Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David Trew, Owner and Managing Director of Rock Photographers Collective (RPC), located in Bristol, England, UK.

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

We are Rock Photographers Collective Limited. We sell images of pop stars (from the 60s to the 90s) on garments (mostly hoodies and t-shirts). These images are owned by the photographers that took them. Most of these images are on celluloid. None of these photographers work in the photography industry any longer, as digital photography and contracts have changed everything. The photographers rely on their own images to pay for their pensions. (RPC pays them a commission for every image sold).

Our customers are anyone who shops online and wants a garment depicting a pop star. They tend to be 30+, buying images of people they listened to growing up.

Tell us about yourself

I am very independent and love to work for myself. Became friends with a rock photographer. This guy suggested that we set up a business selling t-shirts with images. He left to go out on his own two years ago. Easy to say, I know, but RPC is so cool. Selling images of people I worshipped growing up is wonderful. My motivation to do what I do is to see this business succeed.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Watching the business grow, knowing that as it does, the photographers (11 currently) are getting paid for their work. Also, having set it up in the first place. I am guilty, these days, of taking it all for granted. Memorizing how difficult it was to set up vanquishes these thoughts. I would not wish to do this all again. We had a lot of help at the time from some very talented people (for which I am so, so grateful). I guess my biggest accomplishment has been business in the first place.

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

There are many. Probably the hardest is disciplining oneself to keep doing what’s required day in and day out, including weekends.

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

  1. Love what you do. Make it yours.
  2. Analyse, analyse, and analyse. When you’re done analysing, analyse some more.
  3. Want to be your own boss? At times, it’ll seem easier to work for someone else. (Who wants to make money for someone else? If that’s you, then really, don’t start your own business).

Whatever you do, you’ll likely need to learn new skills. Do so, and don’t shirk. Someone once taught me that the only guarantee in life, is change. It was ever thus.

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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