Derby small business owner Matthew Jones took his first steps towards setting up his photography business in 2011. With a BA and Masters Degree in photography and a day job as Associate Lecturer in Photography at the University of Derby, Matthew was ready to add new challenges to his passion for photography. We talked to him about his start-up journey and how NBV’s Grant funding has enabled his business to expand.


Can you tell us a little more about your business and what sets you apart from others?

My business in based in Derby city centre and centres around Commercial Photograhy. My business stands apart from others through the breadth of photographic expertise I have (20 years experience) and the ratio of high-quality work against the price point.

How did you find out about the Grant Funding on offer?

I was doing a web search for grants and I came across NBV’s site. The Grant for Enterprise was just what I needed at the time as I needed to purchase new equipment.

What did you purchase with the Grant?

The grant funding I received enabled me to train for my PFCO (Permission for Commercial Operation of a drone commericially in UK airspace) and buy a Mavic 2 Pro Drone with a Hasselblad state of the art camera.

Were there any challenges you had to overcome?

It was a challenge to learn to fly and pass the training to enable me to fly the Drone and benefit from it commercially. Another challenging element was understanding the market and engaging with the market demand for Drone photography.

How has your business benefitted from the Grant support you received?

The investment will help my business extend by enabling me to employ one person. This will help establish my business more solidly than working on my own. In addition to this the investment has enabled me to expand the photographic services provided to my existing clients with improved imagery.

What are your future plans for the business?

I plan to expand my Commercial Photography business by adding Drone Photography not only to enhance what I already offer, but to offer photographic surveys and employ another person to be able to do the Drone photography alongside me to increase the business income.

What have been the highs and lows so far of running your own business?

The highs have been securing and completing large successful contracts. The lows are when I have a backlog of images that I need to process when I would much rather be out doing more photography.

Any tips or advice for others?

Take all the advice and business support available to you.

You can see more of Matthew Jones’s work here:

If you are interested in taking advantage of NBV’s Grant for Enterprise* you can read more about the terms & conditions of funding and fill out an Expression of Interest form here

*subject to eligibility