Wow wow wow I’m feeling very overwhelmed right now. To say this all feels real would be a lie, to have my own studio has been a dream for such a long time and one that I never actually thought might become reality.
My studio opening was officially on the 21st September 2019 (making sure I pop that date in there so I never forget it!!) and I was so pleasantly surprised to see so many new faces walk through the door all wanting to see the Oh Baby space, and even better, 2 double pushchairs arrived that fit through the door! So I take that as a double success!!
So, in the midst of the opening I thought I’d give a little run down as to how Oh Baby began because this was a question I got asked I think about 10 times on Saturday, and it’s a story I love to tell, because it shows my journey from then to now.
So, hobby wise, photography has always been something I have LOVED. For GSCE, I took art, not that I could draw, but because I needed that little bit of a creative fix. Throughout the year I actually somehow managed to persuade my lovely teacher to let me include photography in my final piece, which is something I’m actually super proud of because after that, photography actually became a part of the course itself, for future young creatives to enjoy.
Continuing down the line, A-Level photography was of course a must and then again, Degree Level photography of course. I graduated this summer with a 2:1, and a whole lotta life experience. The craziest part is, is that when I started uni I wrote down my goals for after graduation. The first one being, “To graduate with a 2:1. A 2:2 is good but 2:1 would be ideal and I’ll be super happy with that”. Check. Secondly, “To find something within the photography world that I love, something that I’ll never get bored of”. Check. (To be honest that was the hardest one!) Thirdly, to have a studio….CHECK. That was me being super SUPER optimistic and writing this now it actually gives me shivers because I genuinely never thought any of these things would happen. Honestly.
In the summer of my 2nd University year, just about to enter final year, I was so stuck on what I wanted to do. We were told to enter final year with a clear idea in our heads of what path we’d take after we graduated and I just felt like everyone knew except for me, I’d never stuck to one idea trying everything out and never finding anything I was happy with. I spoke to so many of my tutors and never found anything I truly loved, being as stubborn as I am I wasn’t going to do something I didn’t enjoy, haha!
I remember it was one day whilst I was working with my dad for the summer, we were all sat around eating lunch and I mentioned how I’d enjoyed photographing a friends little boy a few years back and that it’d be something I’d like to do again...that same lunch break my mum, dad & myself all came up with the idea of Oh Baby and by 5pm that day I’d made a website and a Instagram/Facebook account in the business name - it all happened kinda fast, and it was a super productive way of using the office day haha!
I posted on my Facebook that lunchtime if anyone would be interested in having their little one photographed and oh my gosh I was so shocked at the response, within the next week I’d already done 3 photo shoots. Still I didn’t really think of it as a job and more of a hobby but my name was getting out there and being shared daily.
My final year at uni was a bit of a weird one, I was only really there for the degree, I now had my idea and my vision of what I wanted to create and I would do anything to get it. I can honestly say in my final year of being at uni in Manchester I did not spend one weekend there. For a student, I think that’s pretty rare. I didn’t want to go out, I’d rather come home and build my business and clientele back here (as well as see my family and boyfriend of course, hahaha!) I wouldn’t change a thing, I know a lot of people would think that was strange and that while I was there I should’ve just stayed and enjoyed my final few months, but I knew what I wanted to create. I didn’t know if it would happen, but I can truly say it wouldn’t if I hadn’t put in all the hours and all of the miles to and from Manchester every weekend.
It’s actually now 15 months since my first post on social media revealing my new venture and wow a lot has happened.
This new studio is my ACTUAL dream and everything I wanted and more. I may have annoyed my mum & dad along the way with my somewhat crazy ideas ideas and vision for what I wanted, but it’s all worked out SO so perfectly and it’s better than I ever envisioned, although I do apologise, mum and dad, for being so strong willed!
I just want to thank every single one of my clients so far that has believed in me and the work I create, you’ve all helped to make this become possible and made me believe that what I can create is worth working so hard for, something I’ve never really thought throughout my study or work life. To all the uni tutors that didn’t think photographing babies was a strong career choice, well what can I say? Look at me now! I have both a degree and a business to go along with it. It really shows to stick to what you believe in and what you love doing.
I know I keep saying it but I honestly can’t believe the studio is officially open, I can’t wait to see all of the babies, all of the families and all of the love come into the studio, photographing these special moments really is a privilege to me and I appreciate it every single day!