WORK – Turning your passion into a business with Victoria Murray Photography

VICTORIA Murray is on a mission – to make memories her clients can cherish forever. 
Like lots of entrepreneurs, Victoria started her career in the corporate world.
But when she received a pension statement that showed she had more than 40 years to go, she realised she didn’t want to just pay the bills – she wanted a job that would provide fulfillment, not just financial security. 
So with a little encouragement from her husband, she bought a camera and hasn’t looked back since (unless you count looking back at the lovely photos she’s taken).
Victoria’s story is for anyone who daydreams about a different life every morning on their commute to the office. For anyone who needs a little bit of encouragement to ‘go for it.’
Tell us about what you do……
I’m a photographer whose aim is to capture journeys so that people have their own private time machine. My aim is to ensure that every stage of your journey is captured but in the way that your memories will recall it. I photograph weddings, families and brands but without templated packages!
Why did you set up your company?
Like so many other entrepreneurs, I had held a ‘safe’ corporate job for over ten years that paid my bills and gave me a little bit extra money to be comfortable. When I received my pension statement with the number of years I had remaining I realised that I couldn’t spend the next 40+ years of my life getting up and going to an office where working just to pay the bills and having a ‘little extra’ was all I had to look forward to.
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Yes, financial stability is important, but nobody has ever looked back on their life and wished they’d spent more hours in the office. What I wanted to do was really make a difference, to change the world for the better, to give people something that meant something whilst also being able to be with my own family. Life is actually quite long and it should be experienced and enjoyed.
I had always had a love of photography but I had never pursued it. It was after my own Wedding in 2014 and during a time of personal change that my husband encouraged me to go and buy ‘the camera’ and from there my Photography business began to take flight.
What have been your biggest achievements so far?
I always find this a difficult question to answer. Achievements can be such a personal thing to quantify. I think the first achievement would be setting up my own business. It would have been so easy to just continue working my corporate week and knowing that my salary would be there no matter what but it wasn’t enough for me.
Aside from that, something I am proud of in a business sense is going from finding out our whole future had changed one day and booking one of my biggest and most beautiful weddings just 12 hours later – something I wouldn’t have accomplished had things worked out differently. Things definitely do seem to happen for a reason.
What’s been the biggest/best lesson you’ve learned
Things take time and that’s ok. Also, you won’t get it right first time around, but that’s ok too as long as you learn. My business took longer than needed to establish because I fell into the trap of listening too much to what other people thought or told me, rather than remembering why I started and what I wanted to achieve.
This is why I am breaking the photography mold to some degree and relaunching my business to focus on capturing the journeys of weddings, families (newborn photography was my first love) and brands. Whatever line of business you are in it is so important to remember your ‘why’ and use this in all decision making, including when weighing up what others are telling you.
What are your goals for the coming year/ next five years?
I actually love this question as it gives you the chance to dream! For the coming year, having relocated from London to the Surrey/Hampshire border, I want to establish my business and be the photographer that people choose to capture every stage of their journey. Photography isn’t about making quick or easy money – its not like that at all, for me, its about building lasting relationships where people get to know me and vice versa and they return because they know and trust that I can capture their most important moments.
In the next five years, this is a tricky one, there is so much I want to achieve both in business and personally, but my husband’s job really could take us anywhere in the next three years so who knows.
One thing is certain and that is my desire to continuously improve in my Photography (you can always be better), to build lasting relationships with those I Photograph and to help others.
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Do you have any advice for someone looking to start their own business?
Just go for it. You can spend forever waiting for the ‘right’ time but the truth of it is there is never a right time, but there is a ‘your time’ and if you’ve had the thought then your time is now. Whatever business area you are thinking of venturing into, I cannot recommend enough having a mentor, ideally someone in the same field as you or who knows it very well.
I was very lucky to have my own Wedding Photographer and now very good friend Maryanne Scott mentor me. Entrepreneurship can be a really lonely place as well as confusing, having someone there to bounce ideas with and guide you is invaluable, as are communities such as Girl Tribe Gang and anything industry specific that you can become a part of.
How helpful has it been to join the Girl Tribe Gang?
Joining Girl Tribe Gang had been amazing for me. As a Tribe Boss I feel extremely privileged to have been able to facilitate a community of like-minded business women and business women-to-be who support, celebrate and encourage one another both professionally and personally.
Girl Tribe Gang has helped me find a place and a voice in my community and has also spread the word of me and my business. When you join a Girl Tribe Gang Tribe it is so much more than a networking evening, its a national community of people who want you to succeed, who understand your struggles and who are there to celebrate you, not to mention the excellent training and advice sessions that are available.
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How can people get in touch with you or find out more about you
I’m soon to relaunch my business under its new name ‘Victoria Murray Photography (formerly VBM Photography) and anyone that would like to know more about me or my business can find out by visiting www.victoriamurrayphotography.co.uk, emailing me at victoria@victorimurrayphotography.co.uk or following the journey on Instagram @victoriamurrayphotography

“Anyone reading this interview who is thinking of starting their own business or joining Girl Tribe Gang or similar please just go for it. You won’t regret anything if you try but you will have so many regrets if you don’t and never know. Also, if you have taken the leap and things aren’t going the way you want, don’t give up! There are so many people ready to help you, you just have to reach out. Don’t give up.”

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