
Now her company is totally compliant and automated. Everything runs on ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). It is a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources. Schedules get updated automatically according to bookings.
Even though wedding photography is a seasonal business, it doesn't affect Ishrat's company. Because there are certain strategies to adjust the graph. Ishrat keeps a separate fund and backup to balance the risk factors. So, ultimately the season covers for the entire year.
Now, Ishrat Amin is working towards ensuring more women participation in this field. Organising workshops of her own and participating in others' will come in handy, she believes. Her aim is to provide a better guideline to all the newcomers since that is absent in this new industry. Ishrat learned by stumbling and getting back up. However, times have changed. Competitions have increased. Now, if one stumbles, he/she will fall back for good. Wedding photography is a hard work. There are no retakes. Events take place only once.
However, works worth millions of taka are taking place every year in this industry. So, with proper guidance Ishrat Amin believes she can help others sustain the business for generations, just like she has ensured hers.