March 2023 - Loyalty in Business

No matter how much you give to a business (or establishment) that you are part of – whatever happens remember you gave it all and made a difference.

In early August 1999 (year of the eclipse – an ironically cloudy day), I was asked to move to Cornwall by the Largest national school photography business in the UK based in West Cornwall. I had worked for a studio and school photography business in Gloucester (where I  was born) since 1990 and been part of a group of people who had helped to grow it to a £5 million pound turnover national operation. 

The decision to relocate was very tough at the time with two young children and meant uprooting my young family. My wife and I would have to leave behind many close and extended family and move 220 miles away. Nevertheless always looking to move up the corporate ladder and start a new life, it seemed a good choice to join a lovely family oriented company, that I admired in our industry.

So from 1999 until April 2021 I was involved in a business with super people and lovely photographers giving my heart, soul, dedication and devotion to a business that I loved.

It was therefore unexpected and shocking (post pandemic) to then discover at the age of 55 to be told that despite working in this industry for 31 years at the time, I was surplus to requirements and was to be made redundant.

Loyalty is not always a two way street and business can be ruthless. Well I dusted myself off, went through the many emotions associated with loss of something you loved and moved on.

It truly hurt to know I would no longer be able to spend time with some great people in that company that in many cases I had worked with for years. So maybe as a form of therapy, or maybe just to prove to myself there was a community out there, I set up a social media group called MOFOTO to support the volume School, Sports, Dance and Nursery Photography industry. I was delighted that the Facebook group grew every week from a handle of people in May 2021 to today having 2.1k members. If nothing else I knew I was worth something to this industry and after initially not wanting to do so, I started my own School Photography company here in  Cornwall.

I have been overwhelmed with support for HatchBox Photography and our customers and photographers #teamhatchbox loves what we do. We are trying hard to create a community based business here in west to mid Cornwall, offering lovely and affordable photographs and an enjoyable and simple day of photography for all, as well as an online and hassle free order service – staff and pupils.

Loyalty is a fickle thing in business – you are so much stronger than who you work for - look after yourself and believe in yourself.

February 2023 - Helping Photographers to get started and grow a business in the volume photograhy market. 

So it's early 2023, we've all been through so many sobering things in the last few years and everywhere you look in life there are things that seem to make you feel negative or not at your best. 

Our owner has been off around the UK trying to encourage photographers to go out there and enjoy what they do. His workshop dates during this month are there to help people to enjoy what they do or to grow their business and those starting out who want to form a career in the School, Nursery, Sports and Dance photography volume industry. Ian has been in this industry now for 33 years and is literally keen to innovate and embrace changing technologies and overall help school parents, children and the many very busy school offices out there have a good experience, nice and affordable photos. School photography has changed so much over the years and will continue to do so and our team here in Cornwall are leading the way and now Ian is sharing those insights with the rest of the photography community across the UK.

Ian was central to setting up a Facebook community specifically to help those in the industry called MOFOTO - he set up the group just 20 months ago and now has almost 2.1k members with the ethos to support each other and help them create. Search Facebook for MOFOTO or use this address here