With the first painful weeks of the new year under our wing, it’s all going flat out at Slaughterhouse Mansions. With so much learned from last year and with so much to look forward to in 2013, it’s difficult to know where to start. So I will keep a lot of the expansion plans under wraps for the time being, no point in diluting the good news when you all knew about it months before…but be rest assured there will be no room for Ikea furniture and a splash of paint on the floor. That is not how we roll here.
So what has been learned from 2012?
Well I learned how to know what to look out for and when to offer services to people when they needed it rather than thinking I had all the answers all of the time.
That spending £1000’s on hard copy advertising is pretty pointless when all you guys do is Google Search to seek Studio Hire. So don’t expect to see an add in BJP any time soon.
Not even the oldest of American Snack Foods are secure in this changing market.
That a man in a Space Suit can fall to earth and have 16million people all hold their breath at the same time.
That London can put on one of the finest world events and turn the East End back into a vacant lot.
That I can now add car mechanic to my CV, owning a 14 year old car teaches one quickly.
Gaining market presence in many more sectors as well as fashion and magazine editorial has been a great asset to the studio and will increase throughout the new year.
Being less aware of what I want from my business and more aware of what the customer requires, this is often a bitter pill to swallow, especially when the business is so young. However, it has been more of an issue of late, when it comes to working with those who have continuously changing payment agreements and reducing budgets.
I also found that my continuous encouragement of local photographic talent is starting to pay off. Just as much as I have found new designs on how I can help and encourage people outside of this industry sector. Case in point, the young girl we had on work experience in July and August 2012, Natasha arrived a quite and rather shy, unemployed young girl and left a confident, erudite, employed young woman. A job in Manchester, excellent presentation skills – proven at an event at Portcullis House in September, in front of over 80 people, including CEOs and MPs.
Natasha has gone on to pursue her career in Acting, gaining a place at the celebrated Manchester School of Acting. Not bad for a girl from Irwell who back in Summer (and I am sure she will support me in saying this) was quiet and the epitome of a ‘Wall Flower’. So mentoring is proven to help even those who think the world is against them.
This week will see the Slaughterhouse Studios New Year’s Honours List – something I cannot do without you as my opinion counts for nothing in a democracy.
So let me know who you have enjoyed working with this past year, it could be a photographer, an assistant, a studio Director (hint) or even the Make Up artist that works so well with your own visions. All in all I want to see who is moving and shaking the world of photographic image making in the UK, it is often a lonely place running a studio and often one can only fix one’s attention on the client of the day. I get asked often if I have access to Photographers, Assistants, Digi Assistants, MUA’s, Wardrobe Specialists (inc Seamstresses) and on the odd occasion, Art Directors. So let me have your list of favourites and lets keep them all busy throughout 2013.
No matter what we do this year, lets work together to support all in the industry and allow them to have a busier year, a brighter year and a much more financially successful year. Let us champion those who are not afraid of putting in the hours, bringing in the contracts and keeping the talent in the UK.
Something to keep an eye out over the coming weeks is a Redeye event at Slaughterhouse Studios. For those of you connected to Redeye or those of you wishing to become a member, I am proud to announce a two day masterclass with Celebrated Photographer Liz Hingley on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd February. This is a unique opportunity both for me and for Redeye: a weekend workshop with a leading photographer, including a portrait of you – or someone you nominate – by Liz, as part of her series in progress, Spiritual Object Portraits. Numbers are strictly limited to eight participants.
Liz Hingley is one of the most celebrated photographers of her generation; her sympathetic approach, curiosity, and insightful visual storytelling has won her numerous prizes and accolades over the last five years.
Details can be found here on how to book a place on the weekend event. Please hurry however as places are limited and going fast.
Looking forward to seeing you all back in the studio this year.
Papa Simpson x