What’s your business called?
Sophie Oldhamstead Photography
Can you describe it in one sentence?
Natural relaxed family & wedding photography
When did you start it and what inspired you?
I’ve always loved photography but was inspired by my daughter who was born in April 2014. I was working a job before maternity leave that I really disliked and their refusal to support me in any way as a working mum gave me the push I needed to give this a real go
How did you find your start up?
I was very nervous, we made sure we had enough savings for 6 months to cover us but after that there was no back up plan. I found it quite lonely initially and felt very anxious about how it would work but by networking and the help of friends to spread the word and meet mums in similar situations I started to gain confidence gradually. The work picked up with it.
How do you manage working around your children?
I manage by working whenever I can, I take advantage of weekends as my parents and her daddy are around to have her while I work. If I work during the week I have her with me on shoots and I do all my editing & admin in the evenings once shes gone to bed. Its not easy but we make it work.
Can you describe a typical day?
I tend to answer any urgent emails or messages in the morning while my little one has breakfast. We spend the morning together up to after lunch which is when she naps so as soon as shes down I crack on. I use this time mostly to edit any shoots that are in the editing pile or on the rare occasion that I’m up to date I spend the time doing admin tasks, accounting or marketing. Once shes up I spend the evening with my family before carrying on again once she goes to bed.
What have you found hardest?
I think its the constant nature of it, even when I’m looking after my daughter I’m constantly answering client enquiries and sorting things for clients via my phone or planning what I need to do. Its hard to switch off completely and I think I lose out on time with my husband as I need to work in the evenings but its a sacrifice we’ve made to suit our family.
What’s the best thing about being self employed?
Being able to work around my daughter, I’m there to take her to classes and I don’t miss anything with her and I know I’m incredibly lucky to be able to do that right now. While I don’t want to work weekends and late nights forever, for right now its a sacrifice I’m happy to make to be there when she needs me. I love feeling in control of my own future too, I feel like I can make things happen in my own life and its down to me which is a sometimes scary but empowering feeling to have.
What are your plans for the future?
For the next year its to focus on wedding bookings and building my portrait business. I have a 1 year, 3 year and 5 year plan for the business to keep me on track.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out?
Just to go for it, I was prepared for the business not to be as successul as it has been as you need to be realistic as well as hopeful but working hard and giving it your all does really pay off. You need to be prepared to put in what it takes though, if I have to stay up until 4am to finish and edit then thats what you have to do and still get up for the day at 7am for mummy duties but the rewards really do outweigh the sacrifices.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
My home studio is located in Rush Green, RM7 and am now taking bookings for portraits, cake smashes and weddings through 2016/2017 🙂