Ross McCreery was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome. Due to the constant chronic pain of this rare neurological disease, he had to find something he could do that would allow him to continue working within the physical limitations of his disability.
An avid photographer, Ross decided to turn his hobby into a business.
With support from PrairiesCan’s Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program (EDP), Ross learned how to start a business. The EDP is delivered in Regina by the South Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre (SSILC).
The EDP provides:
- one-to-one counselling
- training and development
- help with disability-related needs
Entrepreneurs with disabilities or health conditions find these services helpful to start or expand their business.
Ross’ business has grown from creating custom artwork for clients to include consulting. Ross trains other business owners interested in photography. He teaches them everything from the basics, such as how to operate a camera, to advanced skills, like using image editing to turn their photos into works of art.
In the future, Ross would like to focus more on helping other entrepreneurs. He has learned a lot about how to start and grow a business through the EDP. Now, he wants to pay it forward by sharing what he’s learned with other entrepreneurs with disabilities.
Ross is grateful for the support from SSILC. He says it not only helped him grow his business but also find his self-esteem and build his confidence.
Ross turned his hobby—what he enjoys doing—into a business that fits into his new reality. This helped him find a renewed sense of purpose and cope with the challenges of living with his disability. Some days are good and some days are not, but Ross is now able to balance the physical demands and limitations of his disability with a business that he loves.
Transcript: PrairiesCan's Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program helps a photographer grow his business and support others
Shots appear of a snow-covered aerial view of Regina, Saskatchewan, Ross McCreery walking and carrying photography equipment outside and a close-up of Ross speaking.
Ross McCreery – photographer and entrepreneur, Ross McCreery Photography (voiceover, then on-screen): My name is Ross McCreery. I am an entrepreneur. I opened my own photography business called Ross McCreery Photography.
Shots appear of Ross’ scenic and landscape photography.
ROSS MCCREERY: I do custom work—landscape and scenic are the two that really I focus on mainly but I create custom pieces for clients just based on what they want to see in their home.
Shots appear of Ross using a camera and taking photos outside and then a close-up of Ross speaking.
ROSS MCCREERY: Complex regional pain syndrome is the disease that I was diagnosed with and it's a rare neurological disease. Really, what it is, in a nutshell, is constant chronic pain that I live with. I needed to create something, or find something, that I could do that would enable me to work within the parameters of my disability.
Exterior shots appear of the South Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre, Ross taking photos and walking with camera equipment outside and Ross’ scenic photography.
ROSS MCCREERY: The South Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre works with people with disabilities to self-identify goals and to achieve those goals with confidence. They have given me the time that I needed to get my business off the ground, they've given me amazing resources in developing a strong business plan, strong mentorship and to work within the physical limitations of my disability.
Shots appear of Ross taking photos outside, the Ross McCreery Photography website, Ross providing consultation services to clients and editing photos on a laptop.
Ross McCreery: Ross McCreery Photography has gone from being a business where I sold my images to consultation services that I provide for clientele now. I teach a business owner that's interested in photography how to run the basics of a camera, right from the basics of exposure to more in depth when it comes to things like Photoshop.
Shots appear of Ross providing consultation services to clients and one of Ross’ scenic photos.
ROSS MCCREERY: Moving forward, I would like to spend more time with consulting. I want to start working with other businesses, businesses that have staff that might have disabilities and want to look at starting up their own businesses.
Shots appear of Ross taking photos outside, providing consultation services and then a close-up of Ross speaking.
ROSS MCCREERY: South Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre was not only key in helping me grow my business, but in helping me find my self-esteem and, in turn, I was able to help other entrepreneurs with disabilities.
South Saskatchewan Independent Living Centre logo appears on screen.
Twitter logo appears with text on screen:
Prairies Economic Development Canada Wordmark appears on screen.
Animated Canada Wordmark appears on screen.