Women in Business
Showcasing all of the amazing women that work in variety of departments within Sytner BMW.
Charlotte Clothier, Photographer at Sytner Cardiff, answers our Women in Business questions.
How long have you worked for Sytner BMW/MINI? I started before Christmas in December 2019, the pandemic happened for 3 months in March 2020 and I came back to work Late June 2020, so 2 years in December
How long have you been in your current role? 2 years as a Vehicle Photographer for BMW and MINI
What is your favourite part about your current role? Being able to be trusted to be self-motivated and driven to organise my day and get the cars online. Also from time to time I get to be creative and take some photos for Social Media, which is always a treat. Or if we get a new model in, I’m allowed free reign to photograph it around the Site in an imaginative way.
What motivates you in the morning? Music is always the best for me. When I’m photographing cars I like to listen to fast paced driving music, as if you were driving a F1 Car on a track. Also a nice cup of green tea keeps you concentrated throughout the day.
Three words to describe yourself? Quirky - I’m always making my colleagues laugh in prep meetings when I mention how good a car smells that we have in, it’s usually either a good air freshener or someone has really good perfume/cologne. Driven - I am not afraid to go and chase cars and see how long they are going to be in body shop or workshop, so that I can have them to photograph for a potential sale. If a car isn’t up to my standards of being clean, I’ll quickly prep it myself to ensure high quality standard of imagery. I am a bit of a perfectionist. Attention is in the details Competitive - perhaps that’s by being bought up in a very Automotive driven family with my Dad and my brothers. I just realise the importance of producing work that grabs the attention of potential customers, and standing out from the other competitors. That’s why I love having consistency with my work and always willing to learn and improve to be the best.
What is your greatest achievement? I photographed 20 cars in a day one time and I just couldn’t believe it, how much we push ourselves and prove that we can go beyond what our mind thinks it’s capable of. Also having my work featured on the Sytner BMW and Sytner Group is something I love to see because social media and marketing is always a passion of mine.
What advice would you give to someone aspiring to be in your role? You have to be confident and not afraid to speak up in what can be a male dominated industry. You can be just as powerful if you believe in yourself. Organisation skills are important, having the ability to jump from one task to another and juggle them, even when you have a set day plan. Within the automotive industry, you’ll always have to fit in that service loan car that needs to go out at a specific time or someone’s demo that they want to take home that evening. Also have fun, if you don’t enjoy your job it shows, and have the ability to just play with photography and have the hunger to ask question and learn new skills. I am thankful our Sytner Group Vehicle Photography Coordinator, Mark Raybone, has taught me so much about how to photograph cars.
How have you seen the automotive industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women? There’s a huge drive to have an online presence for any automotive business at the moment and I think women bring a sense of creativity and imagination to the automotive industry, as well as a different outlook. Now than ever before, online retail choices are one of the most important aspects when someone is in the purchasing process.
Top tip for how you organise your days? You have to learn to juggle tasks and sometimes things don’t always go the way you had planned the day, so you have to learn to manage those hurdles and think of ways around them. Have a target to hit, usually I will do 10-15 cars a day, depending on the volume of stock.
Top tip for working in the automotive industry? Just be brave, confident, driven, and competitive. There are ups and downs, but it’s a fast paced industry, ever changing. You have to learn to ride the wave and overcome stressful situations, but with the right positive mind-set it’s possible. Stay playful, creative and have fun!