Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lora Vertue, founder of Kissed by Light Photo, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Kissed by Light is a Toronto-based photography studio that specializes in creating unique photography experiences for women of all walks of life to bolster their confidence, explore femininity, and affirm inner power through the lens of some of the most talented photographers in the industry. My studio's all-female team is dedicated to creating makeover days tailored for each woman to enjoy, unwind and celebrate herself. And, through the power of photography, the Kissed By Light team strives to commemorate beauty, elegance, and timeless style.
Tell us about yourself
I wasn't always a photographer. My career journey began in finance, as I worked in a variety of small and large corporate offices, yet I always knew that this world was not for me. I dreamed of working in a field that would allow me to see my creations and the tangible change they may bring, a career that would enable me to make people happy. And one day, when I was on maternity leave, I received the gift of my very first camera. I began to photograph everything and everyone, and my greatest love became capturing people. Passion, lots of professional photography books, and countless hours of practice photographing my friends taught me how to operate the camera outside standard education institutions.
First, I followed my love for fashion photography, creating editorials with professional models. But fashion photography was not a developed field in Toronto, so I soon took my newfound passion and knowledge to pursue a new field of Boudoir Photography. It felt a lot like fashion photography, yet became even more interesting for my task was now to work with people of all walks of life instead of professional models, challenging me to learn how to capture people's spark and not just skin deep beauty and fashion. The happiness I saw photography can bring people, the way their eyes begin to sparkle, and the excitement when they see themselves in the beautiful light a lens can capture is priceless and motivates me every day.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Creating a community of like-minded, strong, and talented women must be my greatest accomplishment to date! It is incredible to see the magic that can happen when you bring some wonderful women together - my staff and clients became a part of this Kissed By Light community that sees women grow, pursue their dreams and uplift each other. Many women that first come to the studio for some nice photos and others that come to work at the studio become a part of our family as they come back to celebrate their greatest milestones with us. We have seen some ladies for boudoir photos, then bridal boudoir, then maternity, then second maternity photos with their firstborns, and sometimes for business photography, and it's incredible and humbling to be a part of such important milestones in their lives. We share each other's latest endeavors with our networks, collaborate on new projects and creatives, and have a great time in the process! The support in this community is truly remarkable, and I can't wait to see what new things we will do together in the future!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The responsibility it takes to run your own business, and an entire team is often the hardest for me. Taking on a variety of different jobs and making important, often life-changing decisions can be quite a task as you navigate this world of being a business owner. Your staff's mistakes become your own as you have to face the responsibility you have to your clients and your business. Being your own boss also means that you don't really have anyone to make sure that you are disciplined and don't slack - you have to keep yourself in check.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find your spark, your niche, something that will set you apart from the competition.
- Don't expect fast results, for everything takes time. I worked almost with no profit for almost five years. It was very difficult not to lose motivation and, in fact, sometimes I did! But not for too long. I saw the happiness and self-love that my work brought my clients and had faith that everything would start working out eventually.
- Work a lot! Even if you don't want to and even if you have to do it for free. And make sure to keep learning something new, especially from those that have achieved success in your field.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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