The small business that was started in the games room of Nathan’s parent’s house has grown and developed over 10 years to become one of Perth’s leading photography studios.[twocol_one] Here is just a little of the story:
At age 12 Nathan inherited his granddads old manual film camera. It had a manual light meter that you had to pay very special attention too, to get the exposure correct in the photo. After shooting many rolls of film, the camera had to be retired after about 4 years. Between again 16 and 22 Nathan did not own a working SLR camera.
The first wedding:
Though his university years, Nathan borrowed friends cameras on occasion to photograph formal dinners etc, until in early 2002 he was asked to photograph his first wedding. On the 20th of April 2002, with two borrowed cameras (one with colour and one with black and white film) he sweated his way through his first wedding shoot. “I can clearly remember a friend putting their hand on my back just before the ceremony and saying wow you are sweating a little aren’t you” 12 rolls of film later the bride and groom loved the result. The money from the wedding allowed Nathan to buy a Pentax MZ 7 to take traveling…[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]
A chance meeting with Jarda Bengal:
Whilst traveling in late 2002, Nathan and some friends went to stay with a family in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic. Almost by chance Nathan shared a room with Jarda, a professional photographer and media expert. Jarda took Nathan under his wing and for three months poured out his wisdom and knowledge.
“I still own the piece of paper that Jarda taught me the depth of field relationship on” Back in the film days there wasn’t meta data to check your settings, you had to write them down for each shot you took. There were many trips to the lab to collect the prints and then to sit for hours critiquing them and studying the various settings.”
2003-2004 Returning to Australia:
After retuning from his travels Nathan worked full time in the travel industry, and whilst doing so was asked to photograph more weddings. So, in April of 2004 Nathan took the plunge, left the security of full time work to start this dream. Initially he worked 2 part time jobs and contracted for other photography companies whist Nathan Archer Photography got going. A logo, website, marketing, business cards, slowly Nathan worked less and less hours for the part time jobs, but it took over 2 years before he could finally give up the part time work. During that time the business grew to include a large amount of commercial, and portraits as well as wedding photography. In 2006 Winning Sports Photography was purchased by Nathan to run along side as a complimentary business. Nathan got married in January of 2007 and Gillian joined the team as the Photoshop expert. Together with one employee they grew the business till it was time to find a premises.[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]
2008 The first lease & the GFC:
In 2008 in conjunction with a graphic designer and a videographer, Nathan and Gillian leased a 180sqm commercial studio in Osborne Park. This was a massive risk as the rent seemed huge but to grow the business, risks needed to be taken. Along with the new location the business name was changed to Archer Imagery. The idea behind the new name was, “Not just taking photos, but creating images” Working on that premise, they wanted to build a name based on service and the bigger picture.
Then the GFC hit. For us it was late November 2008 when the impact hit. Overnight our commercial work halved, we were lucky that we had Winning Sports and the portrait side of our business to keep us going. Just like for many 2009 was a very tough year, it seemed that the commercial bookings would come last minute. Gillian headed back to her career in teaching to bring in a steady income.[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]
Light at the end of the tunnel:
As we all know gradually things recovered, and the commercial work started returning. As the commercial work returned we had the challenge of melding that with the increased portraiture we had taken on. We had found that we loved portraits, especially modelling and that this had become a fulfilling part of the business.
2010 Time to re focus:
In late 2010 Nathan attended a seminar with Steve Saporito, the seminar was followed by coffee and then two days later Steve visited our Osborne Park studio. What was about to begin was to change the path of Archer Imagery forever. Winning Sports Photography was sold and we began working with Steve as our mentor. In just two short months the studio had re focused its main target from commercial photography to portraiture. That is not to say we stopped commercial, we simply put our focus into growing the portrait side of our work. To reflect this new focus we needed a new brand, a new logo, and website then a new location![/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]
2011 The Studio in Northbridge opens:
After many months of waiting for council approval, planning, hard work, painting the list goes on, we opened the doors to the new Northbridge studio in July 2011. What an adventure the new studio has been. The purpose built studio has allowed us to go to a new level of portrait photography. With a purpose built make up area, we had an influx of glamour clients and quickly became one of Perth’s top studios for creative glamour photography.
2012 – Now
In 2012 Jayga and Kate joined the team and we then we had three photographers available to offer different styles of photography to our wonderful clients. We have welcomed and said goodbye to a couple of staff, each of whom brought a different set of ideas and skills to build the business into what it is today.
As we move into our sixth year in Northbridge, we are really excited about what lies ahead. Yes, Perth is currently experiencing a down turn as the mining boom has finished, but we are quietly confident that our level of service and the quality of our artwork will keep us in good stead. We invite you to challenge us with a unique photo shoot idea, or simply let us get to know you and create a beautiful set of photographic art works with you.
“I am so excited by my current team. I feel that we are really offering a fantastic service to our beautiful clients. We continue to strive to promote love by creating artistically beautiful and meaningful portraiture. It is such a pleasure to do what we do. Thank you to our beautiful clients, past present and future who allow us to share in their lives.” Nathan Archer[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]