Owner of Haley Photography
Primarily a wedding photographer based in the Durham Region servicing clients in the Southern Ontario area. Joanne also creates and manages styled shoots for other photographers. This helps photographers build their portfolio to grow their businesses and to create to community that shares their knowledge.
Why did you think you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
It runs in my family, I grew up and saw how successful my family was in their businesses. I just knew that I would work for myself eventually. I did not start out as a wedding photographer, a few clients asked if I could shoot a wedding for them and then it just grew from there.
What success are you most proud of?
We were proud to be officially selected by MOD Weddings as Canada’s Best Wedding Photographer.
How did BACD help you get started?
Coming in to meet with BACD encouraged me to take the leap of faith, that I could do this and be successful at it. I follow their Facebook posts which have been very helpful in keeping me abreast of entrepreneurial topics and helping augment my skills and knowledge.
What has worked for you in marketing your business so far?
Networking has been huge for me and building relationships with other wedding industry professionals. I found that creating the best client experience possible for my clients helped increase my referrals and my reputation.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
You have to really plan well in advance and know your financials. It took me 3 years to get started. Prepare yourself to put in many hours of extra work, it’s all up to you. I find it challenging to run my own business with two small children, but it’s the main reason I wanted to work for myself as I can be flexible with my schedule.
So when is the right time for you? The truth is that might not happen. Life is hectic with managing a home, events, family, financial planning and just keeping yourself generally organized to allow time to focus on what’s really important. There is really no right time, just signs it may work. At some point you have to be prepared to take a leap of faith and invest your time into you and your business.
What was more difficult than you thought it would be?
I knew what to expect as my parents were entrepreneurs owning different retail businesses. I saw how hard they worked to make their businesses successful.
Has technology impacted how you conduct business?
Hugely, especially in my equipment. Social Media also has a big impact, it is always changing but it helps me connect with my clients, share my work and it’s a good marketing tool.
Do you have employees? How many?
I do hire a second photographer for large weddings when needed.
What do you do to keep abreast of the changes in your business and in your industry?
My business changes all the time! I research the wedding industry in Europe, I keep abreast of trends in photography and weddings – I look at my brand, new services and keep up with fashion as they all impact my service offering.
Whom do you seek advice from for your business?
My family and I do appreciate the advice I have received from BACD. This is really where (BACD) you should start to plan and prepare yourself to get started.