My Dog saved my Business.

Becoming just a Statistic.

Just 2 months into my business and I heard this from a  successful family photographer: “80% of new photographers don’t make it past their first year in business” and by the end of my first year I was ready to give up. Not because I didn’t have work, but I certainly didn’t have enough to justify the expense and time that my business was taking.  And I’d come to realise the enormity of what it means to run your own business. Not to take photographs, that is just the tip of the iceberg, but what goes on behind the scenes. The marketing, branding, social media networking, running your website etc etc.. The list is endless!

Meanwhile, in my family life, my husband and I had decided we couldn’t wait any longer to get a dog. That was when Pippa, a gorgeous 2 year old Cocker Spaniel needing a new home as her owner was terminally ill, came into our lives. The hope was that she would complete the family and give us a reason to go on long walks in our fabulous Suffolk countryside. But what I realise now is that without her, Belinda Grant Photography wouldn’t be where it is now.


Cocker Spaniel in the Snow

Giving me Time

We all know that fresh air and exercise is good for us and when we first got a dog I felt that the dog walk was a luxury that I needed just to get away from the housework. Now I realise that as much as Pippa needs it, so do I. It’s the most productive 40 minutes of my day. Whilst walking, I run through so much of my business. Ideas for blogs (including this one!), family shoots and marketing and making a plan for my business. This is when I have most of my eureka moments!! I come back from the walk feeling motivated and have nurtured this to help my business grow and be a success.

So as much as I would rather not go out when it’s chucking down with rain, I make myself and Pippa go for at least 20 minutes every day. It’s our team meeting with no interruptions! We also use our walk to find some amazing locations for outdoor family photo shoots around Suffolk and Essex and Pippa is amazing at sniffing out a good bench!

Family Photographer in Suffolk

She’s been known to do a bit of modelling too!!

Cocker spaniel in the snow in Suffolk

Outdoor Family Photographer Belinda Grant

My Timekeeper

I have to put my hands up to say that I’m rubbish at taking breaks from my screen. I try and even have a timer by my desk but I’m still guilty of saying “just 5 more minutes” which turns into half an hour.  I found I was staying at my desk just to try to build my business but getting deeper into a negative rut. https://www.belindagrantphotography.co.uk/screen-time-can-bring-on-a-migraine-my-experience/

Pippa seems to have an internal clock when it comes to her naps. She’s taken up ownership of the sofa next to my desk whilst I’m working and after a 30 minute nap I feel this wet nose beside me with her tail wagging furiously and she won’t leave me alone until I’ve moved away from my screen, giving me that much needed break so that I’m more productive when I go back to it.

My spaniel the time keeper

My Therapist

Whether I just haven’t woken up in the best frame of mind, my computer just keeps saying ‘NO‘ and things just aren’t going my way, Pippa is always there to say ” It’s OK. You’re doing great. Keep going!”  Having a dog is the therapy that I need and she’s on-call 24/7 whenever I need her. Don’t get me wrong, a dog is a big commitment, but so is running your own business. I wouldn’t like to call Pippa an ‘investment’ but I know she’s invaluable to my business. As much as she needed a rescue home, I also needed rescuing from giving up on my business. We really are a team and I wouldn’t be without her……..I can feel a wet nose next to me…….time to take a break!


Belinda Grant Photographer

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