Local business carves way into international food sector

“We are a small business based in Northamptonshire doing big things and it is about time we started singing about it.”

Whilst it might be a familiar name in the local business community thanks to shooting the cover images for Northamptonshire Chamber’s inbusiness magazine and its long running contracts with the Northampton Saints, Office Depot and Avon Cosmetics, the business has been exceptionally busy in recent years, quietly carving out a niche for itself in the food and drink sector.

Led by company directors, Craig Fraser and Jo Cameron, Frasershot now photographs some of the world’s most famous chefs, well-known food brands and the catering imagery for high-profile events.

One of Frasershot’s largest clients is The Compass Group PLC, a multi-billion-pound company which provides food and catering support to some of the biggest sporting and music events in the world – including the Formula One Grand Prix races, the USPGA golf tournament and to the O2, Wembley and Twickenham – as well as the defence, healthcare and education sectors.

Around eight years ago, The Compass Group found Frasershot on Google when searching for a new food photography business, thanks to Craig’s decision to invest heavily in an ongoing SEO campaign. Frasershot quickly became the preferred photographer for The Compass Group PLC and its many sub brands, such as Payne & Gunter and Levy Restaurants, and now fulfils commissions for them two or three times a week.

In fact, this relationship has just seen Frasershot provide all of the imagery for this year’s Wimbledon tennis championships' point of sale materials. Craig and his team have also photographed chefs with Michelin-starred restaurants to their name including Marco Pierre White and Marcus Wareing and undertaken photography projects for meat-free brand Quorn, TGI Fridays, Novus Leisure, which operates 47 bars and nightclubs throughout the UK, home improvement retailer and kitchen supplier Wickes, and are in the process of negotiating a deal to work with Edgebaston Cricket Club in the coming months.

But this is no overnight success story. This year the company celebrates its 10-year business anniversary.

Craig says: “We are a small business based in Northamptonshire doing big things and it is about time we started singing about it. We are fortunate enough to work with and photograph some amazing, high-end brands and personalities in the food sector and they keep coming back to us.”

Earlier this year, after spending so much of their time on food photography shoots in London, Frasershot decided to invest in a larger 2,000 sq ft photographic studio, complete with a fully functional development kitchen and drive-in space. Now they invite their clients to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital and join them at their countryside studio. They add to the experience by putting them up in The Red Lion Hotel in East Haddon which, coincidentally, also has its own Cookery School on site.

Craig said: “We are creative and innovative in our approach and are able to offer the best photography talent in the food sector. We like to think that we create a fun, relaxed experience for our clients too.

“Since our studio was completed in March, food brand Quorn have hired the space to produce a cook book. They liked it so much that they have booked in again to shoot all of their new advertising imagery. We have also had a big construction brand use our space for a very exciting project that we can’t say too much about yet.”

The last ten years have seen Frasershot grow year on year. The business started out in 2007, run from Craig’s flat in Northampton. As the business grew, Craig and Jo invested in a studio on an industrial estate in the town before moving into the amazing space they now have. The company has also invested heavily in technology to ‘stay ahead of the game’, launching a video arm to the business in 2014 and, more recently, investing in equipment to enable the creation of virtual reality walk-throughs and 360 degree imagery.

The team has grown too, to five members of staff and a reliable bank of freelance photographers who have all been carefully selected for their specialisms. The most recent recruit to the team is Katia who joined the business a year ago. Katia helps to project manage photo shoots by sourcing models, props and stylists. She also gets involved with the processing and editing of all the imagery.

“I truly believe that we offer the personal touch of a small business but with the capacity, talent and technology to cater for top brands at the higher end of the market. Our client retention levels are testament to our growth and turnover has increased year on year ever since we started,” says Craig.

And Frasershot is showing no signs of complacency as the company is currently working on launching its own sub brand called The Kitchen.

“Whilst we do other work, we have recognised that around 70% of our business now comes from the food sector and, as we have this fantastic kitchen right at the heart of our new studio, it makes sense to grow that side of the business further,” reveals Craig.

“So far, we have created our branding and are in the middle of working with an agency to build a new website which will act as an online portfolio, showcasing our work for the food sector. We are hoping that this will go live in October.

“Reaching this 10-year milestone means a lot to myself and Jo and has made us just take a step back for a minute and appreciate how far we have come.”

To find out more about Frasershot, click here