When you run a small business, there are so many elements to juggle, and often we try to do all the jobs ourselves to keep costs down. But, it really is worth looking at which tasks you are not so skilled at or don’t enjoy and outsourcing them. It might be your accounts, your marketing or your admin, but for many, it is photography.
Taking great images is an art, but with phone camera culture these days, many people attempt to take on the task themselves, despite having little knowledge of how to take good photographs. If you really are keen to improve your skills in this area and take it on yourself, it is definitely worth investing in some learning like our Creative Sessions. But, otherwise, I strongly advise working with a professional photographer to shoot your images for you.
I can’t stress enough how important great imagery is for a business, I talk about it a lot in my How to get press for your indie brand workshop. Your photography is the first thing potential customers will see when they come across your brand online – whether it’s your website, Etsy shop or your Instagram page.
It can be the difference between someone wanting to explore what you offer further, following you, or buying from you. Your photography will also significantly increase your chances of getting featured in magazines or on blogs, and it can also be used if you decide to advertise your business, as well as for marketing, both in email newsletters or in printed material.
So, as I am often asked by business owners if I can recommend photographers, I thought it would be a useful resource to put together a list of some great photographers who work with small brands across the UK. Some can even work remotely, meaning you can simply send your products to them to be photographed, which has been invaluable during the pandemic. I hope this will be super useful to discover the right photographer to create your imagery and elevate your business to the next level.
Nuraan Ackers – London
Nuraan is passionate about conscious living and loves working with ethical businesses. She is based in London, but also offers remote photography. You can find her pricing for this here.
Lou Archell – Studio Vert – Bristol
Well known lifestyle blogger Lou Archell of Little Green Shed has experience working with brands big and small, and recently launched her creative agency for soulful brands – Studio Vert.
Holly Booth – Derbyshire
Holly started her photography studio in 2010 and since then her partner Pete has joined the business. She has shot for many independent makers and brands covering homeware, stationery, and cosmetics as well as people and spaces.
Sophie Carefull – Bristol
Sophie Carefull focusses on brand portraits for ‘feminists, creatives + change-makers’, as she describes on her website. She also offers coaching for introverted creatives.
Lucy Cooper – My Kind Lifestyle – Cheshire
Lucy is an interior, product & lifestyle photographer & stylist, with a focus on sustainable brands. We recently interviewed Lucy about her career as a brand photographer. Read it here.
Georgia de Lotz – Bristol
Georgia is a product photographer who works out of her studio in Bristol, and can style and shoot your products remotely and has a varied portfolio, from jewellery and beauty products to plants and underwear.
Simon Eldon – East Sussex
Working with big and small brands, Simon covers the south east shooting products, interiors, food and drink and bicycles.
Sarahlou Francis – Wildblume – East Sussex
SarahLou creates storytelling brand photography for wild-hearted creatives. As well as product, SarahLou shoots small business gatherings and events and has previously shot some of 91 Magazine’s Seek Inspire Create days.
Charlie Goodge – London
London-based Charlie specialises in interior and still life photography, and has shot products such as confectionery, jewellery and beauty products.
Emma Harrel – Brighton
Emma shoots lots of food photography for her own blog as well as for 91 Magazine. But, she also regularly shoots product and lifestyle imagery for small brands. See examples over on her website.
Jeska Hearne – East Sussex
As well as running their own online lifestyle store, The Future Kept, Jeska and her husband Dean offer photography services to small brands, using their home as a beautiful backdrop.
Holly Jolliffe- Isle of Wight
Based on the Isle of Wight, Holly can be found shooting in her purpose-built photography studio at the end of her garden. She offers both pack shots and styled lifestyle images to small businesses.
Ruth Kelly – Native Ivy – Northern Ireland
Ruth works with creative businesses across Northern Ireland creating product images, as well as shooting makers and business owners in their studios and venues for a full lifestyle package.
Stephen Lenthall – Article Studio – Gloucestershire
Stephen works from a studio based in an old converted dye house, alongside his creative partner Jenny Bowers. Together they create images for small businesses from ceramics to textiles, jewellery to furniture.
Mark Newton – Yorkshire
Mark is based in Yorkshire, working mainly for food and drink businesses, shooting their products, dishes, portraits and venues to tell the story of their brands.
Carole Poirot – North Yorkshire
Carole is available to work with small businesses to shoot lifestyle images that capture the essence of their brand. Her French heritage has an influence on her style, with muted tones and vintage elements adding to the styling.
Anya Rice- Suffolk
Anya focuses on interiors, still life and portraits for small brands and can shoot locations like shops as well styling products in an interior space or studio.
Lucy-Jane Saunders – Bath
Lucy works across lifestyle, food and fashion photography and also has skills in design having published two independent magazines.
Julia Smith – Humphrey & Grace – East Sussex
Julia is an interiors and lifestyle photographer working almost entirely with small businesses, either on location across the south east or in her beautiful home studio which we featured here. Julia also hosted a Creative Session for us which is still available to watch – PHOTO STYLING FOR SOCIAL MEDIA & E-COMMERCE
Nancy Straughan – Newcastle Upon Tyne
Homeware designer turned photographer and stylist, Nancy, recently relocated back to her home city of Newcastle Upon Tyne, and now works with many independent brands, focusing mainly on interiors, lifestyle and children’s brands. Nancy has also hosted two Creative Sessions for 91- HOW TO GROW AND MONETISE YOUR INSTAGRAM and STARTING A SMALL CREATIVE BUSINESS FROM SCRATCH.
Kathryn Taylor – Lancashire
Lancashire-based Kathryn shoots lifestyle, interiors and portraits for small businesses, capturing the story of their brand with simplicity and a sense of calm.
Si Thompson – Manchester
Si has worked with many commercial clients over the years, but has recently started working with smaller independent businesses in food, fashion, still life and interiors.
Holly Usher – Essex/Suffolk
Previously a wedding photographer, Holly has transitioned to brand photography for creative entrepreneurs, creating soulful and authentic imagery.
Yeshen Venema – London
Yeshen has worked extensively with small businesses, shooting at his London studio or on location. He occasionally offers spaces on location shoots for small brands and he can also help design your website.
Jemma Watts – Suffolk / London
Jemma Watts is a food and interiors photographer who also works with small brands to tell their story through relaxed, natural imagery. Jemma has hosted two Creative Sessions for 91 – PHOTOGRAPHY FOR SMALL BUSINESS and HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH INTERIORS LIKE A PRO, both still available to access.