Sophie describes herself as a storytelling wedding, portrait and commercial photographer, and her work is simply beautiful. She is so passionate about capturing real, special moments for her clients, and her creativity is inspiring.
She started her journey a few years ago, and is successfully running her own photography business while also working a full-time job. We have caught up with her to find out more about her growing business, what motivates her and why she is in love with photography.
Why did you start your business? What was the inspiration behind it?
I already knew that photography or something within the creative industry was going to be the career for me from a very early age, as early as 7 years old! My dad always surrounded us with photography when growing up, so it was very normal for me and the natural thing to fall into.
When I left school I studied Art & Design. I loved it, and still use my qualifications very much within photography.
Back then, Instagram wasn't really a thing and there wasn't much inspiration out there for you to see every day. I didn't want to be a bog-standard photographer and I didn't want to take photos just for the sake of taking photos. I wanted purpose and I wanted more.
I had followed a few well-known international photographers for a while, and I loved how they captured the connection of two individuals and told a story. That’s when I knew and said to myself "I am going to take photos like that one day".
When I realised I could use my creative imagination and my artistic skills to capture someone's story, that's when I decided it's now or never
When and how did you start your business?
I started my business two years ago after shooting friends and families for a year before that! When people I didn’t know were asking me to take photos of their families, I decided to bite the bullet and go for it!
I never intended on having a business this early on. I wanted to have a full-on couple portfolio to show before I started, but I struggled to get couples who were keen! So, after word started to spread, I accidentally fell into it with doing family portraiture for my first year! A worthwhile accident for sure!
What do you love most about your job?
Above all, it’s meeting new people. I love learning people's stories, listening to them and becoming their friend. I also love capturing people off guard! Especially at weddings - that’s where the magic happens! I can freeze a moment for them that they can look back on for so many years
Why are you so passionate about what you do?
I feel like I have a purpose to take photos. They are all we are left with at the end of the day and I always, always stress this to my clients. No day ever feels like work - I think that's what drives me more to better myself and share my passion with others.
What’s been your biggest achievement so far?
Being able to achieve a recognisable business in such a short period of time whilst juggling a full-time job! Without my job I wouldn’t be able to run my business the way I can.
I am super lucky to have such a supportive workplace and colleagues. It’s important to show that having your own business isn’t handed to you - it is hard work, it doesn’t happen straight away and you need to be 100% committed to make it work.
What is something you’ve learned on your business journey so far?
To enjoy the journey of watching yourself grow and to not rush anything!
What’s been the hardest or scariest part of starting your business?
Putting myself out there. I was quite a shy kid and I had a few setbacks that completely knocked my confidence and definitely delayed this all becoming possible!
We are so lucky to have such a supportive network of local businesses in this area. I really wouldn’t be able to do all this without their words of advice at times!
What’s been the most exciting or rewarding part of running your own business?
The most exciting part is when couples book me for their wedding. My aim has always been to focus on photographing couples, so to know I am doing something right for them to admire my work is really exciting.
The most rewarding part is the feedback at the end of day! We don’t just take photographs - we have all the admin, driving around, running around and editing to do too, which can be very time consuming, especially when juggling it all with a full-time job.
When it comes to them leaving their review or dropping a quick message, it fills my heart. That’s when I get a buzz of happiness and I do a little dance!
Why do you think it’s so important for people to support local?
You are supporting someone's dream. There are so many creative and talented businesses out there, that offer one off items you could not find on the high street.
When you come from a small town like myself, you are brought up around small independent shops, so it has always been natural for me to shop local and have unique items.
What are your favourite local businesses right now and why?
I have so, so many!
The Personalised Assistant - Jennifer is so talented and really thinks outside the box when a challenge is given to her. Anytime she shares new work, my mouth always drops!
Hey Sweetie is another firm favourite. I used to love getting all the old school sweets from the ice cream van and they sell the exact same ones!
I have just recently discovered Silver Story Ltd which I am completely obsessed with. I want everything from their shop! I love rings and silver jewellery - and I will be going on a wee shopping spree there soon!