I was always a very creative and curious child, and that desire to creatively express myself evolved over the years. When I was in high-school, I was enrolled in a Communications Technology class where I was introduced to filmmaking and photography on a more serious, academic level. When I realized that playing with cameras and telling stories could be a career for me, I ran with the idea. I continued to take the Communications Technology classes that were offered at my school until graduation, and then furthered my knowledge in film and photography in post-secondary education and self-taught practices. Shortly after graduation, I started professionally taking photos in my hometown for friends and family, and independently produced short films. While I experimented with this side-hustle of photography and filmmaking on and off for a couple of years, I wasn't feeling very fulfilled or challenged in my creative endeavours. This lead to me upending my life, moving abroad to Berlin, Germany and studying filmmaking for a year in a foreign country. Studying abroad was incredibly beneficial for me on both personal and professional levels; I'm now able to collaborate on film projects internationally, and as my studies in film largely revolved around cameras and their functions, I was able to bring my knowledge and newfound confidence with me when I moved home and apply that in my everyday practices as a photographer. When I initially delved into the world of entrepreneurship and started my photography business, Jade Morash Photography, a lot of it really sparked from me just wanting to play with cameras and light and see what magic I could capture behind the lens.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
The biggest hurdle that I've had to learn to overcome was becoming comfortable with self-promotion. When I first started photography professionally, I would do a lot of work behind the scenes that I was always very apprehensive of sharing with the world. Whether it was the post-production work I did on an edit, developing my website, creating social media content -- essentially anything where I had to be like, "Hey! Look at me and all these things I do!" -- absolutely terrified me. There were many, many baby steps and little victories when I first started to really push myself and get comfortable with promoting my work. My ability to get comfortable with self-promotion stemmed from the necessity to grow my brand and my business; I realized that if I wanted to further develop my brand and business, I had to promote myself and my work, otherwise I couldn't expect to gain any growth or new clients.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I'm collaborating on a screenplay with my colleagues abroad, so I've been reading and rereading Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field, and The Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier. For anyone thinking about diving into the world of entrepreneurship, I'd recommend reading The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I'm one of the few lucky ones who is surrounded by incredibly supportive friends and family. They're always the first ones to lend a hand or promote my work!
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
I think the most influential factor in my success was when I became confident in my work and comfortable with promoting my brand and business, I saw a huge upswing in demand for my services.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Patience is a virtue. It doesn't happen overnight.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
I think that any upcoming entrepreneur can benefit from learning how to effectively network both locally and internationally. Becoming an active member of your community will open up doors for you when it comes to local networking; people won't know your name or your business unless you tell them, so get out there and offer your services to your fellow independent business owners and see how you can collaborate on projects! These days, there are countless social media apps and online resources for you to connect with people internationally and work on projects together, you'd be surprised by how many Facebook groups exist looking to hire independent professionals in all venues.