Local photographer, global artist
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
The 2018 Christmas season has been overwhelmingly busy but it`s been wonderful to work with so many different clients. Listening to their ideas, suggestions and even personal stories has been truly inspiring for me as an artist. Their kind words and reviews fuel my passion to work a little more every day, so their memories are immortalized in the pictures.
What makes you different from everyone else?
This is a tough one. There are so many talented photographers out there. We are all different. We are all unique in what we do and in the way we envision our product. But that`s the beauty of it. I can say that I have a very strong Eastern European work ethic and expect the highest level of professionalism for myself and the service I deliver. I also spend a lot of time on the little details such as props, lighting, gear, and settings. Post production is a passion of mine too. I’m not just taking a picture, I’m creating art.
Since you are also a mom… How do you balance your personal and professional life?
Balance? I’m not sure there’s such a thing in business or parenting. I stay up later, I wake up earlier. I try to work as effectively as possible when I have quiet time. My hubby is also there for me when I have a full day of shoots and we try to schedule our work times so one of us can always be with our son.
What is the greatest obstacle you have faced in achieving the success you desire? How do you overcome it?
Time is the biggest one. Every client wants their work prioritized, so sometimes it’s difficult to manage expectations. And then learning all the “other” business stuff. Accounting, websites, marketing, learning what’s new in the industry from skills to gear. Some days it feels like the administration takes more time than photography.
What advice would you give entrepreneurs that want to start their own company?
Dream big, start small. Keep adding skills to your toolbox. Learn how to prioritize where to spend money. Don’t think you need everything before you begin. My first year, I felt like I was just doing this as a hobby. I wasn’t making much money and I was buying a lot of gear, studying and working on my craft. But now I have the gear, the skills, and the confidence to manage a thriving business that I love while being with my family who I love even more. Every time I second guess myself and contemplate quitting, I now know from experience that I’m only a few days from the next level of success. Just like childbirth and raising children, the pain, the sleepless nights, the worries and anxiety are the doorways to the greatest rewards. I guess you could say my business is my other baby!
By Irina Ruseva