Dave Charnley Photography celebrates 10 years in business
It's hard to believe, but on the 24th of March 2018 marked Dave Charnley Photography's tenth anniversary as a specialist commercial, PR, industrial and marketing photography business serving the North East of England.
I've been fascinated by taking pictures since I was a lad in short trousers, and I learnt my trade as a youngster 30 years ago when I was taken on as a trainee photographer for national and regional newspapers. Every day was different and over the years I photographed everything from royal visits and celebrity events through to covering sports fixtures and news stories from FTSE100 organisations and small charities, and everything in between.
The media has changed out of all recognition over the last decade, with print newspapers seeing declining readerships while their online equivalents continue to grow. Many of us get our news online now, and while online media owners encourage viewers and readers to submit pictures, there is still very much a demand for the sort of winning shot created by professional photographers.
When it comes to my commercial photography work for PR and marketing agency clients, something that has never changed is how a good photo can increase chances of coverage for a press release or magazine article. The quality of picture can mean the difference between seeing the story cut to a few inches inside the paper to it making front page or lead online story, and generating hundreds if not thousands of pounds-worth of coverage and exposure for the agency's client.
As digital photography technology continued to develop over the last decade (sorry about the pun there!), it made photography easier, faster and less expensive, and sparked a rise in the number of freelance photographers setting up shop, just as I took the plunge and set up Dave Charnley Photography back in 2008.
Since then I've grown a client list stretching from North Yorkshire up to the Scottish Borders, and from the Northumberland coast across to the North West, and I like to think I've carved out a niche for clients looking for a commercial photographer who can create fresh, natural pictures that tell a story and get them noticed.
So what have I learnt over the last 10 years? Well, I've faced the challenge of growing the business while maintaining quality of service and doing it all at a good price in the competitive commercial photography market. The biggest challenge I faced was marketing, and learning about branding, social media, SEO and all the other tools a business owner needs to get to grips with.
I set out with the principle that I would always be creative in my approach, I didn't want to do it like everyone else does it. Photographers should never be afraid to be themselves and bring something different and better to their approach, and should always deliver over and above what the client is expecting.
I like to think those principles have stood me in good stead and will serve me for the next 10 years in business too. A big thank you to all the clients who have made the last 10 years such a success.