I’m now one year into my new business, twentynine, a business that is still evolving, where I’m still grappling with what it means to be a director of a Limited company and having to apologise to my accountant on an almost weekly basis. Where I’ve had to learn far more about using excel spreadsheets than I really want to. I’ve had to network (it doesn’t come easy), agree to public speaking engagements (I find this excruciatingly painful) and generally put myself out there in a way that’s pushed my levels of comfort to thermonuclear.
The biggest question I’ve faced is, “what do you do?” something that’s asked of me with alarming regularity. In my previous life as an employee, I had a job title and role that was fairly self-explanatory if a little grandiose; Directory of Photography, News EMEA (told you!). I’ve mulled over a number of job titles in recent months; Founder (nah), Creative Director (am I?), Managing Director (a title giving no clue as to what I do) so ultimately I settled on a photographic strategist because, well that’s what I am. I create strategies for organisations, using photography, to tell impactful stories. My company twentynine, promises to ‘tell your untold stories’ and that line is at the heart of what I do, but what does ‘telling your untold stories’ mean?
Largely it means that I’m very curious (or nosy depending on which way you view it). It doesn’t matter the subject or the industry I want to know more. Looking at the challenges facing communities, a piece of innovation that’s going to help our world become cleaner, a glimpse behind the scenes of an institution to the areas the public rarely get to see. I talk to you, I look at what your business does, I look in the nooks and crannies, under the bonnet and see just what goes on in your world.
Often, it’s something that you see and work with every single day but pay no attention to because, well…you see it every day. One person’s ordinary is another person’s fascinating, I see what you see but in a different way.
A year on from forming my business and I’ve met and worked with some incredible, inspirational people across a number of organisations and together we’ve told some exceptional photographic stories. I’ve also learned that I’m never going to be good with accounts or enjoy creating spreadsheets but what I can say, with absolute confidence, is that I’m a great photographic strategist who will help you see things differently and tell your untold stories.