Dale Pool had a passion for photography since his father gave him an SLR camera at an early age. At college he started undertaking some freelance work and from there decided to do a degree in photography. After leaving university, he went through a number of different business names before starting HuwDale photography, Huw being his partner and the key person who helped him get started. Dale had been working with an art gallery in the Rhondda Valley, and whilst working there he was encouraged to use his skills as a teacher. With this in mind, he went on to organise some photography classes. The classes cost £6 per person, per session – making them affordable to local people with just a passing interest in photography.
Before long, Dale was running three sessions a week at the gallery and was quickly outgrowing the space. He moved into a community centre in Tonypandy but this space wasn’t really working due to the amount of other things happening around them. He was then offered space of his own at another premises in Porth and jumped at the chance to take it and make it his own. Dale needed some assistance to get his training space up and running, and that’s when he got in touch with us about a Start Up Loan.
Photography equipment doesn’t come cheap and Dale needed to obtain a number of new cameras for students to use, as well as lighting equipment and a printer that produces studio quality prints. Dale also needed to spend some money on marketing materials and local advertising to get the name out there – something he hadn’t anticipated costing so much. Traditional banks weren’t interested in lending to such a young company, so Dale spoke to us about providing him with a start-up loan. We loved Dale’s ideas and the fact that he was making photography more of an affordable, community based activity.
Dale has written more courses and now not only teaches people how to take great photographs but also how to digitally edit them. “Working with ROCBF has been great”, says Dale who’s also taken advantage of our mentoring opportunities, “Jackie regularly gets in touch to see how things are coming along and to pass me information on courses or opportunities that I think might benefit the business”.
If you’d like to book onto one of Dales’ courses, take a look at the HuwDale Photography website. If you’ve got a business idea of your own that you’d like to get off the ground, or if you’ve been trading for less than two years and could do with some assistance, take a look at our Start Up Loans page.