Commercial Photography Tip 8: Smile

We love this tip and it completes another word in our advent countdown.

T-E-N–Y-E-A-R-S

S: Smile

Jon Bradley Photography Limited, corporate photography, headshots, not so corporate headshots, group portraits, annual report photography, website photography, marketing, PR, commercial, professional, photography, photographer, London Headshot Photography, business, London, Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham, Thames ValleyAw, we love this one, as not just because we’re in the commercial photography world (although it does help make for a good corporate headshot!).

The best tip ever though came from a relative (Rachel’s brother Rich) who runs a successful business employing 30+ people.  One of his key mantras to his team is ‘When you pick up the phone, Smile’.  No, people can’t see you, but they can tell if you’re smiling.  And it’s true.  No want wants to do business with a miserable person who tells you their problems at the first opportunity.

When you walk into a networking meeting, other people don’t want to know if you’ve been stuck in traffic or if you had a bad nights sleep.  So, no matter how tough it is, find ways to stay positive (see tip 2 and tip 5 for how to do this!).

 

 

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Commercial Photography Tip 7: Relationships

Have you spotted a theme yet?

T-E-N–Y-E-A-…

As we celebrate 10 years as a commercial photography business over the past week, we’ve been racking our brains thinking off all the things we’ve been doing along to way to make our business grow.  We’re hardly a business empire but we’re thriving and gaining new clients in a highly competitive environment so we figure we must be doing some things okay.

Tip number 7 has been vital since we relocated the business from London to Berkshire.

R: Relationships

Jon Bradley Photography Limited, corporate photography, headshots, not so corporate headshots, group portraits, annual report photography, website photography, marketing, PR, commercial, professional, photography, photographer, London Headshot Photography, business, London, Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham, Thames Valley

Building good business relationships is vital to success.  It’s that old cliché,  who you know, not just what you know.  Over the years, our business has grown due to our relationships.  We work a lot within the luxury/beauty/fashion sector.  It’s small and niche.  People move around from one brand to the next all the time and if you’ve got a good relationship with them and you keep in touch, they take you with them wherever they go.

On a local level, networking has been fantastic for us and if there’s one thing we should’ve done sooner, it’s network.  From WIBN (The Women in Business Network) to building our own online networking community, reaching out to other businesses in the Thames Valley has been really worthwhile.  Not only have we met some amazing people, we’ve got lots of local work (always better than a lengthy commute) and we’ve also found some great new suppliers ourselves from our accountant to our web designer.

Building good relationships with people who are confident to recommend us (yes, that’s 2 R’s), has been invaluable.

 

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Commercial Photography Tip 6: Audience

Week two of how we’ve managed to survive in the highly competitive world of commercial photography.  We know we’re not business experts but we have learnt a thing or two over our ten years in business.  So here’s tip 6 in how to grow and succeed in business.

A: Audience

Jon Bradley Photography Limited, corporate photography, headshots, not so corporate headshots, group portraits, annual report photography, website photography, marketing, PR, commercial, professional, photography, photographer, London Headshot Photography, business, London, Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham

Knowing who you want to work with will really help in developing and growing your business.  And in figuring out who you want to work with will also make you figure out who you don’t want to work with.  Very important!

For us, we love working with local businesses who are serious about what they do.  So we love working with marketeers, web designers, events people and PRs who are generally excited about photography. Working in the corporate sector puts us in touch with these people.

We moved to Berkshire when our business was 5 years old.  Established in London as a commercial photography business, we didn’t want to ‘start afresh’ and we didn’t want to set our slights low.  We’ve always tried to aim high so just because we’d ‘moved to the country’ (we live on a main road, it’s hardly rolling hills and winding lanes), we wanted to maintain what and who we had a clients and build on them, not start from scratch.

We worked out pretty quickly that we didn’t want to work with families, kids, babies and pets.  Not that there’s anything wrong with this sector (in fact we’re increasingly asked to do family shoots with our clients families).  It’s just that it’s such a saturated market with a really low cost price.  We can’t compete with people who charge £25 for a session so we don’t.  It’s that simple.

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Commercial Photography Tip 5: Energy

We started this advent-blog thingy on Monday and we’ve made it to the end of the first week (phew!).  Only 2 more weeks to go…

So where were we?  10 years in business, lots of lessons, lots of tips and tricks along the way.

A recap:

T: Team

E: Enjoyment

N: Noise

Y: (Your) Vision

So what’s next.  Something we’re always striving to have more of..

E: Energy

Jon Bradley Photography Limited, corporate photography, headshots, not so corporate headshots, group portraits, annual report photography, website photography, marketing, PR, commercial, professional, photography, photographer, London Headshot Photography, business, London, Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham

Energy, enthusiasm, call it what you will.  But keeping energy levels high and enthusiasm buoyed is really hard when you work on your business 24/7.  For us, working on the business together all the time, it’s been important to find ways to do other things and look after ourselves.  We can’t afford to be out of action.  We don’t work, we don’t get paid.

But sometimes, just sometimes, it’s important to step back, stop, relax, do something else.  Yes, commercial photography is our world but there’s more to life that work, right?

At the end of a busy summer season of weddings, we managed to squeeze in a quick end of summer break over half term – just to step away from cameras and computers that are ever present in our lives.  Chill out, recharge, refresh and re-energise.  Your business with thank you for it.

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Commercial Photography Tip 4: (Your) Vision

So, by now you’ll have figured out that we’ve made it to 10 years in business.  As of November we moved into our 11th year in commercial photography.  We’re by no means business analysts or experts but we figured that we’re obviously doing something right.  So the countdown continues.

T: Team

E: Enjoyment

N: Noise

(see what we did there…T-E-N)?

4.  Your Vision

Jon Bradley Photography Limited, corporate photography, headshots, not so corporate headshots, group portraits, annual report photography, website photography, marketing, PR, commercial, professional, photography, photographer, London Headshot Photography, business, London, Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham

It might be an actual pin board in your office or a virtual one on your desktop or may some scribbles in a notepad.  The way in which you choose to express your vision isn’t important, it’s having one that matters.

It’s simple really, if you want to move forward you need to know where you want to go.  Much easier said than done.  For a long time we were chasing our tails with no time to step back, evaluate or plan for our future business.  But as a direct result of growing our team (tip 1), our time is now a little freer.  We look at our business on a month by month basis, compare it to the same month in the previous year and check that we’re hitting our financial targets.  So far it’s worked to keep up on track and this year we reported just over 30% increase in profits.

We also write down our plans for the business, have them visible so that we can see them and we’re clear on where we aim to go next.  We discuss them and talk about tehm so that we can make our vision a reality.

This has got to be one of the best ‘power of visualisation’ videos you can see.  And Jim Carrey?  Who would’ve thought it!

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Commercial Photography Tip 3: Noise

Day 3 of the Christmas advent countdown on what we’ve learnt in our ten years in the world of commercial photography.  We’ve covered off

T: Team

E: Enjoyment

Next up…

3. Noise

Jon Bradley Photography Limited, corporate photography, headshots, not so corporate headshots, group portraits, annual report photography, website photography, marketing, PR, commercial, professional, photography, photographer, London Headshot Photography, business, London, Berkshire, Reading, WokinghamJust recently Rachel met two people totally unrelated to work or so she thought.  The first was a mum at our son’s football match.  She runs a commercial cleaning company and unbeknown to Rachel has commissioned Jon to shoot the team and business for a website redesign.  She knew all about our business, head checked out the website, social media, you name it.

Next stop was the  Reading Rock Academy to sort out music lessons, a Christmas present for the kids.  The subject of work popped up and the guy who owns it knew all about our pop-up studio as he’d seen our twitter status.  Again, a connection was made.

These two rather rambling stories really go to show how making some noise really does make a difference.

You might have a great product or service but unless you shout about it, tweet about it, update your status on Facebook and keep your website up to date, no one will know.

So make some noise – it makes all the difference.  

 

 

 

 

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Commercial Photography Tip 2: Enjoyment

Okay, so we’re on our Christmas countdown of things we’ve picked up over the course of 10 years in the commercial photography business.  Yesterday we talked about how important having a good team around you is vital to success and growth.  Today’s tip to running your own business is…

2.  Enjoyment

Jon Bradley Photography Limited, corporate photography, headshots, not so corporate headshots, group portraits, annual report photography, website photography, marketing, PR, commercial, professional, photography, photographer, London Headshot Photography, business, London, Berkshire, Reading, WokinghamWhen our eldest son was in year 4, his friends were talking in class about jobs and careers.  A friend of his said he didn’t want to get old and have to work as none of his parents friends, or his parents for that matter, enjoyed their jobs.  So we’re probably in the small minority of people who do love what we do.  Yes, Photoshop and Lightroom can turn some days in the stuff of nightmare but ultimately, we love our work.  And when you work on your business 24/7 you’ve got to love it.  If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, it’s safe to assume that will be reflected in the success of your business – or subsequent lack of success.

 

 

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Commercial Photography – 10 years in business!

At the end of October we celebrated 10 years in the commercial photography business.  Yes, Jon’s been shooting in the corporate photography world forever but as Jon Bradley Photography Limited, we’ve been at it for 10 years.  A great achievement when you consider only 4% of businesses make it this far (or so we’re told).

We’ve had house moves, business relocations, babies, a recession and a whole manner of other stuff thrown at us over the years but we’ve clearly been doing something right.

So, embracing the advent spirit we thought we’d do a top tip for each working day in December on what we’ve done over the years to keep us motivated, busy, enthusiastic and most importantly profitable!

1.  Team

Jon Bradley Photography

Over the years, we’ve had to recognise that we can’t do it all.  When we started out, it was just Jon.  Then it was the two of us and now we’ve got a small team around us.  A bookkeeper in the west country and an accountant in the north was a logistical nightmare and wasted so much of our time.  We now have one person (the lovely Holly from HJ Accounting) doing it all and making our lives so much easier in the process!

We have a processor who does a lot of Jon’s post-production during the busy season, freeing up his time to shoot and we also have an IT support guy (Craig from 1-Fix Ltd who’s there to make sure everything is backing up and running smoothly.

This support team is vital to our business growth and success.

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Event Photography London: Clipper Tea Party with Sasha Wilkins

Event Photography London:  Clipper teas, the Dorset based ethical tea company, have teamed up with three stylish women to host three fabulous tea parties.  First up was über-cool blogger Sasha Wilkins, aka Liberty London Girl.  For her venue she opted for a barge on Regent’s Canal, London.  Sasha shared her style and design secrets, everything from flowers to food.  As well as being a super swish affair, Clipper and Sasha are raising funds and awareness for the charity Contact the Elderly.  A wonderful afternoon on the river.  Here’s just a selection of our event photography from Sasha’s Clipper Tea Party.

Clipper Teas, Clipper, Photography, Liberty London Girl, Sasha Wilkins, tea party, images, Electric Barge, Regent's Canal, barge, launch, London, Berkshire, photography, photographer, Wokingham, Reading, Jon Bradley Photography

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Clipper Teas, Clipper, Photography, Liberty London Girl, Sasha Wilkins, tea party, images, Electric Barge, Regent's Canal, barge, launch, London, Berkshire, photography, photographer, Wokingham, Reading, Jon Bradley Photography

And watch this space.  Today we’re photographing the second of the three planned tea partes so more images from another afternoon of event photography to follow…

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Corporate Photography London meets Editorial Photography Rome

So, we were recently contacted by a journalist at L’Espresso Magazine in Italy asking for permission to use an image of ours.  Sometimes we wonder where they find our images.  Not that we’re complaining.  Italian editorial fees seem to bit little bit more generous that those here in the UK.  Hence our move into the corporate photography world all those years ago!

So here it is.  An image from a corporate photography London job recently.  Jancis Robinson, Mrs Wine, photographed with her husband Nicolas Lander, aka Mr Food.  A lovely photography of the couple.  And on further searching, we found that it also featured in our very own Decanter Magazine.

Jancis Robinson, Mrs Wine, l'Espresso Magazine, Decanter, Nicholas Lander, Mr Food, Jon Bradley Photography Limited, corporate photography, headshots, not so corporate headshots, group portraits, annual report photography, website photography, marketing, PR, commercial, professional, photography, photographer, London Headshot Photography, business, London, Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham, Thames Valley

 

 

Jancis Robinson, Mrs Wine, l'Espresso Magazine, Decanter, Nicholas Lander, Mr Food, Jon Bradley Photography Limited, corporate photography, headshots, not so corporate headshots, group portraits, annual report photography, website photography, marketing, PR, commercial, professional, photography, photographer, London Headshot Photography, business, London, Berkshire, Reading, Wokingham, Thames Valley

 

So thank you editorial teams.  Not only is it nice to get a credit, it’s also good to get paid!

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