Q + A with...Victoria Murray 📸
From the Department of Ministry to destination weddings and fashion shoots, pro snapper Victoria Murray shares the journey from her first camera purchase to unimaginable opportunities doing what she loves.
Tell us your story...
Before deciding to launch my own business, I was a career Civil Servant, taking the job aged 19 as it was a ‘safe, respectable job for life’. Twelve years in and that wasn’t such an attractive, or true, case anymore. My job was not under threat, I had climbed the ladder quickly and to a great height, but it wasn’t allowing for the life I craved or fulfilling me on a personal level. I wanted more.
When I got married in 2014 I built a friendship with my Wedding Photographer, joking that I could be her first student and make the leap into photography myself.
That same year, one rainy November Sunday, I found myself rushing up Tottenham Court Road to buy a camera before the shop shut.
Fast-forward and my Photography business has been through a rebrand and I’ve just launched Journey To You to help others create the business they desire.
You’re a South East London lass, how did you make your way out to leafy Surrey?
Ali and I moved to Surrey at the end of last year saying goodbye to London, work aside. The move was us embracing the life we wanted, including welcoming Neo - our black Labrador puppy, into our lives in May this year.
What inspires you to do what you do?
Realising that just settling doesn’t make you happy or fulfilled. We only have one life, and it’s a long one, so we should live every second of it to the full. My family are my biggest motivator and spending time with them in a place we love is my constant source of inspiration, especially as I know that what I do for a living helps others to do this to.
What’s an ‘average’ day like for you?
I’m lucky in that my job doesn’t mean I have an ‘average’ day. I could be heading to the airport for a destination photoshoot, to London to meet with a business client to discuss their photography, or a family at a local Surrey park.
Alternatively I could be making a coffee - always a must, walking Neo and then working on my business behind the scenes. It’s the variety and the people I get to meet and work with that makes my days great.
The biggest creative risk you’ve ever taken? What did you learn?
This is a tricky one to answer. Deciding to start this business with no photography background was a big risk - thankfully I had the best mentor and was able to juggle my corporate job with getting the business on its feet. This was also probably the best lesson too though, that nothing happens without taking a risk - big or small, but whilst hard it is always worth it.
Toast - warm or cold?
Warm. It’s a debate we have often at home.
Coffee or tea?
Coffee. I do like a good cup of builders tea though.
Worst advice you’ve ever received?
'You can totally pull off that bodycon dress’. I couldn’t. I can’t. I’ve never worn the dress!
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Never ‘just settle’. It’s not sage and it won’t bring you happiness.
Sorry, it has to be two, The Outsiders and Eat, Pray Love - very different reasons for both.
Tool, service or skill you’ve recently learned or discovered that has significantly improved your working life?
Planoly. Being able to see my Instagram feed as it will appear for the month, before posting a single thing has save me so much time. And it’s free!
Favourite outdoor place to play/visit in Surrey?
This makes me sound so boring, Holloway Hill Rec, Godalming. I love walking Neo up there and seeing the colours of the sky dependent on the time of day, the quietness, and getting to know neighbours and other people in the local community I would never have met had it not been for my four-legged business partner.
Best meal you’ve ever eaten in Surrey?
Brie and Bacon baguette and chips at The Star, Godalming. It was the first place we visited after viewing our home. It was a good lunch but obviously not a fine dining experience. Now we have take our family and friends there when they visit. It’s all about the journey.
Independent business in Surrey you 💖💖💖?
You’re killing me with the limit to one. Godalming Delights. The best ice cream, retro sweets (for family obviously), friendly staff and the best coconut milk cappuccino around.
Where can we find you?