Where we sit down with one of our clients to find out a bit more about their business and what makes them tick. This week it’s Andy Hudson Photography…
Tell me about your business
I am a wedding photographer who shoots weddings around the North East and UK, and I’ve recently taken my first booking for a ‘destination wedding’ in Lake Como next year (exciting!) I have a very natural and unobtrusive approach to weddings.
I shoot a wide range of weddings from intimate affairs (I’ve had as few as 12 people at a wedding) to large weddings with over 300 people there. I also shoot commercial photography and have worked with easyJet, the NHS and Toby Carvery in recent years.
What drives you to succeed?
As weird as it might sound from a small business owner money isn’t what drives me, I love the artistic nature of photography and what really drives me is to keep creating more imaginative and creative images. Of course putting food on the table is key to survival but I guess I want to look back on my career in 30 years’ time and feel I achieved something more than just money in the bank. I also want my little boy to grow up and be proud of his daddy for being passionate about what he does, which hopefully will rub off on him and he’ll have the same drive to succeed as me.
What’s the best business advice you’ve been given?
Ignore what most people tell you is the ‘right way’. Everyone has their opinions but you can’t be afraid to walk your own path as in the long term this is how you learn and maybe develop beyond what is possible just by listening to other people, who often contradict each other anyway.
What advice would you give to others?
I have actually given this advice to many people, especially students wanting to start up their own businesses after leaving education – your website is your shop window and google is the new high street. If you don’t have a good website that ranks highly in google you’re missing out on a huge amount of ‘foot fall’ and potential customers. A poor website and not ranking in google is the same as 20 years ago having a clothes shop in your shed that no one knows about. Being in business these days is exactly the same as it always was, people need to know what products you’re offering and be intrigued enough to ‘walk through your shop door’.
What has Sleeky done for you?
They’ve been a great help by giving me a great looking site that has fantastic functionality and above all else is fast to load despite being extremely image heavy! When we met they listened to all my ideas and implemented most of them.. I say ‘most’ as they weren’t afraid to tell me if my idea wouldn’t work or was at odds with the overall feel of the site. This was nearly as important as the things they did implement. They were always quick to offer alternatives to anything that wouldn’t work and that ability to work with the client as a team meant I got the best end result possible. They also have a great plan which I signed up to which gives me six one hour slots throughout the year for additional changes and amendments. I have found this a very important service as my needs are constantly changing and my business evolving, to know I can just drop them an e-mail and they’ll make the required changes in my next hour slot is fantastic.
How important is your website to your business?
Any photographer with happy clients will get some of their business through referrals but you can’t rely purely on this alone, my website helps me attract new leads and adds a large number of bookings to my calendar. Another great thing about my website is people can see exactly what I do, my style and the type of images I produce which gives new clients a lot of confidence in my abilities as a photographer. I guess it’s a showcase for my unique style and approach to photography that would be hard to get across without it.
How did you find dealing with us?
Really easy to be honest. I had a great meeting with the team when I first contacted them about building a new website and I got an excellent vibe from the team about their approach to everything, and in general they just seemed like a nice bunch of people who were passionate about their work. I still have regular contact with the team due to the additional plan I took out and nothing has changed since, always a pleasure to deal with and always willing to help, listen and offer advice.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve photographed?
Probably a pantomime dame in their full costume sipping a pint of real ale… it was for easyJet’s in flight magazine (Xmas edition). They hadn’t given me a lot of information about the shoot and certainly hadn’t mentioned anything about a panto dame! It was amazing fun and we got some brilliant photos. I still have a few of the inflight magazines on my bookshelf so if you’re ever in the mood for seeing a panto dame drinking beer let me know.
Thanks Andy! Check out his sleek website andyhudsonphotography.co.uk