The Leap to Going Freelance

Although i have an about me section, i wanted to do a bit more of a personal bit, which explains where i have come from and where i am now with my photography.

A Photographers Experience

I spent the last 10 years in the role of photography manager for the sportsdirect group; managing high volume ecommerce studios globally for their many fascias inlcuding – Sportsdirect, flannels, house of fraser, heatons and many more. Working directly with big 3rd party brands like Nike, Puma, Reebok on their photography and video campaigns along with the group brands.

This was a fast paced, high volume photographic department and my duties included:
Overseeing the day-to-day in-house ecommerce photography to ensure suitable quality control across the fascias. Establishing an efficient and synergised approach to image making, creating and managing assets fit for use across multiple streams; Campaigns, social, instore, web and print across multiple fascias in sports, fashion and premium lifestyle.
Utilising and commissioning reports and workflow tools to monitor and improve efficiencies and accuracies
Implementing workflow solutions across the department.
Overseeing remote studios in the UK, Austria and Malaysia. Working particularly closely with the Wigan studio managing asset production for premium lifestyle retailer Flannels, and with startup of Malaysia SD assisting them with setting up the photography side of the business.
Managing relationships with Model Agencies, Freelancers, Production agencies

A Career Turning Point

In 2010 my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer, AKA “I dont know, stage f*cking 11”, when she was asked, which gives you some sort of idea of the character that she was. Initially she was given 2 years, which after a lot of treatments turned slowly into 10 years. To paraphrase her words, she had started buying green bananas again.

In January 2019, her health rapidly declined and she passed away. Which is basically shit.

In the run up to her passing away, i had felt terribly guilty over having some time out of my day job to be with her, and had felt like i had to be in the office. The lack of flexibility from a corporate position meant that i was unable to work remotely, though they would have allowed me time off unpaid, i didn’t actually need to be off-work… i just needed to work remotely.

In her last few months, my mother had wistfully romanticised about destinations she would have liked to visit, or things she would have liked to do had life not got in the way.

It was these musings which were the nudge to go freelance.

The feeling of not having lived life to it’s fullest suddenly scared me and i did not want to be in my final moments wishing i had done something else for 8-10 hours of every working day.

Every year i would have spent a minimum of 1,920 hours in the office, and now, suddenly,  it was too many.

Working freelance means i can travel, work remotely anywhere in the world, and do the kind of projects i enjoy.

I have only been officially freelance for a few months, and it’s already been a wild ride, so i can’t wait to see where it takes me from here.

Thanks Mum, love you.



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