After working different jobs, experiencing a period of homelessness, and then having his studies disrupted due to the pandemic, Kieran is now achieving his dream of setting up his own photography business.
Kieran, 27, from Dumfries left school early with no direction in life and after dropping out of college due to his lack of interest in the course, began to work at a job that required long hours, different shift patterns and that he had no enjoyment in.
After 20 months of feeling miserable, he quit, aged just 17, left home and had to couch surf as he had nowhere to live. Drifting from job to job, Kieran decided to study for an HNC in Computing, but it wasn’t until 2017 that he discovered his real passion was photography.
Kieran said: “I remember the feeling I had inside, thinking that I did not want to spend the rest of my life doing this job. I was only 17 at the time but I knew I couldn’t continue. I did slip off the rails in a sense because I had even less of a direction to where my life was going but the last thing I wanted to do was get another job that made me feel like that one did. Discovering photography completely changed my life. I’ve worked so many different jobs and always had the feeling that this isn’t for me and that I won’t be doing this the rest of my life but when I discovered Photography, I just finally felt like I found my thing.”
Enrolling in college to learn more about Photography Kieran gained his HNC then moved away from his hometown for the first time to live in Aberdeen to begin an HND. Through this he had the opportunity to travel to Paris and he was feeling optimistic about his future.
But the pandemic forced Kieran to temporarily move back to Dumfries with his partner after his course was cut short. After returning to Aberdeen in September and beginning the steps to build his business, Kieran was severely impacted by the loss of one his best friends in December, as it came as such a shock to him. After the loss Kieran experienced, he has vowed to begin mental health projects raising awareness for men's suicide and wants to work with organisations in helping this cause.
Reaching out to The Prince’s Trust he enrolled onto the Enterprise programme and with the help of Trust staff and volunteers he now has a business plan, finance skills and a direction of where his business is going.
He added: “I researched online about the support The Prince’s Trust provide for young people starting their own business. Reading the stories of young people on the website really gave me confidence that I could do it too. I had my business idea and needed somewhere to go with it and after looking at the options I felt that The Trust would be the right choice.
“My ambitions for the future are to be self-employed full time and become an established Photographer & Videographer throughout Aberdeen and eventually Scotland. I also want to help businesses in the hospitality industry get back on their feet after the lockdowns and restrictions and help them bounce back from it all.”