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A moment with Mark Nicholson

I am delighted to feature Mark Nicholson this month. Mark is an acclaimed photographer based in London and the Cotswolds whose work is regularly featured in Tatler, House & Garden, Country Living, The Sunday Times and Telegraph. His private clients include the British Royal family plus architects, interior designers, yacht and private aviation designers are included in his commercial clients. Mark’s latest book ‘At Home in the Cotswolds’ launched in October last year and is utterly heavenly.

Along with shooting many of the great houses of England, yachts and planes, Mark also photographs events and parties for his private clients.

I hope you enjoy reading a little more about Marks journey.

Describe yourself in 3 words

Creative, enthusiastic, meticulous.

What have you learnt over the last three years?

Never to take anything for granted. And also to be flexible and open-minded with regards to work. Plus face to face meetings and contact are so much more rewarding. It’s all about building relationships with your clients now more then ever.

How do you unwind?

I enjoy any racquet sports and have recently started playing Padel which is fun. My most fulfilling form of escapism though is sailing, where I can truly switch off. It’s just you, your crew mates and the elements! When at home a good natural history documentary I find hard to resist too!

How would you spend your perfect day?

Hanging out with my 3 kids in the countryside as I’m lucky to live in a beautiful part of the Cotswolds. A day on safari in Africa is very high up the list as well as a days yacht sailing, preferably somewhere warm!

Where is your favourite place to travel to?

Definitely East Africa which I love. Not just for the game drives but the light and scenery are spectacular. The light particularly is like nothing I have seen before.

Tell us your story and what inspired you to set up your company?

I’ve always enjoyed photography from the day I bought my first Nikon from a friend at school. After a few years travelling I returned to England to study photography at Art College. Love of design, architecture and interiors followed after moving to London in my early 20s and so my path was set. In some ways I’m a frustrated architect / designer but I’m very glad I bought that film camera whilst at school because it definitely triggered a passion for creating images.

What do you love most about running your own business?

I am a bit of a control freak (!) so that sense of directing your own destiny. I also like the flexibility of setting your own timetable and the sense of achievement when things are going well. Also every day is different.

What sets you and your business apart from competitors?

I think it’s my ability to tell the story through my photography rather than just produce pretty pictures. A skill I’ve learnt after decades behind the lens. I’ve worked for many different nationalities at the luxury end of the market photographing their yacht one day and an extravagant party for them the next. So versatility is key as well as discretion. My book publishing business also underpins much of my work now.

If you were re-starting your business again, what three things would you do first?

I would go out and talk to as many people in the industry as possible. To pick their brains. I would also take the time to study what the competition is doing and work out how they are securing worthwhile commissions.

What are the most rewarding aspects of what you do?

Definitely seeing a happy client is the most rewarding aspect. Also seeing a project in print for the very first time is exciting. You still can’t beat books and magazines in this age of digital and social media overload. I enjoy travelling too and I’ve been lucky that my work has taken me to some of the most stunning locations around the world.

What do you think it takes to build a successful business and brand?

A huge amount of perseverance and dedication as well as the ability to stay positive and brush yourself off when things aren’t going so well. It’s how you cope with the set backs as there will be plenty! Always be on the look out for creative collaborations that can enhance your offering and theirs. Above all be patient and try and challenge yourself by going out of your comfort zone as that’s when you feel the greatest sense of achievement.

Image copyright Mark Nicholson and @marknicholson.photographer on instagram to keep in touch with all his latest news


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