by Charlie Kaufman Published 01/10/2012
Recent recipient of the ultimate accolade of an Honorary Fellowship from the Societies, in recognition of his business innovations to the benefit of the photographic industry, Watford-based Charlie Kaufman's expertise is in generating moneymaking leads for independent photographers throughout the UK.
With the seeds of his - and others' - success sown when Charlie offered to help drum up business for a photographer he worked with more than 20 years ago, the photographer-come-entrepreneur is now founder and CEO of the Click Group; the photographic industry orientated division of larger umbrella organisation the Click Connection Corporation.
After 20 years of helping photographers, Charlie was ecstatic to receive his Honorary Fellowship. "There's been people who have put the Groups down, but they shouldn't, as we offer an incredible opportunity for the industry in helping people to make money," he says. "Of course we're not a charity - we're a business too - but it's a lovely position to be in, in the UK. We have a thousand independent businesses that are part of our company; a large proportion of which we know might struggle to stay in business if we weren't trading. So the recognition of the Fellowship is very important to me."
Strength in numbers
For those not already a member, the Click Group is the UK's largest nationwide group of independent portrait photographers, and joining up with the Click Group is another way of driving custom to your own studio. Another Group is the long running 'Fresh Group', which focuses on fashion make-over shoots, while the more recent Boudoir by Fresh, is a Group for photographers tapping into the vogue for erotic yet tasteful 'boudoir' underwear shoots.
As well as being provided with business leads, members of these groups are also offered local marketing opportunities in the shape of the 'Photo Pod' gift line - which gives consumers the opportunity to buy friends or family a photographic 'experience', and photographers the opportunity to place these Pods with local businesses such as bridal shops and hairdressers to direct revenue. Interestingly, the 'Pooch Portrait' session has proved one of its most popular gift experiences, according to Click's CEO and Honorary Fellow Charlie Kaufman.
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