“After finishing college I had spent some time soul searching and trying to decide what it was that I enjoyed doing most, what gave me meaning and purpose and I realised that for me it was photography.”
After spending some time in college and in various job roles, Roisin Murphy O’Sullivan made the brave decision to set up her own photography business in 2019.
Roisin was born in 1992 in Kilkenny, in rural Ireland, where she spent her youth enjoying living close to her grandparents who kept animals. After moving to Dublin and Galway to attend university, Roisin realised that she was not really interested in pursuing a career related to her studies. She then took on different retail and customer service positions: she worked part-time during summers and throughout college and fulltime afterwards but did not find these roles rewarding.
Roisin always had a passion for photography and began to grow her expertise in this area. She spent every penny she had buying pieces of equipment, some new and some second-hand, to allow her to practice and hone her skills. She offered free portraits to family and friends, did small jobs for local bands and eventually built up her portfolio of work.
After college, she then decided to move to Dublin’s Inner city and become self-employed, despite knowing that she would need support. Following a difficult period of over one year being unemployed and receiving state support, Roisin heard about Inner City Enterprise (ICE) through the local Social Welfare office.
Roisin contacted ICE and signed up to their Young Entrepreneurs four-week programme last year. Over the course of this programme, she gained valuable personal development skills such as leadership, resilience, communication and teamwork. She also attended business training in sales, marketing, social media and finances.
Following the programme Roisin set up Imagery by Ro, her photography business, focusing on music and band photography as well as covering events.
Roisin is proud of how far she’s come. Her biggest achievement so far has been being hired to shoot directly for Electric Picnic Music Festival, the biggest music festival in Ireland.
Since launching her business Roisin has also managed to give back to other photographers and young entrepreneurs. Junior photographers in her area have contacted me and asked for her advice on how to get more clients or improve their techniques. As well as this she participated in the most recent Young Entrepreneurs Programme offered by ICE where she shared her story and offered advice speaking on a peer panel.
Roisin has big plans for her business. She wants to focus on growing her client base, working with bigger acts and within the next three years she hopes to hold her own documentary style exhibition dealing with social justice issues that she is passionate about.
Roisin’s advice to budding entrepreneurs is:
”Work hard and do your best every day because there will always be others who want it more than you.”
ICE is a not for profit charity based in Dublin’s inner city which provides support to unemployed people to become self-employed. They offer one to one support meetings, training workshops and events, networking opportunities, access to micro-finance and mentoring services. ICE is part of the Youth Business Europe programme, a regional initiative supported by the Citi Foundation to help young entrepreneurs to start or grow a business.