Tell me a little about you & your family, what your business is, and the inspiration behind getting started…
Hi, I’m Hannah. I’m married to Rich, Mum to Thomas (4) , Ellie (2) and a lively Labrador, Lottie who I include because she’s every bit as demanding as the kids! I’m a photographer, documenting families and weddings and I had a lightbulb moment after taking a photo of my kids in the bath one night whilst desperately unhappy in my job, and thinking that there had to be more to life.
How did you make the leap from idea on paper to reality with your business idea?
I’d already scribbled a spider diagram of “things I enjoy and am any good at” in a bid to see if there was any more “meaningful” work out there – and taking photos had actually appeared twice but I’d thought nothing of it. Once I realised that I actually had a good eye for taking photos, I did a bit of market research and then sat the hubby down for a chat…..which involved me wanting to spend the best part of a grand on a camera and training course!
How did you get your first sale or client?
I did a few free shoots first of all to build experience and portfolio – and then I submitted a blog to a friend who runs a network for working mums and my first customer contacted me after being forwarded it by a friend (she worked for the company I had previously worked and been so unhappy at!) That gave me the confidence to keep going.
What ‘lucky breaks’ or helping hands have you had along the way that have really boosted your progress?
A few months into my business, a girl I knew messaged me asking if I would photograph her wedding. I replied saying I hadn’t ever done one before and she asked me to quote her a price anyway. I hadn’t really considered doing weddings before this but as I stood there snapping away on her big day I KNEW that this was what I was put on this earth to do. I also randomly replied to an Instagram story my friend had forwarded onto me from someone asking for a family photographer – I messaged the lady, secured the booking, and then went on to look at her Instagram page and realised she was quite a big deal in Insta money! (It was @tobyandroo!) I did the shoot and she LOVED my images!
What do you LOVE about your business and working for yourself?
I love making other people happy through MY work and that not a single other person can take credit for that (can you tell I may have had my fingers burned with this kinda thing in the corporate world?!). I love that I can take my business in the direction I want it to and I love seeing results as a direct result of my hard work!
What’s the scariest thing you’ve had to do since setting up on your own?
Probably the @tobyandroo shoot! I barely slept the night before as I was so worried about messing it up! I needn’t have worried of course, they’re just a normal family and completely lovely – and I was just doing what I do best!
Who is your support network that you simply couldn’t manage without?
My husband, my parents and in-laws (for the weekend child care) and a select few friends who know who they are and know exactly how hard I find it sometimes. Working for yourself can bring the highest of highs but also the lowest of lows. You don’t want to be seen to be moaning about it, so it’s really important to have a few people that you really trust and can be honest with…and who will be honest right back at you!
What exciting plans do you have for your business over the next 6-12 months that you’d like to share?
I’ve got quite a few weddings booked in and will be creating a marketing plan because most of the bookings I’ve had so far have been word of mouth or friends of people who I have photographed.
On your own start-up adventure?
Drop me a message if you’d like a free 30-min clarity call to get a handle on how I can help you increase your income and impact in your own business: