Russell boasts a background in photography and founded Soperfect Images in April 2009. The business has gone from strength to strength and Russell has now set up his first premises on Wolseley Business Park in Plymouth with the help of NatWest funding. Russell is a single parent and has gradually built up the business by photographing local sporting events including many local football teams, diving competitions and boxing events. This opened a door to the local council whereby he has been invited to take a number of photos for the Lord Mayor at various events. Russell has been one of the official photographers with Plymouth MegaRide for the last couple of years, the annual event in Plymouth in aid of local charities, to photograph thousands of bikers at this well supported event – this year’s MegaRide is on the 10th June. In March, Russell along with Mike Pitches Photography, photographed several bikers alongside the well-known Calendar Girls at Russell’s new studio – this will generate sales through his website and raise money for the charities.
Having established himself in premises last month, Russell is now focusing on working closely with local schools to set up and run “The Camera Kids” offering photography workshops after school and during school holiday clubs. Plymouth Photography Network is also being set up to provide a media hub, excellent networking opportunities within the media industry for amateur and professional photographers along with all related trades.
Mark Rea, relationship manager at NatWest, has been supportive of Russell’s plans since he started his business and wanted to help him source and fund a photography studio. Mark provided a funding package that has allowed Russell to lease premises, build a website and purchase new equipment to allow Russell to embark on portrait photography. Mark also took time out of his busy diary earlier this month to spend a day with Russell to help build an infinity wall as the perfect backdrop for portrait pictures – this was part of the banks “Working With You” programme whereby relationship managers at NatWest are tasked to spend two days a year to provide a greater insight into the workings of SME businesses and the pressures their owners or managers face on a day to day basis.
Russell Soper, Founder of Soperfect Images commented: “It’s hard to believe what I have achieved over a three year period. The new premises give me a base for me to showcase and conduct my work and invite people in to talk about future projects. I am particularly excited about working with local schools to give the students the opportunity to get behind the camera and realise any potential talent. Mark at NatWest has been so supportive over the years and I thank him for his belief in what I wanted to achieve. Hopefully this is just the start!”
Mark Rea, relationship manager at NatWest commented: “It has been an amazing experience working with Russell since he started the business and to see where he has taken it so far. I really enjoyed spending time at Russell’s studio a few weeks ago as there is only so much that the bank can communicate through paperwork and meetings - there’s no substitute for seeing first hand how he runs his business. Soperfect Images reputation is spreading amongst the local community and Russell’s new contract with the annual MegaRide event underpins this. I wish him well as he embarks on his latest school and media projects, which I am confident will be well received due to the strong appetite so far.”