29 Apr Wendy McDougall Photography
Question: What does your business produce or supply?
My business is all about photography, working on commission and in a creative sense. Enjoying a 40-year career I have just started offering Photography Workshops to share my skills and knowledge.
Question: What motivated you to start your business?
When still in high school I was introduced to photography. I made a clear decision to do something that I loved and therefore made this medium my career. After just a few years working in photo labs I went full time freelance. I connected the subject I loved – music – with photography, becoming one of the few people working in music industry at the time, and have ventured through life from that point. No matter where photography has taken me, such as theatre, film and television, music has always been around in some capacity.
Question: When you think about your business, what keeps you awake at night times?
You learn quickly that life is a roller coaster ride as a freelance worker. Acknowledging where you are on the ride is key, and making sure you stay on the ride is probably what keeps me awake.
Question: What has your business taught you personally?
Even though I am sole trader as such, my business has taught me skills of being a team player, how to collaborate and listen, that everyone has a different point of view on life and everything, and not many people like having their photo taken!
Question: What’s a recent business success that you have you had, that has motivated you to keep going?
in 2018 I was award the inaugural AWMA [Australian Women in Music Award] for Best Music Photographer. Canon Australia was a major sponsor for the awards and as such asked if we could do something together. The result of this conversation was they sponsored an exhibition that was held in Sydney and Melbourne during 2019. This was a retrospective of 40 years of my music photography. The shows were a great success so a 192 page book was produced. COVID-19 put a stop to all my marketing and distribution plans so this is one thing I am currently resurrecting, amongst other photography ideas. To have the support of a major company was overwhelming really, and even though I now hold the reigns of all the events and components of this series of work I’m really enjoying reliving the memories and sharing the images with the world.
No matter what facet of my work I do, each feed the other, though COVID put a definite stop on just about everything I was planning, so the new challenge is to reinvent myself. That’s the ride I’m currently on.
Question: How do you feel about the future of your business, say in the next 3 years?
Often as a freelancer, just one success, or sniff of an opportunity, help drives you forward. Right now with all my new ideas on the table I’d like to think that at least one area will excel if not all of them – Workshops & Consultations, new exhibitions & book sales, selling my artworks as well as finding new clients for commissions. If not, it won’t be from lack of trying.
Question: How does (has) your relationship with SRBEC helped you and your business?
SRBEC, and in particular for me that means Narelle Blackadder, was without doubt my lifesaver during COVID in 2020, and she continues to this day to give me encouragement and inspiration with real ideas & strategies.
What I’ve written here seems to be a positive story, and it is in many ways when you condense the good parts together, plus I am certainly proud of what I have achieved, but between the lines there have been times when I could feel the bottom of the barrel with seemingly no air holes. In 2020 they were deeper than ever, but with every zoom meeting with Narelle I was helped out of that dark place, to follow my ideas, dreams and skills that she could see a mile away. Confidence building is an understatement of what Narelle and SRBEC gave me, I feel this in barrel loads after every meeting. Showing you how to understand your own worth is their super skill.
I’ve not ever had a real business head but rather I just hop from job to job and project to project. For me doing the work is the important part, not the cash flow chart. If I can pay the rent then all is ok. I had no idea that the type of service SRBEC offer ever existed but when a friend mentioned there was some support available last year I figured I had nothing to lose but have a conversation with them. It was now one of the best calls I’ve ever made.
Looking at the positive impact SRBEC has had on my life I would love to see this service made clearer, by those that fund it, that it is in fact available to everyone, and in particular let the arts and entertainment sectors know, as they have no idea about the service.
Wendy’s contact details are as follows:
0403 842 695