Name: Gillian Cross
Gillian Cross Photography and Gillian Cross Art
Twitter name: www.twitter.com/GillianCrossX
Where are you in the North East? Newcastle upon Tyne
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a wedding, portrait, special occasions and product photographer covering Newcastle, Northumberland and Durham.
I am an artist selling original artwork, prints and cards of North East scenes, elephants and abstract landscapes. I also design colouring books for adults and take watercolour commissions.
When did you start your business and why?:
I started my photography business in 2009 after working for other photographers for 12 years. I had gone back part time after having our son and found that things had changed and I wasn’t happy. So I became self-employed, concentrating on weddings, to begin with.
Working for myself also gave me the opportunity to spend more time painting and drawing. I started actively promoting the art side of the business in 2015.
What gives your business the edge?:
Being a photographer and an artist, I’m a very creative person with an eye for composition and detail. I love images and know how important it is to capture special moments in people’s lives.
What is the best thing about running your own business?:
The best thing is being able to do what I want, when I want, and having the flexibility to work around my son. I also love providing my customers with images, either photos or artwork, that they love and will cherish forever.
And what is the worst!?:
Not knowing where your next job is coming from and when.
Describe a typical day running your business and balancing family life:
I do most of the school runs so my work day starts around 9am. I tend to split the day – photography in the morning and art in the afternoon. Of course this is flexible. I’d like to say that work stops after the afternoon school run, but that’s not always the case.
How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?:
I’m hoping to do more fine art portraiture on the photography side. I hope to have some artwork on merchandise such as notebooks and diaries and I would love to see my elephant paintings on mugs and teapots in a High Street shop!
Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business?:
Just do it…and get out to some networking meetings. The support I have had and the friends I’ve made are amazing and I wish I’d got out networking sooner!