'My hobby grew into something much more'

EACH week the Evening Times will turn the spotlight on one of the dozens of local businesses determined to succeed.

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Justyna Zwijacz-Kozica
Justyna Zwijacz-Kozica

They are the future for Glasgow and the west of Scotland's economy and are working hard to achieve success in the face of continuing economic hardship. Many businesses are struggling because of the downturn, and this column will offer advice for potential start-ups and small businesses.

Each company will answer the same questions about their business and their answers will appear in the Evening Times each Wednesday.

This week we talk to photographer Justyna Zwijacz-Kozica.

Who are you?

I'm Justyna Zwijacz- Kozica, a children's photographer specialising in newborns, babies and toddlers. I also work part-time as an assistant civil engineer and I'm a mum of two boys.

What do you do?

I do the photo sessions with the little models, using various props (baskets, outfits, hats, etc.) and backdrops.

This trend came to UK from the USA a few years ago and is getting very popular now, especially among new parents who want to have their newborns photographed while they are still tiny, cute and innocent.

Where are you based?

I do the photo sessions at my home studio in Yoker. This works perfectly for me and my little clients as I can keep my costs and prices down.

In a home environment, babies feel comfortable and warm (which is very important for newborns). Everything is at hand and it's also nice to have a cup of tea with parents when the baby needs a break.

How did you get started?

I started my business in December 2012, but I was interested in children's photography long before then. I'm a bit of perfectionist so I'd been preparing for over a year to get ready.

At that time I attended various photography, retouch and studio lighting courses at the City of Glasgow College.

I bought a professional lighting set up and a number of photo props.

I practiced in my living room and built up my portfolio by taking photos of my friends' children.

What is your background?

When I'm not a photographer I'm an engineer.

Photography has always been my hobby which grew into something more.

What is your top tip?

Do what you're passionate about. Prepare as well as you can and give it a go!

Has anyone helped you get started and how?

My husband gave me my first professional camera as a Christmas gift.

I've attended a workshops organised by Business Gateway.

They helped me with all the formal requirements and opened my eyes to the world of social media. I met an advisor from the Glasgow Regeneration Agency, who guided me through my business plan, and I've been to many Women into Business events.

What was your biggest mistake/or what would you do differently?

For years I was too afraid to start photographing professionally. I thought that having engineering career and being a mum doesn't leave any room for hobby.

Now I see it all works - I can fulfil myself in various roles and I love them all.

Useful contacts

Business Gateway / Women into Business: www.bgateway.com

Glasgow Regeneration Agency now known as Jobs & Business Glasgow: www.jbg.org.uk

My contact details

Kozica Photography, www.kozicaphotography.com, j.z.kozica@gmail.com

Business

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