• Cyril McAree

David Cantwell Photography

Updated: May 8

David and Naomi opened their commercial photography studio in 1998. The business has evolved over the years, anticipating and adapting to technical, market and economical changes.

When we first started our business most photographers were still shooting in film and the internet was in its infancy. We recognised the benefits of digital photography to efficiency in service and to our bottom line so we quickly phased out film and moved into digital. By 1999 less than 1/3 of small & medium Irish businesses had a website but David saw the huge opportunity the internet offered in reaching out to potential new clients so we launched our website in early 2000. By 2004, when many photographers were sending images to clients on cd, our clients could remotely view and download their images. In 2010 we started providing a videography service and by 2016 David qualified as a drone photographer and we added that to our service We’ve grown our business over the years through a high rate of client retention as well as new business. But the type of new business has changed over the years. When we started, most of our business came from the food sector (wholesale and restaurants) but as the economy heated in the mid 2000’s our client base shifted to the property and high-end goods sector.

The crash of 2008 didn’t effect us straight away. We started to see only a gradual decline in business that year but we knew that would probably escalate quickly so we implemented an aggressive cost cutting strategy. By early 2009 when it did hit us we’d already cut our cost base by almost half so although we were hit hard we were able to stay afloat for the next few years By 2012 a many hotels that had been in receivership were starting to be put on the market for sale. We were approached by a management company to photograph a number of these hotels. Up to this point Naomi worked mostly behind the scenes managing the finances and marketing of the business. But having designed our revamped website in 2004 which focused very much on the quality of the imagery she became more involved in the staging of our interiors shoots. So when we were approached by the management company she jumped at the opportunity to add a styling service to our business. Since then our hotel client base has grown dramatically with most hotels availing of our combined photography and styling service. Covid-19 has had a drastic effect on businesses worldwide with the hospitality sector being especially hard hit. No one can predict the future but certainly in the early months as we step back out into the new world and establish new norms, we think that assurances of safety from businesses to their customers will be key. For example, in the hotel sector we are already receiving enquiries to photograph new layouts in their restaurants and bars to show social distancing and in-room dining services Having come out stronger in the long run from the 2008 recession, we have learnt that sometimes our greatest opportunities are born out of our toughest times. We look forward to partnering with our clients to face what will hopefully be just short term hardships


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