Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Svetlana Yanova, owner of Svetlana Yanova Photography, located in Calgary, AB, Canada.

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

I have been in the photography industry for 14 years and have shot beauty portraits, weddings, families, boudoirs, events, etc. For the last 8 years, I have been focusing on headshots and personal branding. I create beautiful, approachable, and professional headshots for local business owners who want to elevate their social media presence and look amazing on camera. I work out of my studio in Sunalta (downtown Calgary) or on location.

Tell us about yourself

I love being part of the YYC business community and being able to provide great value for my clients and see their confidence boost after their photo session and excitement when they tell me about their business. It's a huge honour to be part of that journey with them.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Creating a business from the ground up is not an easy task. As a solopreneur, each day brings its successes and challenges, and that's what I love about being a business owner. My biggest accomplishment would probably be staying in business for so long, winning a couple of Best Headshot Photographer in Calgary awards, mentoring other photographers, and creating portraits that people truly love.

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

Sometimes being a business owner can feel very lonely - I can be by myself for days editing or working on my website etc., so it's important to build a group you can rely on for help, motivation, ideas, etc.

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

  1. Fake it till you make it. Treat your business as if you've been working in it for years - give your best to your clients, and don't be afraid to ask for help.
  2. Request reviews. I can't tell you how many people call me after reading google reviews. I used to think they weren't that important until I made it a mission for myself to increase the number of 5-star reviews, and it really paid off.
  3. Get organized with all your paperwork - bookkeeping, accounting, socials, etc. Outsource anything you can't/don't want to do but what needs to be done. Spend your valuable time networking, looking for clients, doing things you love, and hire out everything else.
  4. Do not be afraid to brag about yourself to others. Now is not the time to be shy - talk about your business everywhere!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Find a few networking groups that help promote you as well. There're so many different ones - paid and free. Chat with people from other industries, too, don't be stuck with just yours. You never know where that tidbit of knowledge can come from or something that will spark an idea!

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.