For some unknown reason companies often invest a great deal of money building new websites, coming up with new campaigns, writing great content and developing their product without thinking about the importance of imagery. The smartest companies are looking for skilled photographers to shoot images that are not only unique but are relevant to a company’s story.

Last year there were, on average, 300 million photographs uploaded to Facebook every day. Even discounting holiday snaps, selfies and pictures of food, that is an incredible volume of visual content but there is a difference between quality and quantity. Rather than making use of a bank of stock photography businesses are looking for photographers who can shoot images that tell a story. That’s the name of the game in 2016, storytelling, and the more evocative and powerful your story the more engaging your company and the more relationships you can build with customers. A large part of this is time. Our lives now are fast: fast food, fast news and social media and the volume of information is staggering. Remember, 300 million photographs every day on Facebook so photographers have their work cut out to capture and image that makes people stop and think. Most purchasing decisions require an element of instinct, an emotional response to a product, so a successful photographer will be able to capture a brand and build that relationship.

I chose the sponsor the Ashgrove Creative Awards because photography is more than a job for me, it’s my passion and I know how incredibly difficult it can be to turn a passion into a career. The Creative Awards are giving you a chance to explore that world, to dip your toe in before you dive in head first. So, before you begin your journey, one piece of advice I would give to all of the photographers is to focus on telling stories. When you’re taking photos think about what they say and who they say it to and always try to find the essence of the message in your images and above all, always love your work.