The Early Hour mentor: Penny Wincer, freelance lifestyle photographer

If you’re a creative freelancer, or looking to move into a more creative career, photographer Penny Wincer might be help you with this. She is a single mother to two children, one with special needs, so understands the additional challenges this can create…

The Early Hour six-month mentoring scheme offers freelance mums, or women who’ve set up a business after having children, support from someone who is further along; a working mum who has overcome the first hurdles and is now in a position to offer guidance. This article explains who Penny Wincer is, what she does and the support she’d be able to offer a mentee. If you’d like to apply to have Penny as your mentor, please read on for more information…

Penny Wincer has been freelance for the past 16 years, first as an assistant to fashion and documentary photographers, and then – for the past 12 years – as an interiors and lifestyle photographer. Her work covers editorial for publications such as Country Living, Living Etc, Psychologies, The Telegraph and The Guardian – both commissioned, and stories she finds and shoots on spec.

She also does commercial work covering advertising, social media, web and print catalogues for brands such as Not On The High Street, Mothercare, Amazon, Next and Mini Boden as well as small independent brands. She’s also shot a number of books with Quadrille Publishing, Cico Books and Ryland Peters and Small.

Penny is a London-based single parent to an eight-year-old and a six-year-old. Her eight-year-old is autistic and attends a special school. She feels her experience as a single parent might be helpful to other single parents – the tax credit system, juggling different forms of childcare etc, which can be quite overwhelming at first. And then there’s her experience as a special needs parent, which might provide extra confidence to someone who has not seen anyone with challenging circumstances working freelance/ running a business. “As we know,” says Penny, “you’ve got to see it to believe you can do it!”

Penny is big on figuring out how to carve time out of your day for yourself and your creativity, as well as your business. So she could really help someone who is struggling to make time for all this, whilst juggling their other responsibilities. She feels she’d be best placed to help out someone working as a creative service provider. She’d also be happy to work with someone who needs help right at the beginning of a big change – with a creative career being something they are only beginning to think is possible.

If you’d like a mentor – and think Penny could help you with your freelance work or small business – we’d love to hear from you. Please send an email to Annie: by 10 June 2018, with ‘Penny Wincer – mentor’ in the subject line and the following details…

• Your name

• The age of your kids (if you’re pregnant, so right at the beginning of motherhood, that’s fine too)

• Your field of work

• Website and social links, if you have them

• What stage you’re at, as a freelance mum (in no more than 100 words)

• What you’d like help with – the biggest challenges/opportunities (in no more than 100 words)

• Why you’d benefit from having a mentor (in no more than 100 words)

Penny will select one freelance mum to mentor for six months.