With the first day of the Easter school holidays upon us, who better to talk to than a local mum who juggles so many businesses we’ve lost count!

Leah Stanistreet is not only our resident photographer (check out her photos of our coworking space), but also one of our hot deskers and the owner of the SnappyStreet empire. In this article, she tells us why she thinks professional photography is so important for small businesses, shares some great business advice and explains why she loves her new home on the Northern Beaches.

BCW: WHAT DO YOU DO & HOW DID YOU GET INTO IT?

LS: I’m a photographer and content creator. I have worked as an audio engineer and voiceover artist for nearly 20 years, and photography has always been my side gig. I specialise in natural light photography which lends itself beautifully to family and event photography. Through the event photography, I realised that I could also help small businesses create a more professional online presence, so I launched SnappyStreet Creative. I do everything from headshots & product photography to event photo shoots, right through to recording radio commercials and podcasts. I even do ‘on hold’ messages. It’s so varied!

BCW: WHY DO YOU THINK PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS ARE SO IMPORTANT IN SMALL BUSINESS?

LS: More than anything, they elevate your brand. So many people are really visual and a consistent brand image builds trust between you and your clients. In my opinion, you can’t expect people to work with you, or buy from you, if you don’t look the part.

BCW: WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF BUSINESS ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?

LS: Be authentic and true to yourself because people do business with people. If you’re true to yourself, the right people will find you. And secondly, outsource your weaknesses. Don’t spend time doing things that someone else can do better or quicker than you.

BCW: WHERE AND WHEN DO YOUR BEST IDEAS COME TO YOU?

LS: Definitely in the morning – I’m a morning person for sure. And when I’m exercising. Maybe that’s why I exercise in the morning?! I also love working collaboratively because I find I’m more creative when I’m bouncing ideas around.

BCW: WHAT BOOK SHOULD EVERY BUSINESS OWNER READ?

LS: I loved Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s all about living a more creative life and is full of great tips for creative business owners too. I’d have to say though that these days I listen to podcasts rather than reading books as I can do it on the go. I love ‘The Goal Digger‘ by Jenna Kutcher and ‘The Socialette‘ by Steph Tailor (bite-sized online marketing & each episode is just 6 minutes – I can always fit one in!)

BCW: WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO WHEN YOU NEED TO GET STUFF DONE:

LS: This is going to sound ridiculous, but I actually listen to Deep House music! It has a consistent background beat so I don’t get distracted by the lyrics and can just get my head down and get my work done. And if I’m editing images, etc, then I often listen to podcasts [see above for Leah’s favourites].

BCW: CAN YOU SHARE ANY PRODUCTIVITY HACKS WITH US?

LS: I focus on 1 thing at a time. I write a list at the start of my work day, prioritise the top 3, and then just get my head down and get them done. If I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by my to-do list, I use the Pomodoro Technique & set my timer in 20 minute blocks.

BCW: WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR HOT DESK MEMBERSHIP AT BEACHES COWORKING?

LS: I find working by myself a bit lonely, so I love the collaborative nature of working in the coworking space. I find I’m way more productive just by being surrounded by other people working nearby and if I get stuck on something, there’s always someone to workshop a solution with.

BCW: HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED ON THE BEACHES? WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT IT?

LS: I have lived in Avalon for 2 years with my husband, Ryan and son, Henry. I love the beachside location and it’s proximity to the city – it’s the best of both worlds. There is a relaxed vibe up here and life is just easy – there’s no traffic, so it’s easy to get around, it’s a great place to bring up kids and everyone is so friendly.

BCW: WHAT DO YOU DO TO MAINTAIN YOUR WORK/LIFE BALANCE:

LS: I always prioritise sleep over everything – I just can’t function without a decent nights sleep. I’m also ultra organised, both in my professional and personal life and my husband and I share the [home] load as much as possible. I would like to win the lotto though, I really think that would help 🤣

BCW: IMAGINE YOUR PERFECT DAY … WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

LS: I would start with a walk along Avalon Beach and then I’d head somewhere local for a yummy breakfast. I’d then head out to get some work done – I would photograph some amazing clients in a beautiful local setting, like Clareville. After that, I’d head home to spend the afternoon with my son, Henry (almost 2) and top it all off with a glass of wine and a relaxed dinner with my husband, Ryan.

Leah owns SnappyStreet Photography (family, lifestyle & travel photography) and SnappyStreet Creative (business & event photography, workshops, content creation) – we’re sure she’d love a follow on instagram too.

And if you’d love to work alongside Leah, why not book in for a FREE trial and test Beaches Coworking out for yourself.