Having your first child can change your life in many ways, less sleep, more laundry, immense joy and for Sally Donoghue a new career. Little did Sally know that the birth of her daughter would prove to be the birth of her new business, Rayne or Shine Photography.
“It’s always been something that I love to do, when we had our daughter my husband bought me a camera, and it just kind of snowballed from there.”
After realizing how expensive professional portraits can be, Sally decided she wanted to provide a great quality product at an affordable price. So using her daughters middle name as inspiration for the company, she launched her Edmonton based business in 2011.
“My favourite part is meeting the people and interacting and telling a story through these pictures.”
With her husband coming up on his 10th year in the infantry, Sally says that finding balance between military life and her career is important.
“I wanted to show my kids that you can be a wonderful mom and do something that you love at the same time. The appeal is that it’s something that I can take anywhere, I can take my camera with me no matter where we move…this lifestyle is focused mostly on the serving member so to be able to stand on your own two feet and do something for yourself and you have the courage to just do it, it pays off in so many ways.”
Sally started with a number of courses and after more experience with trial and error to get a great product; she branched outside her circle of family and friend for new clients. She says that one of the most important things she has learned as an entrepreneur is to reach out to your peers.
“Befriend other entrepreneurs, network that way. Get to know your competition because there are people out there that will help you. It can open a lot of doors for you. Ask questions of people that you look up to, how did they get that far, ask for tips. It’s great to get insight from someone who’s been there.”
She says two of her biggest challenges in starting and running her business have been marketing and making time with a one-year-old and a four-year-old at home.
“Being in such a big city there’s a plus because you have a lot of potential clients but there’s also a lot of competition, so marketing myself is one of the biggest challenges and then finding the time to shoot the pictures. With my husband away a lot I have to schedule around care for my kids, but lots of people have been helping out with that and I’m grateful.”
When asked for her best piece of advice for someone looking to start their own business she had this to say. “Just be brave and stick with it. I used to think ‘how can I compete with that, there’s just so many photographers’ but when you stop comparing yourself to other people and you just do what you love, you just succeed.”
Business Type: Sole Proprietorship
How Long in Business: 3 Years
Tip: As a military spouse, I put myself out there and advertise more when I know I can work more, and I pull back when I cannot do as much.
Resources: I took two photography courses and I look for other photographers with the style I like and take a course from them.
To visit her website – Rayne or Shine Photography.
Facebook page : Rayne or Shine Photography
**This story was originally published in our Winter 2015 issue**