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, 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 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. 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:

For more information please contact us.


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.


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.



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.



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:


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)


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


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 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.



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.

Memory Mates Facebook

Memory Mates Twitter

Memory Mates Pinterest

Memory Mates Instagram

Launchpad Reading Charity

28 August 2014 in Advertising | Business | stories | USB Flash Drives | USB Memory Sticks


Here at Memory Mates we like a success story as much as the next person, so we’re always glad to get positive feedback that our little flash drives are doing well. We’re particularly chuffed this week that we’ve been able to support Reading-based charity Launchpad, so we’re taking the opportunity to promote their cause further. So here’s a few words direct from Launchpad Reading:

“Launchpad provides accommodation and support services for the homeless, and the vulnerable to homelessness, of Reading.  As part of our support services we offer clients literacy, numeracy, ICT sessions as well as 1-2-1 support on writing a CV, job search, completing  application forms and attending interviews.  We wanted to give our clients a memory stick so they could work on and print off their CV wherever they were – library, Launchpad, jobcentre etc.  After some research we decided to buy from Memory Mates.  They were extremely helpful, gave very quick and full responses and delivered on time.  We would be happy to purchase from them next time.”


We liked their words so much we put together our own short list of top fun and professional uses for our Memory Mates:


  • Pose your memory mate on your desk to liven up the scenery

  • Take your CV or Covering Letter to print off at the library

  • Share pictures from the work party (don’t let your boss catch you!)

  • Backup those all-important school & work files

  • Re-enact film scenes with our novelty range

If you think our drives sound perfect for your company, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Not only can we supply our classic or novelty ranges, we can also arrange for unique engraving and branding! Memory Mates can make a fantastic marketing gift for potential customers, or simply just a little gift for your employees. Our flash drives range from small & light to chunky metallic designs, so there's something for everyone. 


Fresh in: web keys

13 June 2014 in Branded | Business | Personalised | Promotions | USB Flash Drives | USB Memory Sticks

Have you heard of web keys? Do you know what they are? If you run a business or have something to promote, then they really could be a game changer for you.

When your customers plug in one of your web keys, it will direct them to whatever web address you've loaded on there. You could run a contest, advertise a sale, or simply use them to direct people to your web site. They can link to any valid URL, so you could send customers to an otherwise hidden page on your site for exclusive deals or content

Web keys are a great alternative to a business card as you can have them emblazoned with your logo and send people directly to your web site, facebook page, or any other link of your choosing.

Web keys are small and light, making them ideal for posting out to clients or giving away at trade shows and exhibitions. It's a great way to stand out from the crowd of competition companies overwhelming your potential customers with business cards and flyers, and means you can present a whole lot more information with one tiny product.

So, what are you waiting for? Head over to our new Web Key section on our web site and get your business moving!

This time it's personal.

5 June 2014 in Personalised | stories | USB Flash Drives | USB Memory Sticks



Of all the things you'd expect to have confiscated at airport security, would you ever suspect your Memory Mate flash drives would be one of them? Well that's exactly what happened to Memory Mates customer DJ Adam Cobbsky when he was trying to get through Heathrow security. According to Heathrow's staff, they had to confiscate the casings due to the 'nature of their design'. Thankfully, Adam was able to keep hold of the USB drives themselves and do his gig in Rotterdam.



We felt for the poor guy, and so in return for his permission to do this little feature on him and his airport woes we offered to send him a new set of casings to replace the ones that were confiscated, complete with personalised engraving. Needless to say, he was delighted!


"Absolutely love my Memory Mate gun disks, they look awesome plugged into a pair of Pioneer CDJ2000's, and they've been super reliable. Just don't keep them in your hand luggage when travelling via Heathrow Airport!!"

SkullFuck3r / D4RK 


If you would like your very own personalised flash drive or a set, then just get in touch and ask us about it. There is no minimum order quantity, and we offer great deals on larger volume orders. You can engrave any of our metal flash drives, and in the shop section of this web site you can easily spot them as they have a little "Engrave Me!" sign on them!

If you want your own engraved pistol, you check out the listing here.

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