Photography student wins funds for start up

November 16, 2020 - Jane Moore

Jamie Agnew, a former HND Photography student, is one of the latest to receive a grant of £5000 from the Ayrshire College Foundation Enterprising Student’s Fund to help him start up his own business.

Based in Ayr, Jamie specialises in equestrian photography. Here he gives us an insight into his business, Jamie Agnew Photography, and his plans for the future.

My business

I always had my business running throughout my time studying Photography at Ayrshire College, but never really thought of it as a proper viable business at that time.

I have grown up around horses, and always pottered about, taking photos for local equestrian businesses and friends, when I found out that this kind of photography was actually really sought after. I’m based in the middle of equestrian country in Ayrshire and now, equestrian photos make up around 90% of my work.


It really helps that I’m also a qualified equestrian coach and I’m able to understand exactly the kind of photos that customers are looking for. It’s quite a specialised market and I believe I’m the only equine photographer who is also a qualified riding coach in Scotland. That’s where my edge is.


I’ve always had the passion to start my own business. My mum’s self-employed too, so I think my inspiration stems from helping her look after the promotional side of her business.

During the photography course at college, one of the things we looked at was advertising your business, so that encouraged me to think about starting up fully on my own.


The obvious challenge this year has been Covid-19. However, I’ve found that people had a bit more time during lockdown and so I was kept busy taking photos. The bonus was that I could still work and be socially distanced from my customers, so although events were cancelled, I was able to continue.

Since lockdown I have produced my business website Jamie Agnew Photography, as well as concentrating on my Facebook and Instagram pages.


The funding that I received from the Enterprising Students fund was fantastic to get, but it was also the advice I got that has created so many opportunities for me. Lynn Kelly from Bridge 2 Business provided the support I needed, and the confidence I have now is invaluable.

After examining my business plan, I know my business inside out now, which has really helped me focus on where I want to be.

It has also meant that I’ve been able to buy an onsite printer, which will help me to provide a whole package for the customer, taking photos and printing them out straight away is great.

Future Aspirations

In the short term, with the pandemic situation, I plan to stay the course. Long-term, I’m booked into equestrian events around the country next year and beyond. I’ve been lucky as any shows cancelled this year have been postponed until 2021.

I plan to take on a member of staff and go wherever I’m required to be honest, from events in Clydemuirshiel Park, Strathaven, Glasgow, Edinburgh to the north of England!

If you have been inspired by Jamie and would like to find out more about the Enterprising Students Fund, read more here.

If you're looking for Christmas gift ideas, Jamie has the following offers on his gift cards until Christmas:

Basic photoshoot - £65 instead of £70, saving £5

Standard photoshoot - £80 instead of £90m saving £10

Deluxe photoshoot - £120 instead of £150, saving £30

Contact Jamie on his website 

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