Photographers suffer 86% reduction in turnover due to Coronavirus

16 March 2021 in General | USB Flash Drives

Photographers suffer 86% reduction in turnover due to Coronavirus

According to a survey conducted by flash drive supplier memorymates.co.uk, wedding and studio photographers have suffered an 86% reduction in turnover due to lockdown restrictions. 

Nine out of ten are currently not shooting at all, even in their own studios. The vast majority feel that government support for the industry has been inadequate. A small majority are optimistic about the future.

 

Report Summary

A survey by memorymates.co.uk has revealed the extent of the commercial difficulties suffered by wedding and studio photographers since the outbreak of coronavirus. Most feel they have not received the appropriate support.

The plight of the industry has previously been under reported, despite severe limitations on its ability to trade. Studios are closed for personal shoots, location work has ceased and weddings cannot be held until April.

memorymates.co.uk conducted a survey with 25 of its customers to better understand how they have been impacted. The online retailer has been supplying keepsake flash drives to the photography industry for over a decade.

The results make for stark reading.  92% of respondents have been unable to work, which led to an 86% drop in turnover between June and December of last year when compared to 2019.

“I shot 3 weddings in 2020 compared to a usual 35,” explained one. “I have had £10,000 worth of work interrupted,” said another.

Some are facing the unthinkable: “I might be forced to close my business as I still have to pay a lease on the property I'm renting for a studio in town centre.”

A few have found commercial studio work, but even this has been limited. “[I have moved] into product photography. I had a few existing clients and I am actively marketing and developing my skills in this area,” explained one of the 8% who are still shooting, albeit only once a week on average. 

Attempts to generate other revenue from photography (such as selling online and from back catalogues) have proved difficult, particularly when the practical implications of lockdown are considered. “It is difficult to do anything while homeschooling my 8 year old ... I have a 3 year old too.”

 

The results don’t read any better for the government. Respondents felt that the industry had been let down badly, rating the government's efforts at just 2.4 out of 10. Many awarded zero. Much of the feedback suggested that socially distanced weddings and photoshoots should be permitted during lockdown, as participants could be strictly monitored. 

“Weddings should be allowed as there is a written record of everyone attending,” explained one photographer. “Weddings should have been supported, and [studio] photography should be separated from retail,” explained another. 

Respondents felt they had been better supported personally, but still only rated the government at 4.2. A major concern here was the lack of consistency in approach to photographers of a different employment status, succinctly summed up in this response:

“[We need] support for all. At the moment there are so many exceptions, too many photographers do not get any support.”

On the upside, the majority feel that much brighter days lay ahead, albeit in a changed industry. Whilst smaller weddings and socially distanced shoots are anticipated for the foreseeable future, 55% of photographers had a positive outlook.

The same proportion expect significant pent up demand once lockdown ends. Most are confident in their ability to cope, including one respondent who is keen for normality to return: “I will just do it. I miss work so much.”

Headline Results

- Photographers from across the wedding and studio industry participated, typically conducting 1-3 shoots a week (wedding, location & studio)

- The 8% of photographers who are currently working are conducting an average of 1 shoot a week.

- Photographers experienced an 86% fall on average in income between June and December of 2020 (compared year on year). Many experienced a 100% drop.

- 67% have been unable to develop new methods of generating revenue from photography. At least 33% have sought alternative employment.

- On a scale of 0 to 10, photographers felt that government support rated at 2.4 for the industry and 4.2 for them personally. Many felt it was 0 for both. 

- Many felt that weddings and socially distanced photo shoots should have been allowed to continue throughout lockdown. A lack of clear guidelines and support for Directors was also regularly cited.

- On a scale of 0 (no bookings) to 10 (future bookings) photographers rated their order book at 5.1.

- 55% anticipate significant pent up demand. 54% are positive about the future.

 

Headline Respondent Quotes

On business interruption:

“I shot 3 weddings in 2020 compared to a usual 35.”

“I have had £10,000 worth of work interrupted.”

“People [are] still wary of booking… can only do so many weddings a year so will never recoup lost income.”

 

On generating additional revenue from photography:

“[I have moved] into product photography. I had a few existing clients and I am actively marketing and developing my skills in this area.”

“Difficult to do anything while homeschooling my 8 year old and have a 3 year old too.”

“Tried but unsuccessful.”

 

On what could have been done differently by government:

“Weddings should have been supported, and [studio] photography should be separated from retail.”

“Weddings should be allowed as there is a written record of everyone attending.”

“Support for all. At the moment there are so many exceptions, too many photographers do not get any support.”

“Some sort of support for Directors.”

“Clearer guidelines.”

 

On coping with potential future demand:

“I will just do it. I miss work so much.”

“We are deferring weddings back to 2022 if we cannot do this year”

“I suspect I will have a lot of older babies, who's babies I was unable to photograph as newborns. I will schedule these by priority carefully whilst trying not to overwork myself and obviously photograph newborns as they arrive.”

“I have a waiting list which is my standard level of work IF they book in.”

 

On the future:

“Very uncertain, but somehow still hopeful.”

“I feel positive.”

“Looking forward to it.”

“Anything can happen.”

“I am positive that we will regain some normality by summer.“

“I imagine many people will be postponing weddings for a few years, and smaller weddings will be more common.”

“I think I have lost everything that may have happened in 2021.”

“Hard to say really but weddings 100% impacted as all have moved to next year, will try to build up shoots.”

“I might be forced to close my business as I still have to pay a lease on the property I'm renting for a studio in town centre.”

 

Full survey responses, including quotes and charts, can be found online at:

www.memorymates.co.uk/blog/coronavirussurvey.pdf

For more information please contact us.

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Flash Drive Prices Reduced

18 January 2021 in

 

It is not all bad news! Whilst (like many businesses) we have experienced some difficulty with our supply chains, we are currently benefiting from a vastly improved dollar exchange rate.

As we are now beginning to see the impact of this on our stockholdings, it is possible to pass these savings on to you. There are savings across our ranges, with some models reduced by 15%.

For instance, our popular 2GB Pebble flash drives are now just £4.25 (reduced from £5.50). This is before quantity discounts of up to 20% are applied. Other reductions see our 2GB Grenade at £5.75 and 8GB Silver Diamond Heart at £7.75.

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Memory Mates joins the Venture Group

27 October 2020 in General | USB Flash Drives | USB Memory Sticks

Memory Mates has a new home.

The supplier of photography, promotional and novelty USB flash drives has been consolidated into The Venture Group, alongside its sister company Green Tones.

As this is only an administrative change, there will be no impact on the day to day operation of the business. Customers can expect the same high levels of service from an unchanged team.

Memory Mates and Green Tones were established by the same owner/managers nine and six years ago respectively. The logical decision to consolidate them into a group finally came with the team now looking to move into other product areas.

Whilst flash drives and the eco-friendly homeware supplied by Green Tones seem odd bedfellows, they are both high quality and fast moving consumer goods that lend themselves to internet retail.

A shared ethos of outstanding customer service, rapid despatch and excellent stock levels will now be continued through The Venture Group, which will also undertake joint marketing initiatives.

The Venture Group will operate from a new warehouse/office in East Sussex.

Memory Mates - A leading supplier of USB flash drives founded in 2011. Initially, the range focussed on novelty and promotional flash drives but rapidly expanded into the photography sector. Memory Mates is now one of the leading suppliers of wedding ‘keepsake’ flash drives often used by photographers to deliver media to brides and grooms. 

Green Tones - In 2014, Green Tones became one of the first importers of Bamboo Fibre to the UK. It has since supplied eco-friendly homeware, including plant pots and tableware, to a large number of respected clients, including the RHS and the Eden project. The business has recently returned to direct distribution of its products. 

The Venture Group Ltd - Proud new owners of Memory Mates and Green Tones. Will also distribute other fast moving consumer goods through its own channels and on behalf of clients looking to move products quickly.

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16GB Heart Flash Drives from just £6

5 September 2020 in USB Flash Drives | USB Memory Sticks

Over recent years higher capacity flash drives have reduced in price, significantly reducing the differential with lower volume models. When we first started out in the business almost a decade ago, the jump between an 8GB and 16GB Diamond Heart could be around 40%. Now, there is just £1 between them.

Our 16GB model can be purchased for as low as £6 (if you exclude the VAT) by adding a total of 15 or more flash drives to your basket. Accompanying pouches and presentation boxes are available, such as the black gift box pictured above from just £1.33 plus VAT.

* Don't forget that discounts of up to 20% will be applied to your basket depending on quantities purchased.

If you require more than 30 flash drives, always contact us for bulk pricing.

 

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Engraving to Glass Block Flash Drives

24 August 2020 in

If you are one of our trade photography customers, did you know our Glass Block Flash Drives can be engraved for just £2?

Glass Block Flash Drive

Graphics, such as your logo, can be added, or plain text. Text is often used to add the names of the bride and groom receiving the flash drive as part of a wedding package.

 

To qualify for the £2 charge, you need to order more than 15 flash drives. Please contact us for further details.

Orders for smaller quantities of engraved flash drives can be made directly through our website. Prices for engraving start at £4 per drive depending on volume required (discounts applied at checkout). The flash drive itself is available from £6 (£5 excluding VAT).

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Back to Business

9 July 2020 in USB Flash Drives | USB Memory Sticks

We have just received our first large, post-lockdown, delivery of heart flash drives.

As our regular customers will know, Covid-19 saw us struggle to hold significant stocks of our best selling models, including 8GB Silver Diamond Hearts.

Fortunately it appears that the supply chain is, for the time-being at least, returning to normal and we have begun to receive stock again.

As such, we are now able to fulfil orders on our usual rapid basis. We currently have 300 8GB Silver Diamonds, but do have forward orders to fulfil.

Prices remain low, we also have decent stocks of all presentation pouches and boxes and our engraving service is now available.

Don't forget that discounts of up to 20% will be applied to your basket depending on quantities purchased.

 

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Pouches & Boxes

8 December 2019 in USB Flash Drives | USB Memory Sticks

We offer a number of presentation boxes and pouches to accompany our USB flash drives. If required, these can be added at time of purchase directly from our listings.

Pouches and boxes can be combined as required. Some popular versions are available pre-bundled and discounted in our hearts category.

Our current range is shown below:

Boxes

Heart Flash Drive and Gift Box  

Black Gift Box

Heart Flash Drive and Flip Box

Black Flip Box

Heart Flash Drive and Kraft Gift Box

Kraft Gift Box (shown with rope rose pouch)

Pouches

Flash Drive with Blue Heart Pouch  

Blue Heart Pouch

Flash Drive with Pink Heart Pouch

Pink Heart Pouch

Heart Flash Drive with Button Pouch

Button Pouch

Blue Pouch and Flash Drive

Blue Pouch

Green Pouch and Flash Drive

Green Pouch

Heart Flash and Grey Velour Pouch

Grey Velour Pouch

Heart Flash Drive and Linen Pouch

Linen Pouch

Heart Flash Drive with Rope Rose Pouch

Rope Rose Pouch

 Heart Flash Drive with Hessian Pouch 

Hessian Pouch

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Stocking Fillers from £4.50

16 November 2019 in

As Christmas approaches, we thought we'd remind you of the novelty flash drives we offer.

 Reindeer Flash DriveSports Car Flash Drive

Particularly as we have applied discounts to the majority of the range.

With prices starting at just £4.50 they are ideal as Christmas presents, stocking fillers and secret Santa gifts.

Our wide range of styles - from reindeer to bullets - means there is a model to suit most.

Don't forget, the website now automatically calculates bulk discounts when you order 5 or more flash drives, bringing the list price down even further.

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Welcome to our new website!

13 October 2019 in USB Flash Drives | USB Memory Sticks

If you are reading this, you have discovered our new website. We hope you find it easier on the eye and simple to navigate.

In addition to showcasing our new, cleaner branding, the new memorymates.co.uk now features bulk discount calculation.

Previously, it was necessary to contact us to get money off large orders. Now, however, you just need to add the quantity you wish to order to your basket and the following discounts will automatically be applied:

* Purchase 5 or more and a discount of 10% will be applied

* Purchase 20 or more and a discount of 20% will be applied.

Shipping is now free on all orders. Still please contact us if you wish to order quantities of 50, even if they do not need to be branded.

 

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Find us on social media

21 July 2015 in Advertising | Branded | Business | Personalised | Promotions | USB Flash Drives | USB Memory Sticks

We are offering give aways and discounts on all our social media platforms on a regular basis now, and we wouldn't want you to miss out! Head over to the links below and follow us for your chance to win big prizes and be the first to know about our new products and offers.

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