I need to take a moment to say that if you believe in something, love something and work hard enough, it can absolutely be possible to achieve your dreams. Over three years I started my Perth business with just a camera and a couple of lenses in my hand, working out of my bedroom, with the huge dream that one day I might actually be able to work out of a creative office space in the middle of Melbourne, my dream city, and here I am doing that right now.
I am a freelance music and wedding photographer. I started doing it completely for fun, photographing my friend’s bands, and as a side-hustle to my previous career in filmmaking. Slowly and slowly, this side-hustle started taking over my other job. I launched into it full time in 2014 when I got asked to shoot my very first wedding, and I accepted it as long as I was able to photograph it my own way, opposed to the very posed and unnatural style of how I saw most wedding photography to be.
By shooting weddings and bands through until 2017 I was able to grow my business over the space of three years and was able to hit my goal of being able to save up and shift my business to move to Melbourne in mid-2017, where I am based now. I chose Melbourne to move for work because the landscape in Victoria is so beautiful I wanted an alternative, moody backdrop in my photography. By strictly setting goals, advertising and networking approximately a year in advance, I was able to achieve this goal and set up myself for freelancing over here.
For people looking at starting a business in photography with dreams of hitting a goal like mine, I have a few tips:
- If you’re completely starting out, I found that one TFP (trade-for-print) shoot usually spiralled into so many brand new networking and work opportunities – usually creative work in music always snowballs so always be willing to build your portfolio and stay open.
- Always make sure to stick by your own inspirations and your own goals, and not look at what everybody else in the same field is doing. “Comparison is the thief of joy”.
- Similarly to above, stick to your own voice.
- Always continue to be willing to learn – by networking with others and attending workshops. I’m still learning and forever will be, I am more satisfied knowing that I have room to grow.
- Gear is less important than the eye – you don’t need the flashiest new lens or camera body, the most famous photographs in the world are probably shot on more inferior equipment than your iPhone. Also helps you save if you were looking at moving, like me.
With the amazing network as well as friends and family I still have back in WA, I still come back regularly for jobs but am still able to be satis.