Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Joanna Andres, Owner of Joanna Andres Photography, located in Columbus, OH, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Hello! My business is Joanna Andres Photography. I specialize in Newborn and Baby, Milestone, and Maternity Photography. I am located in the heart of Columbus, Ohio, and have a home studio in Upper Arlington. My customers are families who are expecting a baby, just had a baby, or are celebrating their baby's milestone. I will get clients from all over Columbus and even some clients that will travel outside of Columbus from Dayton, Cincinnati, and the Cleveland area.
Tell us about yourself
I first got started when I had my son in 2008. I always took photos of him and enjoyed capturing the many milestones they had in their first year. In 2009 I had my 2nd baby, my daughter, Olivia. We always hired a photographer to capture newborn and milestone photos, and my husband encouraged me to buy a camera so I could take photos of our kids. I bought the camera, then took a class at a local camera store to learn settings, etc. Then I also took some online courses on how to edit. I started to post photos of my kids on Facebook, and I would have friends that would ask me to capture their babies. It started off as a hobby, and then my friends would give me a gift certificate for taking the time to photograph their babies. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do when my kids started school since I was at a stay-at-home home. I started out in my home office as I had lots of windows and lots of natural light. I started to get busier and finished my basement which is now my studio. I am now looking for space to lease as I'm outgrowing my basement.
I love babies and how pure they are. I love capturing them in artistic ways, styling them in adorable outfits, props, lovies, and posing them. My children motivate me every day. I want them to have the best life and do all the things that I wasn't able to do growing up. I want them to be able to follow their dreams and do what they love doing!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner was that I started this as a hobby and turned it into a full-blown business that provides for my kids and family. I worked very hard to get to where I'm at. My parents both came to this country as immigrants to raise their families. They owned a business, and I learned so much from them.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is that everything falls on you. You are responsible for everything - your clients, your products, your profits, your taxes; it's a lot of work. Even though I can make my own schedule and take as many vacations as I'd like, I'm still the main point of contact and the person in charge, so in a way, there is never really time off. I do love what I do and photographing newborns never feels like "work." It's something I love doing and I never dread having a session.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My three business tips for someone that wants to grow a business are:
- To work for someone in a business and have them be your mentor. Learn everything that you can about any business, how to run it, how to get customers, how to keep customers happy, how to market to your customers, how to blog, create a website, SEO, and the ins and outs of everything about a business. There are so many things to learn and I would be a sponge and learn anything I can.
- Figure out what you're passionate about and put everything into learning about it. Use all your time to learn about what it is that you're passionate about and be an expert in that field. Put time and work into it. I think a lot of people think things come easily or with luck and that's not the case.
- Collaborate with others in the field, and become friends with your competitors as sometimes, if you have something happen like if you're booked, you can refer your clients, and they can also refer you, too. Just because they are your competition doesn't mean you have to not like them or not work with them. Use it as an opportunity to learn from each other and help each other when needed.
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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