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Becoming self-employed means your work family changes quite a lot, and EnterprisingYou has really helped me set this up.” 

Following a 15-year career in local government, Breige Cobane was craving something more creative. After trying out photography part-time she wanted to see if it would work for her as a full-time career. 

Now three years into being a full-time freelance photographer, she hasn’t looked back.  

We caught up with her to find out how the things she learnt on the EnterprisingYou programme have helped her so far. 

Why did you want to start your own business?  

 

I had enjoyed a 15-year career in local government but had started to feel less enthusiastic about my day job. I wanted to do something more positive and creative and after trying out photography part-time, and then going back into local government full-time during covid, I knew I had to give photography a proper shot.  

My mum was a very keen amateur photographer and so I think a lot of my interest and emotional attachment to photography comes from her documenting our lives and looking through her photo albums. I think the way we can use photographs to bring back memories is a beautiful thing. 

 

What services does your business provide?

Breige Cobane

Breige Cobane

I offer mainly photography services with some videography. I cover a range of areas, but I pretty much always photograph people, whether that’s events, music festivals, weddings, branding for small businesses, or portraits - I don’t really mind what people get up to in front of the camera (within reason!).

 

How did you find out about the EnterprisingYou Programme?  

 

I had worked with GC Business Growth Hub in my previous role and a chance conversation with an employee before I left that role led to me signing up to Start Smart and then Enterprising You.  

How have Start Smart and EnterprisingYou helped you and your business? 

 

Initially Start Smart helped me to lay the foundations for running my own business, from keeping track of money and tax to basic marketing. Learning that in your first year “no one knows you or trusts you” was a wakeup call but it was also reassuring to learn that building the right client base takes time. 

EnterprisingYou then helped me to develop my business after a few months, particularly around sales and networking. These were areas I needed to be supported on but also pushed out of my comfort zone, which my coach did really well! Without those sessions I don’t think I would have generated the income that I have. 

 

What did you learn from the workshops?  

 

I learnt the importance of networking, connecting with the right people and building relationships. Sometimes the perfect clients are right in front of us, we just have to have the confidence to approach them. One of my best clients had expressed an interest in hiring me but without being encouraged to follow this up I may have never worked with them.  

Also the importance of having a business plan, setting meaningful targets and checking in on where I'm at regularly.

 

What’s next for your business?  

 

I'm now in my third year as a full-time freelance photographer and absolutely love it. No two jobs are ever the same and the mix of being out and about working with new people and then at home editing suits me really well.  

I'm really proud of my business and just hope to keep doing what I’m doing. Last month (June) was my busiest month to date so more of those would be great! 

 

 

Visit the Breige Cobane Photography website to find out more about her business. 

Examples of Breige Cobane Photography