“…everyone has an iPhone but good quality images are really important and education is as much part of the winning business process as taking the photograph is.”
When did you first set up your business and what motivated you to do so?
Back in December 1999 I decided I’d had enough of being employed. I became a self-employed consultant within the financial services sector. However, I had previously had a thriving freelance commercial photography business supplying high end magazines with equestrian and countryside images. Photography has always played a major part in my life and the opportunity to bring that business back to life was during 2009 when I set up my adhesives business as I shot all my own product photographs. The adhesive is a specialist UV cured resin in a very niche market (fly fishing – ask me at a meeting) that I developed after seeing the writing on the wall for the financial services sector. In 2012 when I secured a worldwide distribution deal for my adhesive I decided to offer my photographic and marketing skills to other businesses. In 2017 I started to see the photographic services portion of the business becoming a significant part of what I do commercially. What motivated me… the ability to create, problem solve and be independent.
What are the main products/services your company offers?
- Commercial photography for small to large businesses as well as for individual clients (I don’t do weddings though). Commercial portraits, large scale interiors, lifestyle, editorial and fashion… event/photo journalism (but not weddings)
- I market a UV cured resin that is used in the manufacture of fishing flies (I did say it was niche).
- Financial services consultancy specialising in borrowing for commercial and residential property, business sale and purchase and protection
Who is your key target audience?
For each of the areas that I work in my clients and customers are ones that look for high quality performance and delivery
Has it all been plain sailing (please pardon the seaside pun!)?
No, it is never plain sailing there are always concerns whether those are from simple economics through to compliance requirements and in the early days the product busters trying to find the recipe of the UV cured resin. The photographic services isn’t plain sailing either, everyone has an iPhone but good quality images are really important and education is as much part of the winning business process as taking the photograph is.
How have you found it working for yourself?
I love the independence but I won’t lie it does have its ups and downs… maybe that lack of security always keeps me on my toes looking for fresh ideas.
What does a ‘normal’ day look like for you?
I don’t have normal days… with three business interests I share my time out. So it could be a photoshoot, it could be editing images, then again it might be dealing with compliance for the adhesives business or arranging borrowing for a client on a commercial property… variety is the spice of life that starts at 0615 hours and finishes late!
What type of advertising do you find works best for you? Are you active on social media?
Yes I am on social media… it isn’t what it used to be, Facebook has seen to that. I was fortunate to set up at a time before the algorithms kicked in. Instagram I just love for image watching and LinkedIn I am totally lost.
If you were able to go back and give yourself one piece of advice when you were first starting out, what would it be?
Don’t worry what the competition is up to… if they after you there must be a reason… you are doing it right!
What is the next step for your business?
Carry on building what has been achieved already and aim higher
What are your ultimate goals for the business and are they within sight?
My aim is to keep my clients happy, to meet and exceed their expectations the rest I’m keeping close to my chest!