Monday Business Profile: Erica Irvine Photography


Name          Erica Cathers

Company  Erica Irvine Photography


Contact      07748148879


Can you describe your business? 

I am a Professional Photographer specialising in wedding, commercial and fashion photography. I have a studio outside Fintona where I also shoot portraits.  I started working in the photography industry in 2001, but set up my full time business in 2007.

Why did you start your own business? 

My business started itself in a way, though it was always my intention to become a photographer full time, I never set out with an exact plan in mind, it just evolved naturally. I started my business in order to have a job with variety which I was, and still am, very passionate about.  I was very lucky to become established at a time when the photography market was less competitive, I would not like to be starting my business in today’s saturated market.

What are the best things about running your own business? 

The creative freedom I have and the flexibility it allows m e, which as every working mother knows, is extremely important.  In my particular business the best part is probably the fact that I have very happy clients.  I get to photograph people on the happiest occasions of their lives. I get to document beauty, love, emotion. I get to travel to stunning locations and create lasting memories.  I really truly love what I do.

What are the main challenges facing the business? 

As a sole trader with no employees I am in charge of every aspect of my business, so my job is not only taking beautiful photographs, but also the everyday maintenance of running a successful business, editing, album designs, print orders, frame and product orders, emailing, marketing, blogging, set building, location scouting, record keeping, ordering materials…the list goes on, and it can be challenge.  I think a lot of people see photography as a ‘glamorous’ industry to work in, and it can be, but the business side is very important and must be kept on top of.  These days with Digital SLR’s being so affordable and social media the perfect place to launch your new business, there are a lot of new competitors in my industry but I have been very lucky so far in my career that never a day has gone by where I haven’t had work to do, I am always grateful for it.

What advice would you give to someone starting a business? 

When starting your own business its important to offer something unique to make yourself stand out from the rest of your industry.  Research your market, find your style.  Make a plan for your working hours and try to stick to it as much as possible,  don’t take on more work than you are able to handle.  And most importantly, find yourself a great accountant ( I married mine ).

Can you describe your experience of running a business in three words or less?

Rewarding, busy, thankful.