Guest Blogger: Ceri & Pure Essence Photography about starting out, fitting in chemotherapy treatments and staying close to horses…

Where to start???

I thought for this post I’d share with you the trials, tribulations and steep technological learning curve I’ve been though in my efforts to get my photography business off the ground.

I worked happily and contentedly with horses for about 13 years before making the difficult decision to leave and set up my photography business. I’d been doing more and more portrait work with friends and family and was loving it. This combined with my ever decreasing bouncability lead me to decide to take the risk and make the leap.


This was a difficult decision for many reasons. Firstly, I genuinely loved and would miss horses, I would also be financially worse off as I’d always had accommodation provided with the job and I would have to move away from the idyllic countryside lifestyle I was used to into a more affordable and convenient for finding work area. However, I felt I’d reached a point in my life where it was now or never and I felt it was worth the sacrifice.

It was obviously going to take a while to build up the business but, as I’m sure you all know, jobs with horses are generally not flexible enough to allow for much else. So, in June last year I left the horses and took a job in a supermarket which allowed me the flexibility I needed. I gave myself a couple of quiet months to settle into my new life and then set about making plans……… as usual the plans didn’t exactly go to plan!

In November of last year I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Needless to say, this news rather stopped my plans in their tracks. With operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy I was in for the long haul and life was on hold for a while!

In May this year a great chap called Doug Chinnery (, who I had previously done a couple of landscape workshops with, sadly had a nasty accident resulting in a rather serious broken leg. To fill the time while he was out of action Doug was running 1 to 1 workshops at his home. One of which was aimed at people wanting to set up a photography business. Although Doug now specializes in landscapes he has previously done portrait work and has a background in marketing. He has also built a hugely successful business based on hard work, a great service, word of mouth and fantastic use of social media. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to get his help.

In that one day I learnt more aspects and potential earning routes for my photography than I ever thought existed. Doug also gave me loads of things I could research and start to put in place for when I was better and ready to get back to work. I went home a little overwhelmed but incredibly inspired. I set up a Facebook page and Twitter account, found someone to build me a website, had business cards printed, researched stock photography companies and bought a new camera, lenses and software. I’m a bit technologically challenged so there was a lot to learn…. Still I had plenty of time on my hands!

So, with all this to concentrate on time soon passed, my chemotherapy is now complete and I can’t wait to get out there and start creating wonderful images for people!

PHOTO Copyright: Pure Essence Photography

My website is now up and running (thanks to giant squid designs ) so please check it out to find more about my services. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter @PureEssPhoto.

Thanks for reading, comments are always welcome!

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