Manchester-based Eposure is a new business which has been set up to support professional photographers by promoting its members to photography buyers, and raising the profile of commercial photography. The business will be supported by a website, launching at the end of April. “We are very aware of the challenges that professional photographers face these days, such as competition from amateurs and a general devaluing of the profession,” says co-founder and director Gabrielle O’Haare. “With a senior level background in photography and marketing at blue chip client level, we’ve valuable experience of many clients, and the problem often stems from the fact that many brand/ad agencies and clients, don’t understand photography and therefore don’t get the best out of it.” To tackle this issue the directors will be working with and providing content for the buying community. An example of this approach can be found on their blog.
Eposure Press Release
Raising the profile of Commercial Photography
Eposure is a new business which has been set up to support professional photographers by promoting its members to photography buyers, and raising the profile of commercial photography.
We’ve done this because commercial photographers often work as freelancers or in small independent companies – so the presence and skills of this market sector is diluted. By bringing everyone together we will create greater awareness of commercial photography as a profession and help buyers to find skilled photographers easily.
Core to the business is a website which is designed to service two audiences;
1. Professional photographers (and related professionals such as stylists, art directors and retouchers)
2. Buyers of photography (ad agencies and clients, eg retailers)
The site will provide facilities for photography professionals to showcase their portfolios, but it will be fundamentally different to other portfolio sites by the fact that it will have a proactive and energetic team sitting right behind it. The co-founders are experienced industry professionals who will be working full time to promote the membership and raise awareness of the profession as a whole with the buying community.
Members can upload as many images as they want to the site and will pay a subscription on a rolling monthly basis – with no long term tie in. They will be encouraged to add in narrative to support their key images, as this helps sell their skills in more effectively to potential buyers.
Buyers will be encouraged to use the site to search for members, and contact them directly. The site is a resource to promote the the value of commercial practice in industry, to raise standards in commissioning and to give buyers practical advice on how to get the most out of photography – a key component of any brand’s identity
The site is the brain-child of Director Tim Bilsborough, who has over 20 years’ experience in commercial photography, working directly with large clients,and at some of the biggest studios in the UK. With an expert understanding of small and large scale photography production requirements and having commissioned a vast array of photography throughout his career, Tim understands how buyers operate and what they are looking for.
Co-founder Gabrielle O’Hare is an experienced marketer who has worked in photography and advertising for 18 years, and whose experience will be very important in communicating with the marketing sector effectively.
The business is based at The Sharp Project in Manchester, but supports the industry nationwide.
The site launches at the end of April 2012.
Why we have set this up
The background of the directors in both the commercial photography industry and the advertising industry means they’ve had first hand experience of the challenges that professional photographers currently face. The availability of images on the web has devalued commercial photography. Many people who commission images don’t appreciate the skill that a professional brings and are increasingly reluctant to pay the market value for them.
To tackle this issue the directors will be working with and providing content for the buying community. For example, building case studies with our members for their photographic work, to explain in detail how great photography can improve a client’s business; and then promoting them to buyers. An example of this approach can be found on our blog: http://eposureblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/why-i-always-remember-this-image/
We will also be blogging best practices and writing white papers to give buyers a better understanding of the value that working with professional photographers will bring to their business.
How we will be promoting the business
The eposure team have good contacts in some of the UK’s biggest retail organisations thanks to our previous work within the sector, and we will be approaching these people to get them to add their support to the issues we raise.
To keep the momentum growing, we have engaged a PR company who will be starting work with us in the next couple of weeks to formally announce the launch and to promote the venture to both audiences.
We have a strong blog, which is a big focus for eposure. It is currently on a wordpress format but will be incorporated into the site when it goes live. This content is promoted through social media, and has already attracted good traffic levels and very positive feedback from photographers.
Tim & Gabrielle have recently joined the DMA and will use this forum to help to spread the word about the commercial value and competitive edge that great photography brings to business, and we will be doing this via good old-fashioned, face to face networking.
We’re keen to start and keep active dialogues going with the photography community as a whole – not just our members, so we are always happy to hear from people who are interested in guest blogging with us or have any other points of view they would like to air.
From founder Tim Bilsborough
‘There are plenty of portfolio sites around, but we felt what the market really needed was a dialogue with the buying community. In many relationships, photographers are engaged right at the end of projects, after the concept and idea has been sold in by the creative agency, and have very little opportunity to add their creative input. Businesses would benefit greatly from getting photographers involved much earlier on in the process.’
Image: Tim and Gabrielle outside eposure’s office in The Sharp Project