Blog – Life as a start-up photographer

Kay Ransom Photography in the early days

Did you start your business in the last three years? Are you doing everything yourself? Do you feel like as well as your trade you need to be a professional accountant, marketeer, website designer, photographer and copywriter? I remember this phase very well from my early business days so I thought I would share the early days of my journey as a newbie photographer.

I started my business in 2005 with…nothing…yes nothing… I had no camera, no website, no logo, no marketing plan, no business cards, no office, no photo studio…nothing. The only things I had were: talent in my field, relevant education, an 11GB aging laptop and lots of enthusiasm.

During this infancy stage of the business, I was no position to pay for professional web development, a professional business coach, professional photography, professional design services, professional accountant… you name it (remember I didn’t even own a camera at this stage!). However, I was ok with this at said time, all these services would be available to me when I was ready to enable their services and I really needed to prioritise the physical tools of my trade.

For the first three years of my business I was mostly self-sufficient, my best friend taught me basic web development languages so I could update my own website, someone else taught me photoshop, The Prince’s Trust gave me a free marketing course and £300 to help pay for my first camera lens, I designed my own business cards in Word and printed them on plain white card from WHSmith, I worked in camera shop on a Monday to get discounts on kit and a photographer friend very kindly let me use her studio for a very modest fee. So, as you can see, I did the best with the time, skills and money I had available to me at that time.

After three years my business became much more established (yes, I did own my own camera by now!). I also finally conceded I might need a logo so I got a professional graphic designer to create me one, with the website I outsourced the harder parts to a professional web dev and just did the easier bits by myself and handily I could do my own photography to a professional standard (well you’d hope so really!). At year 16 I decided I could do with professional business guidance so took on a professional business coach which really lifted my business to the next level.

I think as small business owners we all manage as many components as we can by ourselves to save cost. In time our priorities change and our professional image becomes more of a priority and at this stage we need the professional services of others. Have a think about the components you manage yourself and the bits you outsource, would your business look more professional and potentially save you time if they were handled by the relevant professional services?

If you have phone snaps or generic stock images on your website…maybe it’s time to give me a call 😊. Thank you for reading.

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