Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. It’s a journey filled with ups and downs, leaps of faith and mistakes, wins and losses. Documented here are the experiences of Cameron Doane starting his own entrepreneurial venture as a photographer.
His goal was simple: afford himself creative freedom while breaking the shackles of the 9 to 5. It wasn’t an easy task for him, but it was worth fighting for. Especially after that all massive success and almighty dollars that he has been raking in now!
Cameron grew up in small town of Palm City, Florida, and then moved to Durango,CO. He started his first job as a cinema worker, and later moved on to work in network marketing and sales. He had a great job, but his sleep disorder started to become a problem as he got older, and then he found out that you can actually work for yourself and manage your own schedule.
Cameron’s Sleep Disorder, made worse by the stress at work, caused him to give up on his ambitious plans. He quit his 9-5 career to take care of his health and start his own business as a photographer.
“When I started my first job at High Five Cinema in Durango, I was getting around $5.15. But, with a sleep disorder, it was affecting my daily life. I realized I need to do something on my own to be able to work on my terms and schedule. That is when I decided to start my own business”.
The 36-year-old photographer had a knack for photography since his early school days in Tahiti when his mom bought a bunch of old Kodak disposable cameras. After a while, Cameron became so obsessed with photography that he liked to take photos of anything and everything, from landscapes, wildlife, to portraits.
He was neither a professional photographer nor a photo enthusiast back then, but aspired to become one when his inner instinct made him realize that cameras were more than just tools to capture visual memories. “They are also windows to the world.”
Talking about his early days doing photography with the old Kodak cameras, Cameron says:
“I started doing photography when I was 12 when we went to Tahiti. My mom had bought a bunch of disposable cameras, the old Kodak ones. I think I used 90% of those cameras we brought. I absolutely loved the idea of taking pictures!”
Initial days were financially hard with a small amount of assignments coming his way. He used to do wildlife photography, but he always wanted big fashion or glamour brands to hire him for their campaigns. He understood that these types of clients can generate thousands which could help boost his dreams of getting down payments for a luxury lifestyle.
Cameron’s major photography projects involved wildlife. This type of photography usually requires you to spend several days out in the wild trying to get that one shot that captures the essence of the animal in their natural habitat. Building a portfolio of wildlife is a lifelong dedication. Breaking into the modeling industry is not an easy task. It also takes years to build a quality body of work. But with persistence and passion towards modeling, Cameron’s journey began to take shape. Also, he started to earn the trust of the models through his hard work and sincerity. This resulted in becoming a perfect fit for the modeling industry.
“One of the hardest transitions I made was going into the modeling industry. So many people wanted to see previous work and see how good my stuff was with humans but most of all I had just worked with tigers and lions LOL. It pretty much took me convincing some friends who modeled to let me shoot with them. It took a few years for people to really want to shoot with me. It’s not as easy as it sounds to do this professionally.”
Cameron is now the owner of a very successful photography business called “Cameron Doane Photography”. He mostly travels abroad for his shoots and his international exposure has given him a lot of opportunities. Thanks to his excellent photography skills and trustworthy reputation he has landed images in some of the largest and most well known magazines worldwide. Some of these names including Playboy, Maxim, and FHM to name a few.
It is not just the most spectacular sunrise, sunset, or landscape that Cameron photographs. He shoots everything that moves him. The most beautiful moments in life are happening every day. They are happening with your friends, your family, the strangers you meet on the street. Cameron’s photography is an attempt to share his love of life through his camera lens.
“One of the things I love to think about is that when models get older they can look back and realize how amazing their life has been. This is a record book of the things that they got to do in their lifetime. It’s a snapshot of an incredible moment. What an amazing gift to give to someone.”
Cameron’s advices to budding entrepreneurs:
You should never stop wanting to learn. “Be so excited about what you’re learning, and be so committed to it, that you feel compelled to learn more.”
Don’t be egoistic. “If you’re unable to handle your ego, it will kill off any chance you have of success. Your ego can destroy your talent, so you must be aware of it at all times.”
Make things work for you. “You have to figure out how to make things work even when you don’t truly know the outcome. Many times innovation is creating something out of nothing. You don’t know what you’re going to create until you start working on it. You should try to solve the problem at hand. Simply sit down and solve it. The solution may surprise you.”
Be friends with valuable people. “Be careful of the people you choose to surround yourself with. Sometimes people can be toxic. If you surround yourself with people who complain all the time, it will make it easy to be negative and pessimistic instead of optimistic.”
Cameron Doane’s story shows that entrepreneurship is an act of optimism. Face it, most new ventures face initial hardship. If you are not optimistic, you are unlikely to become an entrepreneur. To pursue a dream despite the hardship requires courage. Cowardliness is no good in an entrepreneur. You have to be brave. And even though it is not always the easiest road, the road of entrepreneurship leads to greater riches than any other career