Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in photography but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Robin Spencer, owner of Spencer Studio, located in Ottawa, ON, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a small photo studio in Ottawa that offers professional headshots, graduation photos, and family portraits. Our customers are evenly split between male and female, typically middle-class working professionals.

Tell us about yourself

After losing my job in 1980 and with bills to pay and a family to support and running out of employment options, I turned to my hobby out of desperation to temporarily bring in some money. I always thought it was photography I loved, but it has taken me decades to discover it is the people I love. I love hearing their stories and hearing about their families. They tell me about their pets and their travels. We laugh, they smile, and I take their photos.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Statistics say that 87% of professional photographers are in and out of business in less than two years. This year we celebrated 42 years. My pride is that I proved to my in-laws, family, and others that said photography is not a real job and I would never make it.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Photography is easy, and doing what you love is easy. Getting a steady stream of paying clients is the most challenging part.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Simple: (Sorry, I wish I could take credit for this, but I read this somewhere.)

  1. Discover what you really, really love to do.
  2. Get so good at it that people will pay you to do it.
  3. Let everyone know how good you are at it (marketing).

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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