At the age of just 23, Ciara Doone Rush took a leap of faith by starting up her own photography business, specialising in Equestrian photography and videography.
‘I have always had a huge interest in photography and got my first decent camera whilst travelling. Following on from that, having worked for Canon and gaining a huge amount of experience I started setting up projects and building up a portfolio… Horses are another passion of mine and so there were so many ticked boxes, I couldn’t not look to set up my own business specialising in Equestrian photography!’
Using a combination of video and photography, Doone Rush Photography offers tailor made shoots for Equines and their Humans, both at competitions and at home. She uses the close bond between the pair to capture and document dynamic and powerful action moments, as well as producing stand alone pieces of art.
Prior to starting up her business, Ciara worked in theatre, film and TV and had always been involved in the creative industry. She went on to work for Canon, further expanding her knowledge and expertise in her chosen field.
With a strong desire not to be tied down to the Monday to Friday routine, she had always wanted to become self-employed.
‘I started talking to people, explaining my idea and constantly brain storming. It was suggested to me that I ought to write a business plan but having no background in business I had little idea as to what that would entail.’
A friend told her about a ‘Meet the Advisor’ drop-in morning The Women’s Organisation was holding in LEAF on Bold Street. Ciara popped in to find out what free start-up support and advice was available to her.
She explained: ‘I was given a one-to-one business advisor who helped me right the way through writing my business plan and helped me to secure some finances through a credit union start up scheme. I attended several courses…including ‘Planning for Success,’ ‘E-marketing,’ ‘Book Keeping’ and ‘Tax and NI.’ I also received a £200 start-up grant,’
‘The Women’s Organisation has been such a positive influence over the past 9 months and I don’t know where I would be without all the lovely ladies! Even now that the business planning is all over, their Business club offers that space and support where you can connect with other like-minded women and share inspiration, advice and learn from people with more experience.’
Doone Rush Photography has gotten off to such a good start that Ciara has been able to leave her part-time job to focus completely on her business. She is now working full time as a photographer, both through her business and freelance. After working endlessly to gain contacts in the North West Equestrian industry, with just moving to Liverpool 18 months ago, the hard work is paying off.
‘I have continually been inspired throughout the year by other photographers and their work as well as other people, women in particular setting up their own businesses… I feel a great deal of pride that I am now self-employed and look forward to everything that is to come with my business.’
The now 24 year old is enjoying the creative freedom and control of being her own boss. Being able to create her own work and decide which projects to embark on, as well as how to go about them, is one of her favourite things about running her own business.
‘It’s empowering, if not a little daunting, that I am in control of my business and the potential that goes with it. I always look forward to ‘going to work’ and love the people and animals I meet and work with on a constant basis.’
With her business in full stride (no pun intended), Ciara’s advice to people considering starting up a business is to ‘write a business plan and to get some support from an organisation like The Women’s Organisation… Getting the right advice from day 1 is essential… You have to be 200% committed if you’re going to make it work.’
If you would like to view Ciara’s work you can visit www.doonerush.co.uk
Or to enquire about her services, contact her directly at email@example.com 07857823296
‘I love to hear from people – whether it’s for advice, opinions, talking about what I offer or just having a good old natter about horses or cameras!’
If you’d like to take control of your career and turn a hobby or passion into a business, contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or firstname.lastname@example.org for free start-up support and training.