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Start Your Business Success Stories

Small Business Snapshot: Lorna Kirkby Photography

Small Business Snapshot: Lorna Kirkby Photography Credit: Lorna Kirby

Company name: Lorna Kirkby Photography
Website: www.lornakirkbyphotography.com.au
Founded when: 2009

Owner and photographer Lorna Kirkby shared the story behind Lorna Kirkby Photography, a photography business that specializes in newborn, maternity and baby photography.

As a newborn photographer, safety is always a priority. Typically, I spend two to three hours posing a delicate little newborn for a client’s photography session. One day, I decided to swim upstream and wrote a novelty article entitled, "How NOT do to a newborn shoot!" which featured four ridiculous pictures of “creepy baby” (a doll normally used for ‘serious’ demonstration purposes). I broke every rule I usually follow and put the doll through a set of vexing and don’t-do-this-ever poses. "Creepy baby" became famous and I discovered the industry had a great sense of humor, as many of my colleagues lauded the novel way I’d promoted the importance of safety.

After five years of freelance work in a wide range of photography endeavors — from wedding and family photography to product and pet photography — I officially opened the doors of my business in 2009. My passion for newborns and mothers-to-be had won out over photographing dogs and beauty products. Within three years, my work with newborns and pregnant moms started receiving national acclaim. Soon thereafter, photographers began seeking out my advice and input, so in 2014, I launched my interstate newborn photography workshops and began mentoring photographers, both newbies and older pros looking for inspiration. At the same time, I started creating resources and writing articles for photographers.

As with many luxury product or service industries, my biggest challenge remains in offering an outstanding product and service at a competitive price. Despite being well-known in Australian newborn photography circles, I have to continue to work hard at producing high quality work that offers value for the money.

My most challenging shoot to date remains trying to keep eight newborn puppies in one spot long enough to capture one decent picture. And the time I was asked by a couple who’d come in for an engagement photography session if I’d photograph them nude was, well, a little awkward. “I’m not that sort of photographer,” was all I can remember saying.