An Interview with Debbie Bedford from Loxley Colour
RISE: How did you originally get into the photographic industry?
I have always needed to be in a creative industry that allows me to interact with people. I started as a dance teacher and performer, travelling & then running my own performing arts schools whilst also working for my parent’s picture framing business. So I would trek around the country selling pictures and mirrors into furniture stores, interior designers and gift shops. This led me to work with artists and photographers. Eventually in 2005, I took over my parents framing business and set up a new business servicing photographers with a unique wall art products which are now produced by Loxley Colour – the Gallery Blocks & floating Gallery Blocks.
RISE: How long have you been at Loxley Colour and what is your position there?
I have been at Loxley Colour since 2016, so 4 years now, where I am the Customer Engagement Manager.
RISE: For those reading this who don’t know about Loxley Colour, tell us a little more about what Loxley and what they offer photographers in the way of print and framing?
Loxley Colour offer an extensive range of products for photographers from prints & fine art prints, to frames and wall art, alongside an award winning range of albums and books, presentation products & personalised gifts & stationary. All of the highest quality. Recently we have started to add some additional services free for Loxley customers, including educational webinars, toolkits to help photographers sell and free consultations.
RISE: How do Loxley stay ahead of trends?
Loxley’s are always looking at ways to stay ahead of trends and this is mainly through interaction and feedback from our customers and also our partners in the industry. Even down to new materials, additional upgrades as the photographer always needs that possibility to upsell to clients so we try to always strive to offer this.
RISE: I’ve had the privilege of visiting Loxley for a couple of days and looking around your showroom and factory, you keep a very tight ship?
The Loxley Facility it 57,000 sq ft of stunning working environment and has to be seen to understand how amazing and how hand made all the products are. It definitely gives photographers an abundance of USP’s to talk about with clients once they have visited. We are looking at doing a virtual lab tour once we can, so more people can see what happens within Loxley Colour and also so they can see all the fabulous staff and how dedicated they are. It is a family run business and it really feels like that even though its so big.
RISE: You also have the facility to hold training events, is this something you do on a regular basis?
We have an amazing seminar space and this links so well with lab tours and our showroom facility. We have held many seminars and we are looking to hold many more as soon as we can. We are always open to suggestions.
RISE: What can photographers expect when they become part of the community and a Loxley customer?
Loxley customers are well looked after by our award-winning customer service team and of course our sales team. We have a Loxley Pro Community Facebook page which is a great positive supportive environment for professional photographers where we share ideas and new products etc. We also now have our free educational webinars, free consultations and we hope everyone feels equal and supported as we want everyone to feel part of the Loxley family.
RISE: What advice can you give someone sending work to be printed for the very first time?
Sending prints for the first time, especially when trying a new supplier can be daunting, but we offer a free test print service where you can see your work colour corrected or not to compare. This is a free service. We also do a swatch paper booklet for you to touch a feel all our paper types which is a great help when deciding what looks best for your images and your brand/style.
RISE: Where do you see the future of print?
We did see a decline in print however we have definitely seen an increase over the last few years which is amazing to see the value of print returning. As an industry we really need to all pull together to assist this growth. I believe following this pandemic people should start to really value seeing images printed as they have missed loved ones, both family and friends and should cherish these as they are their heirlooms. It is actually a great opportunity for photographers to make sure they push this to strengthen the industry and the value of print.
RISE: Finally if you could give one piece of advice to photographers, what would it be?
I would tell photographers to feed off all the information and business advice they have at their disposal so they can make small tweaks to improve their business every week.