A digital marketing graduate who set up a wedding photography business while studying for her masters degree has quintupled her target bookings and seen the business become a runaway success.
Gemma Austin graduates from the Portsmouth Business School today. She set up the company Cotton Candy Photography with business partner and friend Philippa Parkes as part of her final year project for her masters in digital marketing last December.
When she and her tutor discussed the project initially they set the target of five bookings for 2011. Six months on and she is working for the photography business full-time, has 25 bookings, and more keep rolling in.
Gemma said: “I’d been working as a bid manager for over four years and although I was doing well I really wanted to be working in a more creative industry. So I made the difficult decision to quit my job and go back to University. Embarking on the digital marketing course has been life-changing; I can’t believe how fast the business has grown.
“My friend Philippa had been planning to set up her own freelance photography business and I approached her at first to offer to design, build and market a website. However, as we’re both keen photographers and creatively quite similar we decided to go into business together instead.
“Studying for the digital media marketing course meant I wasn’t just setting up a business from scratch – I was using my knowledge of the design, development and implementation of digital media marketing applications – so I felt confident that I had solid foundations.”
The project incorporated designing an identity, building a website, establishing a brand and an online presence all through the use of various digital media marketing tools.
Cotton Candy Photography specialises in shooting artistic, natural and modern photography for couples who have chosen to do things a little differently.