Hi! I’m Zelda de Hollander & I run Studio Shotz Photography, a Boutique photographic studio in Christchurch, Dorset.
Photography has always been a passion of mine. I got my first camera when aged 5 and I’ve loved photography ever since. I remember, all my pocket money used to go on developing films I’d taken of my life while growing up. Ironically, I hated having my picture taken (well, I still do).
Throughout my school life my photography began to develop and I constantly used it as a tool within all my subjects (much to annoyance of some of my teachers!). In the 6th form I studied A-Level in Photography and I was so far ahead I began helping to teach the other students how to use the darkroom, and set up the studio.
After receiving the highest grade at A-Level for photography I applied to The Arts University at Bournemouth to study for a degree in Commercial Photography (BA) Hons. This was an amazing opportunity to learn, experiment and absorb all aspects of photography. I became fixated with still life work while at Uni, learning how the tiniest changes in lighting can completely transform the appearance of a subject within an image. This knowledge is now a vital part of the way I work – lighting makes the image!
While completing my studies, I was working part time at Studio Shotz. This was brilliant as it allowed me access to a studio whenever I wanted! It was then that the owner decided to move on and I took the brave move to take on the studio myself, with massive help and support from my parents.
I strongly believe that Customer Service is one of the most important aspect of any business: the personal one-on-one relationship where you spend time to get to know your client and find out what they really want. With this in mind I have an all-female staff as I find women are less threatening for children, are more sympathetic during makeovers and are far more likely to have fun and goof! I only use fully professional, licensed and insured staff.
In May 2014, Studio Shotz Photography left its Southbourne Grove retail shop, moving to Christchurch to become a Boutique appointment only studio space residing in a residential address. This has allowed me to spend even more time with my clients, working more flexible hours and allowing me to take on more location work.
This business move has led to a change of focus for my business; the studio focuses on more intimate family photo shoots, head shots for many local businesses and a larger range of clients for advertising product and marketing photography, I have developed a more appointment led one-on-one focus to the business.