Tell us about your business and how it started?
I've always played with photography on the side, especially while working in shift work as a police officer in Darwin (hence the copper bit in the name), but bit the bullet so to speak and jumped in head first with Copper.Co Photography after relocating to NSW in 2020.
What is your biggest achievement in business?
Growing my business from the ground up. It's amazing to look back every 12 months and see the work that we have produced for our couples and their families.
What challenges or hurdles have your faced in business?
One of my favourite things about this business, is the ability to travel to my couples. When I started my business, I knew no-one in the town I had moved to. It has provided the ability to meet those in my community, to support other small businesses and to connect with people from across Australia. I love that my business can be flexible in an ever changing world and am excited about the opportunities to come.
What do you wish you knew before you started your business?
It may feel like one step forward, two steps back... but eventually you look back and it's all progress or learning.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of owning your own business?
Contributing to such an important moment in peoples lives. Other vendors you have at your wedding for an hour, maybe two - your photographers and videographers are the only people you see more of than your other half.
It's a very personal role on a wedding day and impacts the way you remember it greatly. Get someone who makes you laugh, who will cheer you on whole-heartedly and will be your biggest cheerleader. It's more than the end product.
What is your next big challenge/project?
2022 is going to see some massive changes to the business. We're looking to focus more on our couples and offer increased travel options once things (hopefully) begin to get back to normal. We will be doing weddings across NSW, the north coast, into the Northern Territory and more. I'm excited to help couples let their individuality shine in their celebration.
What impact has COVID-19 had on your business and how have your changed your direction?
COVID had a huge impact on the wedding industry and I think many couples have reevaluated what is really important on a big day.
I've had to pivot to more family and newborn photography work, but I'm keen to connect with more couples booking destination weddings around Australia now the borders are opening up again.
It has allowed me though to diversify into wedding videography, and in 2022 we have a stack of weddings booked that will include either full day coverage or a snippet as part of their photography package. It's been a fun project to dive into.
What do you love about your product/service?
That the more that time passes, the more important my product/service is.
What are your favourite work tools?
I do all my photo editing in Adobe Photoshop and video in Adobe Premier Pro, and would be lost without these. I'm not sure it's a tool, but I also love disappearing down the YouTube rabbit-hole.
What does success mean to you?
Flexibility. Yes, I work every day and more hours than I ever thought was possible. But the ability to control your own day/bookings and schedule... it's everything I could ever want.
In moments of self doubt, how do you build yourself back up?
I remember that no-one else is going to do the work for me. If you want to keep moving forward, you have to stand up.
What is the best piece of business advice you were given?
I'm not sure who said it originally but I read it in a book by Emma Isaacs - 'Do something every day that scares you'.
What are you currently reading, watching or listening to?
I'm a podcast addict as I can listen while I edit. Shows include Just the Gist, Even the Rich, Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. Reading, it's been a while but I'm waiting on the new Emma Isaacs book to arrive in the post.
What do you love most about where you live?
The ability to jump in the car and be ANYWHERE else within a days drive. Coming from Darwin previously, this is huge.
How can women support other women?
By silencing that voice that says we need to compete. There are so many talented women, particularly in rural Australia, who are too scared to make the leap. They don't need anyone's judgement on top of that. I want more people to ask, really ask, 'how it's going?, what do you need help with, what are your hopes and dreams? And to support that.
I love what you (OAK Magazine) are doing here too. Women supporting women is exactly what our world needs right now.
Ashley Molloy is the founder of Copper.Co Photography. Based in the Central West NSW, Ashley is a travelling photographer who is all about getting the girls in the frame… whether it's family photos, special events or a creative shoot.
Book a wedding videography package in 2022 and receive 30% discount when you mention OAK Magazine. Offer valid until February 28 2022.