Most photographers dream of making their passion line their pockets. But, in a fiercely competitive photographic market, in which anyone can buy a camera and call themselves a professional photographer, it’s not only experience, credibility and business acumen that set shooters apart — it’s finding their niche.
So, when we heard that local Kiwi photographer Simon Hoyle, now close to retirement, was looking to sell his successful photography company, The Big Picture, to concentrate on his core portrait business, our ears pricked up. It’d make a unique opportunity with tremendous potential for a ‘grapher with Kiwi ingenuity.
A solution to a growing need for schools and organizations looking for unique ways to capture their staff, students, and buildings, Simon Hoyle saw the potential to resurrect this panorama photography in a uniquely modern way.
Creating a specialized rig for picture-perfect panoramas, Simon worked with a metal fabrication company to design and build a unique safe riser system that can be assembled with a small team in 90 minutes, with 16 sections that lock together to create an arc 38 metres long. The system packs into two customised tandem trailers with weatherproof covers. Fully transportable and consisting of just two trailers that can be easily stored, the system can be based anywhere in the country.
By way of this specifically-engineered riser system, panoramas of over a thousand students can be achieved. With framed and unframed photos available for sale to the school community, The Big Picture’s business model to date has been no charge to schools but an agreement from them to underwrite a threshold total sales figure which can include a larger display panorama for the school.