Who are you?
I’ve been a full time professional photographer since 2007 when I was made redundant from Jaguar at Halewood where I worked as a combustion engineer.
How did the business come about?
I first got into photography in 1991 when I got my wedding photographs back from a supposed professional wedding photographer. The photographs were appalling and I said to my wife at the time “I could do better”. Her reply to that was “go on then”!
Having never picked up a camera before, I swept up the gauntlet and shot off to The Golden Square in Warrington to Crewe Camera Exchange (which later became Jessops).
I signed up for a photographic lighting course at Warrington College and started my journey. In the years that followed, I helped to form Moore Camera Club in 2000 which is still going strong today!
How long has your business been in existence?
F11 Photography has only been going for around 2 years, prior to that I owned Oculus Studios Photography which had been running since 2007. The home of F11 Photography is The Photo Studio. Inside The Photo Studio I have other business interests including:
Northwest Photobooth (a fun party photobooth company)
Cheshire Cherubs Photography (newborn baby, young children, family and nursery photographers)
Gorgeous Gift House (an online personalised gift business)
Warrington Central Business Club (a monthly network meeting with up to twenty businesses in attendance)
Go Virtual 360 (a virtual tours company)
How many people do you employ?
F11 Photography has just one employee, however The Photo Studio employs three staff all together.
Born in Walton in 1966, raised and schooled in the town, lived in Cinnamon Brow, Orford, Callands and Sankey. I love our Warrington Wolves rugby league team. There is no better town in the UK!
What job or achievement makes you most proud?
Throughout the years of being in business, I have met some truly inspirational people during networking. In 2015, I was introduced to Dave Thompson MBE DL MBA, Chief Executive and founder of Warrington Disability Partnership. In the years that followed, I worked closely with Dave and the WDP team and witnessed some of the incredible work they do in the community.
WDP have had their funding cut year after year and yet they still manage to provide an amazing service.
I am extremely proud of supporting this charity since we first met Dave in 2015, raising funds however and wherever I can. I also volunteer for Warrington Disability Partnership.
Tell us one interesting thing about you that people might not know?
I was scared of heights so, in my early 40s, I decided to face my fear. When on holiday in Turkey, I para-glided off a mountain (in tandem) which was a mile above sea level. As we were running toward the cliff edge, the pilot asked me if I’d done this before and I told him I hadn’t. He replied “neither have I” to which I screamed and he laughed. It was the most exhilarating moment of my life and I’m so glad I did it.
Who are the people most important in life to you?
My fiancé Julie is my rock and I am so lucky to have her by my side on a daily basis. My Son Nathan whom I am extremely proud of and my two step children to be, Leah and Callum.
What is your ‘get through lockdown tip’?
I am the kind of person who remains positive even in the most adverse situations but I realise that not everybody has this personality. My lockdown tip would be to take advantage of the time that you have been given and learn something new. Create stronger bonds with the people who you’re locked down with and plan for the time when it’s all over, because it will be over one day soon!
Like a 1:1 with Tony?