Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Paul Couvrette, Founder & President of Couvrette Photography Inc, located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are professional photographers in Ottawa, Canada. Our clients include people and companies from all walks of life, from Politics and Science to Fortune 500 companies around the world. Our work has appeared in over 500 magazines and book covers from Time and Newsweek to noted International Authors and Scientists. We have photographed many of the top music acts, from the Stones to Kiss and Bowie, as well as stars like Trebek. Our President, Paul Couvrette, worked for the Royal Family and photographed the Queen at many events, including the signing of the Constitution of Canada.

Tell us about yourself

I started my business as a writer/photographer with $300 and a credit card that I used to buy my first camera. On meeting noted Internationally famous photographer Yousef Karsh during an assignment, he told me that I had a great eye.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I have owned a studio in Ottawa for 50 years as of 2023, the longest-standing photography studio in Ottawa. During my career to date, I have given lectures Internationally and have clients around the globe. I have photographed portraits of every Canadian Prime Minister from Pierre to Justin Trudeau, every Mayor in Ottawa, and all Chief Justices of the Supreme Court for four decades.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Pivoting from film to digital was a large learning and financial curve, but I think the toughest thing is competing with a large number of new photographers that are disproportionate to the number of fair-paying assignments in the Industry. The attrition rate amount new photographers in my City is 90% after ten years, but the schools keep churning out grads. The pandemic was also tough on my industry, but we adapted and are now busier than ever.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Always keep some funds aside for a rainy will come.
  2. If you can do so, invest in real estate, as it will save your business if you need collateral.
  3. Provide quality and great customer service as well as a product that stands out in a crowd.

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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