Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kaley-lynn Hewitt-MacDougall, Owner of Briar Rose Photography, located in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Briar Rose Photography is a photography business in Edmonton, Alberta, specializing in engagement and wedding photography. I work with couples to plan and capture their fairytale wedding day.
Tell us about yourself
You know that question that we're all faced with as kids? You know the one, "What do you want to be when you grow up?". As kids, we always had insane answers, and mine included actress, fashion designer, or photographer. The response to these answers almost always resulted in "You can't make a living doing that, sweetie." You get it in your head that the things you absolutely suck at (like math) are the only roads to success. It creates a confusing picture of your future. You feel as though crossing your fingers and hoping you wake up a math genius is likely the only answer.
At 24 years old, I was a district manager for a marketing company. I was comfortable collecting that reliable paycheque, but I was also dreaming of that photography career. While for me dreaming turned into a reality when my husband bought me a new Canon camera for Christmas with a weekly Thursday night photography course. That's where it started for me. Within a year, I had completed nearly every course offered by Burwell School of Photography and went on to receive my diploma in Graphic Design and Photography at Pixel Blue College.
At this point, I had already started my business Briar Rose Photography. Along the way, I found a true passion for Wedding and Engagement Photography. This came as no surprise. As a hopeless romantic turning someone's unique love into art, well, that's my jam! I always like to tell my clients that 'Once upon a time' starts with many things, but 'Happily ever after' begins here. The journey of being an entrepreneur has been a wild one. It's brought me passion and happiness in ways I didn't know were possible. So when a little kid tells me they want to be an astronaut when they grow up, I tell them to shoot for the stars!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
One thing I am particularly proud of is my publications. I have had my images published in quite a few magazines over the years, and each time, it's with real couples who are truly in love. Many times the clients I work with have never had professional photos taken before, and I know that being in front of the camera can be a nerve-wracking place. So to be able to take two people so far out of their comfort zone and end up with a plan that delivers such incredible results that the images are truly magazine-worthy is something I feel very proud of, and my clients should be too.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Doing it all by yourself. Now let me rephrase that. I do have a team of incredible second shooters who are so supportive, and a big part of my success is credited to them. Aside from that, I handle every aspect of the business myself. Wearing so many hats can be overwhelming as much as it is rewarding.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Start now. Hit the ground running but don't forget it's okay to grow at your own pace. Not everything has to happen right away. It is important that you enjoy the journey, not just the results. You should feel romantic about the road you need to travel, not just the end goal. I can say that in my world, owning your own business should set your soul on fire and feed your life with passion.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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