BRAD Delaney was sitting in a dentist's chair, having 15 of his cavity-free teeth removed, when he started to contemplate his future as a businessman.
At 42, the Gold Coaster was diagnosed with non-smoking related throat cancer and had to endure high-energy radiation being fired into his neck. This not only attempted to kill the cancer, but eliminated the blood vessels in the vicinity which starved blood flow to his jaw and gums, meaning his teeth would slowly die and fall out.
More than five years on he is healthy and happy with a cosmetically enhanced smile and says if he didn't experience the darkest depths of life with cancer, he may not have been motivated to pursue his dream job as a photographer and establish his own business.
Bradkay Photographix was formed after Delaney was out of remission, and the business has forged ahead as one of the leading headshot studios in Australia.
"Treatment was obviously not very pleasant; I had chemotherapy and radiation for a period of three months which made me pretty sick, but when you are contemplating your own demise, you think about what you are going to do with the rest of your life," says Delaney.
"I decided at that point that all I really wanted to do was take photographs and that is all I have really done since."
When Bradkay Photographix was first launched it provided services for all occasions including snapping pictures of weddings, babies, parties and portraits. Once the business began to expand and grow, Delaney decided to target a niche market.
"People are very discerning these days, particularly when they are looking at photography and they want to go to the expert in the field and the person who appears to be the best," he says.
"A niche market is important because it sets you up as the expert. I decided that the headshot market had some real sustainability because social media isn't going anywhere and all types of social media require some sort of a profile image. Your headshot effectively becomes like your brand.
"I thought that if I can make people look cool and groovy in their headshot then I could build a business around it so I became The Headshot Guys."
Headshots are now 80 per cent of the business done through Bradkay Photographix with Delaney averaging eight sessions a week. A session with Delaney takes 90 minutes and clients are taught how to look and smile in a photograph.
Word-of-mouth has also seen Delaney travel to Brisbane and Sydney for Headshot shoots.
Prior to being diagnosed with cancer, Delaney worked at Jupiter's Casino for 10 years which included a management stint at Fortunes nightclub, and as a private investigator for his family business, which he says prompted his interest in photography.
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