Victoria Rose has lived many lives as a photographer. She started out by shooting weddings, before moving into brand photography. But while in the trenches, she found much of the work done by her contemporaries to be carbon copies of each other. Tired of images that looked like stock photos, Rose decided to adopt a new approach to her work when she launched Flaunt and Flourish: by asking her clients – especially the entrepreneurs – who they wanted to become, and what they were working towards. This method gave her photo shoots new life, as her subjects embodied their aspirational future selves once in front of the camera. While the Girvan, Scotland-based photographer has faced a number of challenges to her business in recent years due to the pandemic and a relocation following a divorce, she is working her way toward a place of self-assuredness.
Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.
How is your business different from others in your industry?
My focus is on the person I’m photographing – who they are, and who they want to be. I have this idea that if we visually manifest who we want to become, and see ourselves as that person, we’ll be more inspired to get to that next level and less inclined to fall victim to imposter syndrome. I’m a photographer at heart, but I love working with female entrepreneurs and helping them to see who it is they want to become.
Tell us about your biggest success so far.
Seeing people’s reactions to the photos I’ve taken for them! It fills me with joy.
On a personal level, being able to get a mortgage on my own. I separated from my husband in July 2022, and at the time I thought my world was about to collapse. I was rejected from a rental property, and assumed a mortgage was out of the question. But with my accounts from 2021, I was able to fulfill a dream of living by the sea. I lost a lot of confidence at the time due to everything that was going on – but ultimately, I still believe in myself. I’m now working to get myself back to a place of confidence.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
My personal situation meant having to rebuild the business in a new location. This, on top of everything else, has made the business difficult for me to sustain. I feel I’ve lost the momentum I had built prior to the summer of 2022, and it’s been hard to pull myself out of that slump and to motivate myself.
What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs?
I wish I hadn’t tried to do it all alone, and that I’d learned to value networking sooner. I thought networking was all about selling – so avoided it until I had no choice!
How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?
I imagine what I once said I had wanted – and then look around me, and see that it’s what I already have.
What is your go-to song to get motivated on tough days?
“Let the Good Times be Never Ending” by The Charlatans.
Who is your most important role model?
Laura Robinson of Worditude is a copywriter who I’ve watched grow over the last two years. Seeing how far she’s come, and the way her business has taken shape, makes me feel encouraged. I also admire Laura Maginess of Glasgow Girls Club, who started a Facebook group many years ago and has now created a fantastic network of business women in the Glasgow area from it. ◼