“iMAGES made for business, iMAGES made for you” – 2010 – Derek Houghton-iMAGES

“iMAGES made for business, iMAGES made for you” – 2010 – Derek Houghton-iMAGES

January is a time for reflection and a time for looking forward, out with the old and in with the new as some would say. DH iMAGES has been going now since April 2009 and it has been a steep learning curve,although I do like a challenge! A love of photography is one thing but to make a living at it is another. It was clear early on that this first year would be challenging and mainly depend on making contacts setting up clients and finding a niche. “Go big, go niche or go bust” is one of the quotes my old boss used regularly (sorry not sure where he got it from!) I think clearly applies here. The initial goals were fairly vague however my “Go Big” was to create www.Shropshire-images.com, ok Shropshire isn’t the biggest place on the planet but the idea of covering a county was big to start with. My “Go Niche” is heading towards sports and business, maybe not entirely niche but it’s narrowing the field, this has grown from my induction into Shrewsbury Rugby Club photography over the last few years and joining Enterprise HQ, a local business startup enterprise. “Go Bust” – failure is just not an option, I currently have the benefit of being employed as well as freelancing, and it may be some time till I take the plunge to full time freelance, but needs must. I’m hoping that photography will keep me going long into retirement – and maybe even longer if I get really good at it!

On my journey last year I have started www.shropshire-images as my main website, this contains the categories, eVent iMAGES, Music iMAGES, Business iMAGES, Sports iMAGES, Travel and Landscape iMAGES (which allows me moderate artistic licence as I can go outwith Shropshire!), People iMAGES and iMAGES (for anything that doesn’t fit into the other categories).

Twitter has been a valuable resource for contacts and local businesses as well as up to date local and international news as well as a certain level of entertainment. It is quite an insight into social networking and how different people use Twitter for different reasons http://twitter.com/derekhoughton

This blog is relatively new and I have been inspired by http://blogs.photopreneur.com for quite a while now. My aim for this blog is to add words to the images and update (myself! and others) as to where the business is going. It may be just good therapy to empty a head full of ideas and get them down on “paper”

This year I’m still toying with keeping http://www.derekhoughton-images.net/ going or at least developing it as a secondary site, this was my main site prior to Shropshire-images and offers scope for non- Shropshire-images which could be useful.

Flickr has been a wonderful inspiration http://www.flickr.com/photos/derekhoughton/collections/ for a few years however I’ve not really been keeping it up to date lately mainly as I wanted to concentrate on the business aspect, however I do think Flickr has a place for any budding photographer looking for inspiration.

Myspace http://www.myspace.com/derekhoughton-images was again a place I felt I needed to be to show music images and catch any potential musical clients.

Facebook hasn’t been a source of inspiration really, from a business point of view. I know lots of businesses are using it but, probably more than Myspace. Personally I see it more as a personal social network site as opposed to business and hardly use it, if at all.

Kidz in sport http://kidzinsport.co.uk/ has been a fantastic enterprise with a local publisher who specialises in local sport – there is great potential here for scope in the future.

So above is a blatant plug – “where I’m at” and as it is January I’m working on a “where I’m going.”“images made for business, images made for you” covers the business angle and makes it personal, my aim for promoting businesses or individuals/families through offering an imagebank. – more to come soon….

  • Images hosted on a web gallery for those with limited image web space
  • Images hosted on a secure website gallery for users to download and use for promotional material
  • An outlet for sales in the form of mobile studio facilities
  • An outlet for sales in the form of retail property

By continuing to develop ideas and relationships with other photographers and business entrepreneurs my aim this year is to concentrate on building sales to be sustainable for 2010.

All the best and wishing everyone a prosperous New Year

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