“It’s not an easy road but being your own boss is extremely rewarding.”
Who doesn’t love animals and word play? Well I certainly do and when we put the call out for members to feature, Audrey in GirlCrew Dublin answered. With a photography company that specialises in pet portraits, the aptly named Pawtraits offers bespoke packages for those who are looking to capture the spirit of their beloved furry friends.
“I completed a degree in Photography with D.I.T but when I graduated the recession hit. I couldn’t find a job in my field and feeling disheartened and broke, I took an office job but was never really happy.”
The realisation that you need a change is common for many of us, but oftentimes there’s one moment that really gives us clarity. Ironically, it was celebrating the anniversary of a co-worker that gave Audrey some focus. “I remember it the office was celebrating a co-worker’s 20th year there and I got the fear. While it might have been their passion it certainly wasn’t mine to be office bound. I thought if I don’t do something I’m going to be sitting looking at this computer screen in 20 years’ time wondering “what if?””
Spurred on by this realisation Audrey decided to take a leap of faith and leave the office life behind. “In October 2014, I quit and began working towards starting my own photography business and following my passion. In September 2015 I found my studio in Killincarraig, Delgany, Greystones and I’ve been working away and loving it ever since.” Audrey prides herself on making the experience fun for all creatures involved, and by booking a session with her also means you’ll be doing good as €10 is donated to Dogs in Distress. So if you’ve space on your mantle for a beautiful picture of your pooch, feline companion, or even slithering friends give Audrey a bell now.
1. What is the best thing about your role?
I get to meet all kinds of animals on a daily basis. There’s a saying in photography that you should never work with animals or children but I disagree. Working with animals makes me so happy! I love the unpredictability of pet photography; it’s certainly challenging but so rewarding when you capture that winning shot. At the moment it’s mostly dogs and getting covered in doggy kisses and slobbers, how could that not fill you with joy?
2. What did you find most challenging about it?
The paperwork! You have to be extremely disciplined if you want to succeed and naturally, I definitely don’t have a business head on my shoulders. I’m bad at math, my notes and to-do lists are on scraps of paper and I am terrible at keeping my calendar up to date. Business is a balancing act between the bits you love and the bits you have to do to grow.
3. What is your proudest work related achievement to date?
Actually taking the plunge and starting my own business. It’s not an easy road but being your own boss is extremely rewarding.
4. What would be your one tip to others who want to get involved in this industry?
Go for it! In anyway you can! Assist other photographers, do jobs for free to gain experience and build up a circle of like minded people or small business owners that will offer advice and help support you. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. You’d be amazed at the information people will give you and we all had to start from somewhere.
5. What would be your motto in life, and in work?
My mum always says “it’s nice to be nice” and I live both my home and work life by that. Don’t do things out of the good of your heart only to expect something in return. Do them because you want to make someone else feel good or help them along the way. I believe in business and in life, if you’re nice to others it will come back to you tenfold.