Case Study: Nathan Allan Photography

Blog  »  Business & Marketing, November 16, 2018, Dominic Bryant

Nathan Allan decided to test GotPhoto out three years ago. We recently caught up with him to discuss the impact and success he has experienced by moving his photography business online. 

Results

  • Cutting admin time by more than half 
  • 10% – 20% increase in external revenue on jobs
  • Acquiring five or six larger schools due to saved admin time

About Nathan Allan Photography

Broughton, UK

Nathan Allan Photography is a specialist school photography company based in Broughton. Established by Nathan Allan in 2000, Nathan has built up his company independently and is now one of the most respected school photographers in the UK.

Nathan has always proven himself as an innovative photographer and businessman. He set up Nathan Allan Photography independently in 2000 and kept a keen eye on how the market was developing. 

To deal with producing photos for 25-30 schools per year, Nathan created his own proof cards and developed a somewhat automated system by writing batches into Photoshop and producing everything in-house.

Reaching His Limit

However, in 2014 Nathan recognised there was a limit to how far he could take the business on his own with his own processes. It was at this time that GotPhoto approached Nathan in a chance encounter. While he was aware of the growing popularity of online sales in the market, the Broughton-based photographer was initially sceptical of giving up parts of his own business.

Nathan admitted he had not actively been looking for a platform as he ‘did not want to relinquish everything’, but those that he had seen ‘didn’t fit’ and wanted to take over his whole process for a ‘big drop of money.’ However, he understood the time that could be saved by going online and the extra revenue possibilities and it was GotPhoto who appeared a better fit.

Finding a Solution

“When you came along you were one of the first I looked at and thought, actually this fits in more with how I want to work. It was quite a step to take because I am not one for dishing out money to anyone else,” he added. “I am out there earning it and maximising profits and as a businessman, you have to be careful. But the GotPhoto platform was the first where I could look at it and see that I would be gaining more than I would be losing in the long run. I pretty much needed to try that to prove it myself which is why I wanted to give it a go with you guys.”

Elevate your school photography with our A-Z article on how to succeed in the sector.

It was quite a step to take joining GotPhoto because I am not one for dishing out money to anyone else. 
But your platform was the first where I could see I would be gaining more than I would be losing in the long run.”

Nathan Allan

Positive Customer Feedback

Nathan gave himself a year to try things out with GotPhoto and he was immediately impressed upon using the system. “There was a massive difference straight away. It did what I hoped it would. I had a test year with portraits for one season on a couple of schools. In the springtime, I tested a few group sessions. Parents responded well to the online setup. They liked being able to order online and being able to mix packs,” Nathan added.

“The feedback was good. I could see there was more of a trend for spending a bit more money. It is easier to spend money online. There was also the potential for me customising my work a little to make that work better. So I started taking more images, giving more variety to parents so people feel they are getting better value for money when they buy a pack. 

“So these schools increased on their spends. And for me, I could see how much of a reduction in admin and the logistics side there was going to be. When I decided to go full in last year it did make a big, big difference.”

Perfect your shots with this handy article on portrait photography tips.

Cutting 60% of Admin Work and Increasing Revenue

Despite being slightly sceptical of the percentage service fee he had to pay out to GotPhoto, Nathan was soon convinced by the increase in revenue and time saved. Using an all-in-one system relieved the stress of busy periods.

“Christmas used to be a nightmare,” Nathan said. “I was taking photos, collecting proof cards, delivering proof cards, counting money, sorting proof cards and editing every single job. Now with GotPhoto, I was at that point where I could cut out 60% of it which allows me to shoot more schools. The cut I have to take in paying out to you guys, that more than outweighs itself. One or two schools can easily help pay towards that.”

Since joining GotPhoto, Nathan has acquired six larger schools – ones he would have been simply unable to take on without the system. Additionally, he has cut his admin time in more than half while NA Photography’s external revenue has increased between 10% to 20% depending on the job.

Final Thoughts?

“Relinquishing part of my business was hard because before I was doing everything completely in-house. Paying someone else and taking a cut of my profits was a hard step. I needed to see the value was there and without a doubt, it has,” Nathan added.

“GotPhoto does make things a lot more streamlined for my company. This online presence and the massive reduction in the administration has meant I can grow my business, make it more profitable and point it more in an online direction.”

Dominic Bryant